The collection also features speeches given by Bin Laden in the late 1980s and early 1990s to audiences in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
“What’s fascinating is how Bin Laden is speaking about the ways in which the Arabian Peninsula is threatened – but who is the enemy? It’s not the United States, as we often think, or the West. It’s other Muslims,” says Miller.
While the US would eventually become Bin Laden’s prime target, there is almost no reference to “the far enemy” in these early speeches. For several years he was much more concerned with what he called “disbelief” among Muslims who did not adhere to his strict, literalist interpretation of Islam.
“They are Shia first and foremost. They are Iraqi Baathists. They are Communists and Egyptian Nasserists,” explains Miller.
“Bin Laden wanted to bring jihad to the question of who is a true Muslim.”