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Terrorist Watch addresses the terrorist activities and the the methods used by al-Qaeda terrorist operatives in the U.S.,  with in-depth analysis of  the relationships that exist between al-Qaeda and Middle Eastern terrorist groups and their Middle East nation-state benefactors.

 

This Web site was first published in July of 1998, and has been  maintained and updated on a non-profit basis consistently since that time, without personal concern of retribution, despite a number of death threats, for the benefit of citizens worldwide who cherish their families, the right to live in a free and democratic society, and the freedom to worship the true God Almighty through the religion of their choice.

 

Terrorist Watch

    New Era Preface
    The Little Scroll
   America Strikes Back
    Preface to The Little Scroll
    The Little Scroll  Summary

    Iranian Ties to al-Qaeda

Kings and Generals of Nations

al Qaeda Description

The Walrus of the Sea

New Era Satellite View

State-Sponsored Terrorism

al Qaeda Terrorism In England

Terrorist Threat Confronting US

Usama bin Laden

    Ayman Al-Zawahiri FBI Poster

The Saudi Connection

    The USA Dollar Bill

The Al-Qai'da Manual Section 1

NORAD Security Breach

US Nuclear Missile Shield

Babylon of Usama bin Laden

Charter of Hamas

New Era OPS Members

Former al Qai'da Prophet

The Terrorist Threat Confronting the United States

Counter-Terrorism Sites

Afghan/Taliban/al-Qaeda Links

Interpol's Bin Laden Site 

Congressional Quarterly Press

ERRI Site on bin Laden/al Qai'da

Official DoD Pentagon Photos

FBI Official Website Most Wanted Terrorists

The U.S. Constitution

The US Bill of Rights

 

 

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Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to kill Americans

This material is excerpted from an article by Robert Windrem of NBC NEWS NEW YORK, Aug. 17

Ossama bin Laden is thought to have bankrolled more than a half-dozen terrorist attacks, including the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. And wealthy Saudi exile Usama bin Laden is suspected to be behind the attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was one of the chief targets of the U.S. missile attack on Afghanistan Thursday.

U.S. strikes Afghan, Sudanese 'terror' sites Afghan leader vows to protect bin Laden

BIN LADEN, who has denied responsibility for the embassy bombings, issued a religious edict Feb. 23 against all U.S. civilians and military, U.S. intelligence officials say. The order was issued in the name of a coalition of Muslim groups. Many of the groups have been identified as terrorists by the United States. That includes the Gamat al Islami in Egypt, believed responsible for recent massacres of tourists there. On Monday, Pakistan handed over to Kenyan officials a suspect in the U.S. Embassy bombings, Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, also known as Mohammad Sadiq Howaida and Abdull Bast Awadh. The Pakistan Foreign Ministry and another government source said Sunday that Howaida was sent to Kenyan authorities last week, bypassing U.S. investigators who had flown to Pakistan to question him. Pakistani newspapers reported that in recent interrogations, Howaida had confessed to being involved in the Nairobi bombing and had outlined a plan that included co-conspirators. The Pakistani national newspaper The News, quoting unidentified government sources, reported Monday that the suspect, Mohammad Sadik Howaida, claimed the attack was sponsored by Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi businessman whom U.S. officials have identified as a possible suspect.

American officials are particularly interested in hunting down bin Laden because he launched his violent crusade with the assistance of the United States, which armed his followers with Stinger missiles when he was a member of the Mujahedeen forces fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. While bin Laden proved himself an able fighter in Afghanistan, it is his personal financial assets — approximately $300 million (in 1995) — and organizational abilities that set him apart in the world of terrorism, U.S. counter-terrorism officials say. ”[Because of his wealth] he operates with little state sponsorship other than safe haven, and his independent, fundamentalist motivation makes him and his followers a much more difficult challenge for Western intelligence agencies,” said one senior intelligence official, who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity. The State Department, in a report issued in February 1996, called him “one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world today.” Senior U.S. officials say “most of the intelligence” gathered on the bin Laden terrorist network was electronic eavesdropping gathered from the U.S. spy satellites and ground-based facilities. “I was amazed to find how easy it was to make the connection [to East Africa bombings],” said one official, adding that it was difficult to do so after other bombings like Riyadh and Khobar. The official added that the United States had “wired” bin Laden’s network in the past few years and had “looked at it for a long time, how to get connection ... so this time, it was easier to make the connection. The East Africa bombings provided us with the opportunity.” He said the information had been obtained in the first few days after the bombings Aug. 7. He said the United States has been targeting the terrorist complex with spy satellites as well as electronic eavesdropping and that the United States had a longstanding “target package” ready for presidential approval. Similarly, the electronic eavesdropping provided the United States with threats that allowed for the quick removal of personnel out of Pakistan and Albania. Another U.S. official said “rarely do numerous sources converge” as they did on this, providing “high confidence” in bin Laden’s responsibility.

Bin Laden is currently believed to be living in a cave in Afghanistan, surrounded by hundreds of followers, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. But because he can avoid scrutiny by traveling on chartered or private jets, intelligence officials say his primitive surroundings do not preclude him from being involved in terrorist plots worldwide. A senior U.S. official describes Bin Laden terror network called al-Qaida or “The Base” this way: “Al-Qai’da is multinational, with members from numerous countries and with a worldwide presence. Senior leaders in the organization are also senior leaders in other Islamic terrorist organizations, including those designated by the Department of State as foreign terrorist organizations, such as the Egyptian al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya and the Egyptian al-Jihad. (Both are suspected of involvement in the East Africa bombings.) Bin Laden, the official said, supports “Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen and now Kosovo. [His network] also trains members of terrorist organizations from such diverse countries as the Philippines, Algeria and Eritrea.” Another official said the United States believes that there was “a diverse mix” of terrorists from a variety of nations at the complex Thursday when it was bombed, but hinted that Egyptian terrorists predominated. A senior Pentagon official says that the 600 people who were at the Afghanistan terror complex Thursday represent a “small fraction” of Bin Laden’s network, which number “in the low thousands” and that Bin Laden’s financial infrastructure is “hard to track.” If he comes out of this alive, he will continue to retain a viable network, the official added. Furthermore, officials note that this is not the first time Bin Laden has been bombed by a superpower, that he was bombed repeatedly by the Soviets during the years he fought as a Mujahedeen.. ‘We with God’s help call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.’ — FATWA ATTRIBUTED TO OSAMA BIN LADEN.

“He’s the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ of the terrorism game,” said one senior U.S. counter-terrorism official. “Most of what we get on him is third-hand information. We pick up someone else talking about where they have seen him.” Among the nations where bin Laden has been seen in recent years are Iran, Malaysia, the Philippines, Yemen and Switzerland. Intelligence officials believe he attended a “terrorism summit” that Western intelligence officials believe took place in the Iranian capital of Tehran in June 1996.

A list of the terrorist attacks bin Laden is suspected of financing supports the theory that he is able to travel freely despite being one of the most-wanted men in the world: The December 1992 hotel bombings in Yemen that targeted U.S. servicemen. The attempted assassination in June 1993 of Jordan’s Crown Prince Abdullah. The attempted assassination in June 1995 of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A November 1995 bombing that killed five U.S. servicemen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The bombing of Egypt’s embassy in Pakistan later that month that killed 17 people. More recently, U.S. officials tell NBC News, the finger of suspicion has pointed at bin Laden as being the money man behind the first Islamic attack on American soil: the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, which killed six people and injured hundreds more. Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in November of masterminding that plot, lived in a bin Laden-operated “guest house” in Peshawar, Pakistan, both before and after the attack. And when Yousef was finally arrested there in February 1995, he had bin Laden’s name and address in his pocket. Bin Laden is also thought to be behind an attempt to kill the pope in January 1995 in the Philippines. Now, a senior CIA official tells NBC News, intelligence agents have identified bin Laden as having participated in the planning of the June 25, 1996, bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen. June 1996: the damage outside the Khobar Towers barracks near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. “He is a primary suspect,” said Dr. Neil Livingstone, a counterterrorism expert and NBC News consultant. “He is not one of the people on the scene who drives the truck to the Khobar Towers and blows it up. He is the person that makes it possible through money, through contacts, through the kinds of activities he has been carrying out for years ... in basically supporting these groups, which are backed by Iran, which are opposed to the present Saudi government, which are opposed to the United States, which are opposed to Israel.”

Intelligence officials say bin Laden is one of 53 children of Saudi construction magnate Muhammad Awad bin Laden, but the only offspring of his union with a Palestinian woman, the least favored of the elder bin Laden’s 10 wives. “He has no full brothers or sisters, which is rare in the bin Laden clan,” the senior U.S. intelligence official said. “The combination made him somewhat the runt of the litter. He was not held in high standing in the family even before the allegations of terrorism arose.” Nevertheless, he labored in the family construction business until shortly after the Jan. 11, 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops, which deeply offended him as a Muslim. “He knew little of Afghanistan except that it was a Muslim country and that ‘it had great horses,’ ” said Issam Daraz, a Muslim journalist who interviewed bin Laden in 1989 during the waning months of the Mujahedeen’s war with the Soviet forces. Using his personal fortune, he financed the recruitment, transportation and training of other Arab nationals who volunteered to fight alongside the Afghan Mujahedeen, and organized the Islamic Salvation Front for this purpose.

Video and photographs of bin Laden fighting in Afghanistan, shot by Daraz, clearly shows that the Saudi and his fighters were armed with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles clandestinely supplied by the United States. Sen. Hatch told NBC News that he personally helped persuade the Reagan administration to send the Stingers to the Mujahedeen after he and fellow members of the Senate Intelligence Committee visited the region. “We convinced [administration officials] that the Mujahedeen should be given the stingers…,” he said. “And once that happened, then [Soviet President Mikhail] Gorbachev did see that it was a losing proposition to keep fighting in Afghanistan and that’s when he decided to withdraw the Soviet forces. … Those were very important, pivotal matters that really played a significant role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.” Asked whether bin Laden’s subsequent activities have made him question the wisdom of supplying advanced U.S. technology the Mujahedeen, Hatch replied, “It was worth it.”

THE SUDAN CONNECTION

After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, bin Laden returned to work in the family’s Jeddah-based construction business. However, he continued to support militant Islamic groups that had begun targeting moderate Islamic governments in the region and after the Saudi government seized his passport, he fled to Sudan, where he was welcomed by National Islamic Front (NIF) leader Hassan al-Turabi. ‘When his name was mentioned and he received information that his presence … would become an obstacle for the Sudan to clear its relationship with neighboring countries and Western countries … he decided to leave and we encourage him for that.’

ALI OSMAN TAHA

Sudan's foreign minister In Sudan, which the United States has charged is a sponsor of terrorism, bin Laden financed at least three terrorist training camps in cooperation with the NIF, and his construction company worked “directly with Sudanese military officials to transport and provision terrorists’ training in such camps,” according to the CIA. His three-year stay in the African country came to an end in May 1996, when he left for Pakistan. Sudanese officials interviewed by NBC News say he left voluntarily when it became clear his presence was harming the image of his host country, but U.S. officials say he apparently was expelled. “His name was mentioned [in connection with terrorism] by many countries …” said Ali Osman Taha, the Sudanese foreign minister. “Whether this accusation is right or wrong, we don’t know. But when his name was mentioned and he received information that his presence … would become an obstacle for the Sudan to clear its relationship with neighboring countries and Western countries … he decided to leave and we encourage him for that.”

One senior U.S. official says the training-camp complex which the United States bombed Thursday has existed for more than a decade and was expanded recently. Another official said Bin Laden was an investor in the suspected chemical weapons plant bombed Thursday in Khartoum. Bin Laden had invested tens of millions of dollars in Sudanese facilities, including an agricultural company, a bank, a construction company and import-export operation, all believed to have been involved in terrorist activities.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News the United States has been aware for years of “exchanges of chemical weapons technologies” between Iraq and Sudan, that Iraq had “dispersed its technology to Sudan” after the Gulf War, in part to hide it from U.N. inspectors. Included in the dispersal was the technology to make VX nerve gas, a deadly an persistent nerve gas ideal for terrorist attacks in that it remains in the area for up to a week after an attack, making it difficult for emergency workers to enter a facility. ENEMY NO. 1: U.S. While bin Laden has financed terrorism around the world, his primary target is the U.S. military in his homeland, which he calls “the occupying U.S. enemy.” ‘Efforts should be pooled to kill him (the American soldier), fight him, destroy him, lie in wait for him.’

According to the CIA, bin Laden exhorted his followers to strike against U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia in August 1996, only two months after the Khobar Towers bombing: “Efforts should be pooled to kill him (the American soldier), fight him, destroy him, lie in wait for him,” the CIA quoted bin Laden as saying. Despite his abilities to elude his pursuers, the mounting evidence of bin Laden’s involvement in terrorism has, at least for the time being, forced him to circle the wagons in Afghanistan.

Robert Windrem is an investigative producer with NBC News. This story is adapted from a piece he did for MSNBC in Jan. 1998. The Nation newspaper of Kenya (in English) U.S. State Department's travel advisories.