The Weaponization of Oil in the Messages of Osama Bin Laden


  • Mark S. Williams
  • Paul Williams


This paper analyzes the use of oil as weaponization in the rhetoric of Osama bin Laden in the context of the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 October War. Central to bin Laden’s own conception of his power is his ability to incite the Muslim community to support his worldview. This is manifested in his messages by his emphasis on colonialism and his appeal to Islamic values. This study focuses on the use of the weaponization of oil in the statements of Osama bin Laden against the West, Middle Eastern rulers, and the American people with the intent of weakening support for the Iraq War. This study contributes to the post-colonial understanding of the connections between colonialism and contemporary conflict in the Middle East.

Author Biographies

Mark S. Williams

Mark S. Williams is a PhD candidate in International Relations and International Political Economy at McMaster University. His current research interest is examining the correlation between economic volatility and the growth of salafist Islam—Islam that rejects modernity—in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Mark has presented at the CPSA, the CDAI Graduate Student Symposium, and the 21st Annual Two Days of Canada Conference.

Paul Williams

Paul Williams is a History honours student at Brock University studying the foundations of the current conflict in the Middle East in relation to the Cold War. Paul is also working on an historiography of American political culture and the American Revolution.