Bomber blasts ISIS: Convicted World Trade Center terrorist pens essay slamming group

Ramzi Yousef, who participated in a 1993 bombing, wrote a 250-page essay about how ISIS corrupts Islam

Published April 14, 2017 11:57PM (EDT)


A World Trade Center bomber has strong feelings about how ISIS is destroying Islam — so much so that he penned an essay about it, according to NBC News.

Ramzi Yousef, a convicted terrorist who participated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, views ISIS as a “corruption of Islam.” He wrote a 250-page essay slamming the group, arguing that it ultimately hurts his religion.

The lawyer who represents Yousef, Bernard Kleinman, talks about the project in an interview published by the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point. Kleinman, an attorney-at-law in New York, represents several alleged and convicted al-Qaeda terrorists in U.S. custody.

Kleinman said the government should “somehow try to make use” of Yousef’s essay, which delves deep into Islam’s reputation in the modern world.

“Ramzi Yousef feels so strongly that ISIS is corrupting Islam that he has written a 250-page essay in Arabic with theological arguments repudiating the group, which he completed this year. His treatise is based on the Qur’an, the hadith and religious commentaries. He utilized a lot of religious books to help him in his research, and he spent a lot of time on this. His hope is that this treatise can somehow be used to stop youngsters from joining ISIS.”

The lawyer said the document, if seen by the right people, could deter young people from joining ISIS.

“If you can create doubt in just one wannabe ISIS recruit about the religious legitimacy of ISIS’ actions, and by doing that save lives, then I think it would be worth it," Kleinman said.

Kleinman also said many of his clients detained in both Guantanamo Bay and a supermax facility in Colorado don’t consider ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi a true descendant of Prophet Mohammed. He noted that those he represents find several stark differences between the leaders of al-Qaeda and ISIS — namely, their use of violence.

“As it’s been explained to me, [Osama] bin Ladin did not automatically condemn individuals because they were Shi’a. It was more a matter of converting them to Sunni beliefs. In contract, ISIS views the Shi’a as apostates who need to be killed, and that is something that has been impossible for people like my clients and other accused terrorists I have discussed this with to accept.”

Yousef is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 attack that left six people dead.

Read the full interview.

By Tatiana Baez

Tatiana Baez is mostly Salon's social media coordinator, but she also writes here and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn and tweets.

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Al-qaeda Bernard Kleinman Isis Ramzi Yousef Terrorism World Trade Center