Bin Laden is believed to have both trained and financed Algeria’s Armed
Islamic Group, which is thought to be responsible for a minimum of 100,000
deaths in the 1990's. His first contact with Algerian Islamists probably
came in Afghanistan when bin Laden financed the recruiting and
organization of the so-called “Afghan Arabs,” who fought side-by-side
with U.S.-financed Afghan fighters against the Soviet Union in the
Among the first “students”
at his Sudanese terrorist training camps beginning in January 1994 were
Algerians from the GIA. In December 1995, British authorities were able to
track wire transfers from bin Laden’s then- headquarters in Khartoum,
the Sudan, to a London cell of the GIA.
Bin Laden is closely
involved in all al Qaeda plans. The operations are meticulous, with some
plans in the works for years. For instance:
The World Trade Center bombers cased the twin towers multiple times,
analyzing security and determining positions from which an explosion could
do the most damage.
The East Africa embassy
bombers phoned in threats to the embassy, and then observed the embassy
response prior to the actual attacks.
The 1995 attempt to
assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia was based on
surveillance of Mubarak’s security arrangements in Ethiopia two years
earlier. Similarly, bin Laden operatives videotaped security arrangements
at President Clinton’s 1994 visit to Manila, knowing he had already
committed to visiting the Philippine capital for an Asian-Pacific summit
two years later.
U.S. officials also
believe the 1995 Paris subway bombings had the support of bin Laden.
The official line is that
bin Laden has been seen near Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan. He moves
three or more times a week, living in mud huts, tent cities, and caves. He
is accompanied by an entourage, which includes heavily armed bodyguards as
well as anti-aircraft guns mounted on trucks. Often, multiple sites are
set up for his use and he chooses a site at the last minute. He is
believed to have about 400 operatives in Afghanistan, most of whom arrived
with him from Sudan in 1996
Each operation has a
planning cell and an execution cell, with the execution cell arriving on
the scene in some cases only weeks before the attack is carried out. In
most cases, an outsider recruits locals, usually no more than 10, to
operate as a cell. Bombers, planners and operators are generally under the
age of 30.
The minimum planning time
appears to be four to six months, with some plans evolving over several years. The
surveillance of the East Africa embassy bombings began in 1993, five years
before the bombing was carried out.
Plans are made in one
location, and the bomb is made in another. This was the case for both the
1993 World Trade Center bombing and the embassy bombing in Nairobi.
The total cost of the
World Trade Center bombing was about $18,000, including purchase of
equipment, rental of the van used in the bombing, purchase of a car,
rental of two apartments, a garage and the storage space as well as plane
tickets. Not included in the cost: $6,000 in unpaid phone bills. Bin Laden’s
wealth is thought to be in the hundreds of millions. “Terrorism is not
an expensive sport,” said a senior Treasury Department official who
tracks terrorists’ money.
U.S. officials note that
the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were to be accompanied by
other, near simultaneous bombings in other world capitals. One in Tirana,
Albania, was foiled days before it took place. A series of coordinated
attacks is well within his operational capabilities. ”(Bin Laden) is
planning several hits and at some point he’s going to break through,”
said one U.S. official.
Officials say bin Laden’s
operations are rigid, and subject to cancellation if there is a suspected
breech of security. If operatives encounter something unexpected, they
will “go back to square one,” said an official who tracks the
movement. “There is little autonomy, little spontaneity in operational
matters and changes in plans must be approved at higher levels” In most
cases, bin Laden’s people will trade time for security, and it may take
up to six months to re-start the operation.
specialize in identity theft in America and elsewhere, and employ computer
'hackers' who use the internet and unsuspecting citizens' identity to
cloak their operations, including wire transfers of operating capital and
international phone calls.
Their expertise includes
the ability to breach firewalls without detection of banking systems,
telephone companies and utilities.
Without providing details,
George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has publicly
testified that the CIA has disrupted “several” terrorist attacks
against Americans. U.S. officials confirm those disruptions have involved
planned attacks by bin Laden. Details of one of the operations broken by
the author of this website can be found by purchasing the author's book
More than 1000 of his
operatives have been arrested worldwide since the embassy bombings in
August 1998 on every continent but Australia and Antarctica. Five men
accused of conspiring in the embassy bombings are in U.S. custody,
awaiting trial in Manhattan. Another is awaiting extradition in London.
The U.S. has, it believes, thwarted a planned attack on U.S. facilities in
London in early 1999 and an attack on FBI Headquarters in Washington.
Even so, a Pentagon
official said bin Laden’s organization continues to regenerate and
improve. "We keep stopping him; he keeps coming back,” the official
U.S. intelligence has
improved its grasp on how bin Laden operates and where. “We are getting
better at finding him. There are days and days where we don’t know where
he is,” said one American official. On other days, the U.S. has “different
degrees of specificity as to where he is.” At the time of the double
U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, the U.S. had no idea where he was.
It is not commonly known how vast the
economic resources al Qaeda has at their disposal. They ran an operation
in the USA in the 1990's that was operated directly by Iran, which has oil
revenues in excess of $4.5 billion annually. Palestine Islamic Jihad,
Hamas and Hezbollah receive funding from numerous other government sources
as well, including Syria, Kuwait, Iraq, and Libya. Hezbollah, formed in
1982 by the Iranian military intelligence service, receives $600 million a
year from Iran. In addition these groups receive hundreds of millions of
dollars from contributions from supporters in England, Canada, France, the
US and over sixty other countries from around the world. All of these
groups are 'umbrella' terrorist groups operating in the US under the
authority, direction and support of Iran. The magnanimity of the concept
that I had stumbled onto an Iranian operation to detonate nuclear bombs in
the United States of America was such that it took me quite some time to
accept these events that took place as anything other than coincidence.
Considering the targets they had selected, including Washington DC, NORAD
and CENTCOM there can be no doubt that they had also targeted Israel, and
quite possibly Russia. I believe their intention was the initiation of
global thermonuclear war. This was their master plan, the mother of all