Bin Laden's grievances
'The withdrawal of the US from his country was the starting point for his demands, but was not all that he wanted.'
The withdrawal of the US from his country was the starting point for his demands, but was not all that he wanted. In the 1997 Arnett interview he explained that his objective was not only to drive the United States out of 'the Arabian peninsula' but also to force it to 'desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.'
These demands led Osama Bin Laden to develop an ambitious strategy. By causing mass casualties on a regular basis he could hope to persuade the Americans to keep clear of overseas conflicts. There was also a retributive element to the strategy - the militants of al-Qaeda and like-minded groups clearly wanted to punish the Americans for a whole range of policies, particularly for those it pursued in the Middle East, as well as for what they saw as its irreligious decadence.