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by the new steps we were taking, and after the meeting I had some hope that we could help them. The next day the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were hit by bombs that exploded within five minutes of each oil painting, other, killing 257 people, including 12 Americans, andinjuring 5,000 others. The initial evidence indicated that Osama bin Laden’s network, whichaInedr learn that he was the head of a highly sophisticated terrorist organization, with access to largertedad succeeded inassassinating his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. The nation’s leader, Hasan al-Turabi, shared binas bent on establishing a radicalMuslim theocracy in Afghanistan.ing how we were going to respond to the Africanattacks.became known as al Qaeda, had launched the attacks. In late February, bin Laden had issuedfatwa calling for attacks on American military and civilian targets anywhere in the world.May, he had said his supporters would hit U.S. targets in the Gulf and talked about “bringing the war home to America.” In June, in an interview with an American journalist, he had threatened to bring down U.S. military oil paintings aircraft with anti-aircraft missiles. By this time, we had been following bin Laden for years. Early in my first term, Tony Lakand Dick Clarke had pressed the CIA for more information about the wealthy Saudi, who habeen expelled from his own country in 1991, had lost his citizenship in 1994, and had takenup residence in Sudan. At first, bin Laden seemed to be a financier of terrorist operations, but oveamounts of money beyond his own fortune, and with operatives in several countries, includingChechnya, Bosnia, and the Philippines. In 1995, after the war in Bosnia, we had thwamujahedin attempts to take over there and, in cooperation with local officials, had also stopped a plot to blow up a dozen planes flying out of the Philippines to the West Coast, but bin Laden’s transnational network continued to grow. In January 1996, the CIA had established a station focused exclusively on bin Laden and his network within its Counterterrorism Center, and shortly thereafter we began to oil painting reproductions urge Sudan toexpel bin Laden. Sudan was then a virtual safe haven for terrorists, including the Egyptians who had tried to kill President Mubarak the previous June and who hLaden’s radical views, and the two of them were involved in a whole host of business ventures, running the gamut from legitimate china oil painting operations to weapons manufacturing and support for terrorists. As we pressed Turabi to expel bin Laden, we asked Saudi Arabia to take him. The Saudis didn’t want him back, but bin Laden finally left Sudan in mid-1996, apparently still on good terms with Turabi. He moved to Afghanistan, where he found a warm welcome from MullahOmar, leader of the Taliban, a militant Sunni sect that wIn September 1996, the Taliban captured Kabul and started seizing other areas of the country. By the end of the year, the CIA’s bin handmade oil paintings Laden unit had developed significant information on him and his infrastructure. Almost a year later, Kenyan authorities arrested a man they believed was involved in a terrorist plot against the U.S. Embassy there. In the week after the bombings, I kept up my regular schedule, traveling to Kentucky, Illinois, and California to promote the Patients’ Bill of Rights and our clean water initiative, and to help Democrats up for election in those states. Beyond the public events, I spent most of mytime with our national security team discuss
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