Saudi Cleric Who Issued Fatwa on WMD Permissibility Pledges Allegiance to ISIS

A prominent Saudi cleric and ally of Osama bin Laden who issued a 2003 fatwa permitting the use of weapons of mass destruction in jihad has pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State.

Nasser bin Hamad al-Fahd is behind bars in Saudi Arabia, but his direction for squabbling Muslim factions to unite behind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as caliph could have significant reach -- along with the  fresh distribution of his fatwas on social media networks.

"I advise you to join, all of you, the Islamic State and to pledge allegiance to its leader, Amir al-Mumineen Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - may Allah protect him - and fight under his banner," al-Fahd wrote. "It is the state that raised the banner of Islam, and established Tawhid, and destroyed the idols, and implemented the Sharia. Allah has purified it from implementing man-made laws, from standing with the Disbelievers, and from supporting the Tawaghit, and has protected it from innovations, and misleading paths."

He acknowledged that ISIS has made mistakes, but they should be forgiven since they're under such pressure all the time.

"As to those who keep counting its mistakes, we say: Nobody is exempt from mistakes, and whatever the time in history, and however pure you might be. All sons of Adam make mistakes, and exemption from mistakes is only for the Prophets," al-Fahd wrote.

"...What could we say about this blessed State? It has just emerged, still lacking capabilities, besieged, attacked from every side, arrows pointing to it from all around, its been defamed, slandered by all imaginable means, nations from all over the world agreed to fight it, and the scholars of the Tawaghit, the scholars of shame, the callers to falsehood, the mules of the sultans in every country have defamed and slandered it, and lied about it lies we have never seen in history. So how could they not make mistakes when they are in this situation?"

Some al-Nusra supporters online were claiming that the signature on the letter was forged, sparking a back-and-forth on Twitter between ISIS and al-Nusra/al-Qaeda supporters.

But needless to say, ISIS backers celebrated the news -- and trumpeted his old fatwas for jihadis to catch up on.

In his 2003 WMD fatwa, al-Fahd ruled, "If the infidels can be repelled from the Muslims only by using such weapons, their use is permissible, even if you kill them without exception and destroy their tillage and stock."

The international banning of certain types of weapons, he stressed, has no meaning under Islamic law. Under the Quran, he said, "One kills in a good manner only when one can. If those engaged in jihad cannot do so, for example when they are forced to bomb, destroy, burn, or flood, it is permissible."

"The infidels might be in such a position that they cannot be resisted or repelled from Islamic territory and Muslims be spared their violence unless they are bombed with what are called weapons of mass destruction, as people with experience in jihad affirm. If people of authority engaged in jihad determine that the evil of the infidels can be repelled only by their means, they may be used. The weapons of mass destruction will kill any of the infidels on whom they fall, regardless of whether they are fighters, women, or children. They will destroy and burn the land. The arguments for the permissibility of this in this case are many," al-Fahd continued.

"...Anyone who considers America's aggressions against Muslims and their lands during the past decades will conclude that striking her is permissible merely on the basis of the rule of treating as one has been treated. No other arguments need be mentioned."

At another point in the fatwa, he directs that "jihad is not to be halted because of the presence of infidel women and children."

In another fatwa that year, al-Fahd ruled on taking the fight to Americans outside of Iraq.

"The Muslims, in their eyes, are nothing but a collection of insects whose extermination from the world is necessary," he said. "So doing jihad against those cursed ones, and awaiting for them, and fighting them wherever they may be is from the most important of obligations, and the greatest of things that can bring you close to Allah."

In 2012, al-Fahd ruled that jihad against Jews is “one of the most important duties and greatest virtues" for Muslims.

"If I had ten arrows, I would have shot all of them, not at anyone else," he said. "By Allah, had I been able to carry out a martyrdom operation against them, I would not have hesitated for a moment."

Today, al-Fahd told jihadists to "know that the only side profiting from your disunity and multiples groups are the disbelievers and the enemies of Islam, so fear Allah, and unite yourself and grasp a single rope, and don't break the ranks."