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Report of the 9/11 Commission

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Drifter
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« Reply #1380 on: September 08, 2009, 12:21:24 am »

14. On the civil war and UNOCAL, see Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004); Robin Raphel interview (Dec. 8, 2003).The former UNOCAL chief for the pipeline project, Marty Miller, denied working exclusively with the Taliban and told us that his company sought to work with all Afghan factions to bring about the necessary stability to proceed with the project. Marty Miller interview (Nov. 7, 2003). UNOCAL hired, among others, Robert Oakley, the former ambassador to Pakistan. Oakley told us that he counseled the company about the internal dynamics of Afghanistan and Pakistan but never lobbied the State Department on UNOCAL's behalf. Robert Oakley interview (Sept. 7, 2003); see also "Advisory Consulting Agreement" between UNOCAL and Oakley, Oct. 1996. On giving the Taliban a chance, see Marvin Weinbaum interview (Aug. 12, 2003).

15. See Madeleine Albright, speech at Nashir Bagh refugee camp in western Pakistan, Nov. 18, 1997. For a description of the Richardson mission, see Bill Richardson interview (Dec. 15, 2003); Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004).

16. Marvin Weinbaum interview (Aug. 12, 2003). See also Strobe Talbott interview (Jan. 15, 2004). For Zinni's view, see Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 29, 2004).

17. Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2004). For more details, see Steve Coll, Ghost Wars:The Secret History of the CIA,Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Penguin, 2004), p. 379.

18. Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 343, 391; Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2004); Joint Inquiry briefing by Mike, Sept. 12, 2002.

19. For a description of the plan, the content of briefing papers, and the Berger-Tenet meeting, see CIA memo, Jeff to Tenet,"Information Paper on Usama Bin Ladin," Feb. 12, 1998 (with attached paper for Tenet's meeting with Berger on Feb. 13, 1998,"Next Steps Against Usama Bin Ladin").The paper also briefly noted other options the CIA could be pursuing against Bin Ladin: paramilitary or sabotage attacks-possibly lethal-against Bin Ladin's facilities in Kandahar and Sudan, or even intelligence support for U.S. military strikes. On the Kansi operation, see Coll, Ghost Wars, p. 373.

20. NSC note, Simon to Berger, update on Feb. 24 meeting, Feb. 27, 1998.
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« Reply #1381 on: September 08, 2009, 12:21:42 am »

21. Joint Inquiry briefing by Mike, Sept. 12, 2002; NSC email, Clarke to Berger,"Threat Warning: Usama Bin Ladin," Mar. 7, 1998.

22. Mike interview (Jan. 6, 2004); CIA email, Schroen to Mike,"Capture Op," May 5, 1998; CIA cable,"Com-ments on [tribals'] Planning for UBL Rendition," May 6, 1998. For the modification of the plan, see CIA memo, "Tentative Timeline for the Bin Ladin Capture Operation," May 19, 1998. For details on some CIA officers' concerns, see Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 393-394.

23. CIA cable,"19 May 98 Briefing for JSOC," May 27, 1998; CIA cable,"Developments in the [tribals'] Operation at the HQs End," May 26, 1998; Joint Inquiry interview of Michael Canavan, Sept. 3, 2002.

24. CIA memos, summary of weekly Berger/Tenet meeting, May 1, 1998.

25. CIA memo, summary of Covert Action Planning Group meeting, May 18, 1998; CIA memo, "Tentative Timeline for the Bin Ladin Capture Operation," May 19, 1998.The summary of the meeting notes that the initiative was not an assassination, despite the inaccurate comments of some in the NSC.

26. Mike interviews (Dec. 11, 2003; Jan. 6, 2004); Jeff interview (Dec. 17, 2003); Mary Jo White interview (May 17, 2004).

27. CIA cable, "20-24 May 98 Full Mission Profile of the U.S. Side of the Bin Ladin Capture Operation," May 27, 1998; CIA cable, "Developments in the [tribals'] Operation at the HQs End," May 26, 1998.

28. CIA memo, summary of weekly Berger/Tenet meeting, May 20, 1998. It is unclear if a decision had been made at this point on where to bring Bin Ladin.

29. Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003); CIA cable,"The [tribals] Operations," May 29, 1998.
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« Reply #1382 on: September 08, 2009, 12:21:52 am »

30. Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003), in which he also noted that Tenet did not approve of the plan. For Clarke's comments to the NSC, see CIA cable,"Info from State on Status of Political Approvals for [tribals]," May 29, 1998. See Jeff interview (Dec. 17, 2003); James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004), in which he also said he did not tell the Principals Committee his reasons for canceling the operation because there was no reason for the principals to hear details of an unsound plan. See also Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

31. CIA memo, DDO to Berger,"Timing of the UBL Rendition Operation," June 15, 1998; for Schroen, see CIA cable,"Comments on [tribals'] Planning for UBL Rendition," May 6, 1998.

32. See, e.g., Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

33. On Saudi disruptions generally, see CIA report,"Additional Background on the Saudi discovery of an UBL Network in Saudi Arabia," undated (appears to be May 1998). On the DCI's visits to Saudi Arabia, see Intelligence reports made available to the Commission.

34. See Intelligence reports made available to the Commission.

35. Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 400-402.

36. CIA note, Pillar to Wentworth/Ramanujam, summary of Aug. 5, 1998, CSG meeting on Bin Ladin, Aug. 6, 1998.

37. See, e.g., CIA briefing materials,"Bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam-An Update,"Aug. 14, 1998.

38. DOD memo,"Chronology of Planning," Dec. 14, 1998.

39. Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003).

40. NSC email, Clarke to Berger,Aug. 8, 1998; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); CIA memo,"Khowst and the Meeting of Islamic Extremist Leaders on 20 Aug.," Aug. 17, 1998.

41. NSC notes, checklist re military strikes,Aug. 14, 1998 (author appears to be Clarke). On the military plans, see DOD memo,"Chronology of Planning," Dec. 14, 1998.

42. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

43. NSC emails, Simon to Kerrick,Aug. 5, 1998. For the report of Bin Ladin's comment, see, e.g., NSC email, Clarke to Berger, July 15, 1998. EMPTA stands for O-ethyl methylphosphonothioic acid.

44. NSC memo, McCarthy to Berger, re Shifa,Aug. 11, 1998; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).
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« Reply #1383 on: September 08, 2009, 12:22:04 am »

45. For a timeline of the decisionmaking events, see NSC memo to Steinberg et al., Aug. 17, 1999.The list of concurrences is drawn from talking points prepared for Berger's use with the main four leaders of the House and Senate; the list explicitly mentions the Attorney General. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Aug. 19, 1998. Reno told us she did not mention her concerns to the President but discussed them with Berger,Tenet,White House Counsel Charles Ruff, and DOJ staff. Janet Reno interview (Dec. 16, 2003).

46. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick,"Timeline,"Aug. 19, 1998; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).We did not find documentation on the after-action review mentioned by Berger. On Vice Chairman Joseph Ralston's mission in Pakistan, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For speculation on tipping off the Taliban, see, e.g., Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003).

47. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick,"Timeline,"Aug. 19, 1998.

48. For initial support by Gingrich and Lott, see, e.g., Steven Thomma and Richard Parker,"U.S. Strikes Afghan, Sudan Sites, Retaliating for Embassy Attacks," Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 21, 1998, p. A1. For a reaction to the later criticism by Gingrich's office, see NSC email, Simon to Berger, Sept. 10, 1998.

49. Editorial,"Punish and Be Damned," Economist, Aug. 29, 1998, p. 16. For a summary of skeptical public reaction, see Benjamin and Simon, Age of Sacred Terror, pp. 354-363.

50. See NSC memo, McCarthy and Clarke to Berger,Apr. 17, 2000, reporting that on balance, they think the CIA claim was valid. See also President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004);Vice President Gore meeting (Apr. 9, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 19, 2003).

51. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 22, 2004). President Clinton told us that he had directed his national security team to focus exclusively on responding to the embassy bombings. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004). See also William Cohen testimony, Mar. 23, 2004.When "wag the dog" allegations were again raised during the December 1998 Desert Fox campaign over Iraq, Defense Secretary Cohen, formerly a Republican senator, told members of Congress that he would have resigned if he believed the President was using the military for any purpose other than national security.William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

52. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 22, 2004).

53. CIA analytic report,"Foreign Terrorist Threat in the U.S.: Revisiting our 1995 Estimate," Apr. 1997.

54. Daniel Benjamin interview (Dec. 4, 2003).
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« Reply #1384 on: September 08, 2009, 12:22:20 am »

55. On the Balkan crises, see Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Yale Univ. Press, 2000).

56. On Clarke's obsession with terrorism and Bin Ladin, see Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (Free Press, 2004), p. 234. On the CSG and the Small Group, see Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 11, 2004).

57. NSC memo, "Political Military Plan DELENDA," Sept. 1998 (attached to NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, Jan. 25, 2001).

58. Ibid. See also NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 7, 1998.

59. Handwritten note from Steinberg on NSC memo, Clarke to Berger,Apr. 14, 2000. For the views of Small Group members, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004); President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); Madeleine Albright interview (Jan. 7, 2004); James Steinberg interview (Dec. 5, 2003).

60. Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004); DOD memo, Slocombe to Cohen,Aug. 27, 1998.

61. DOD memo, "Towards a More Aggressive Counterterrorism Posture," undated, pp. 1, 7. The principal author of this paper was Thomas Kuster, a career civil servant and former special forces officer. He told us that this paper was drafted in September 1998. On this episode, see Thomas Kuster interviews (Dec. 9, 2003; Mar. 5, 2004); Allen Holmes interview (Mar. 10, 2004); Jan Lodal interview (Mar. 5, 2004).

62. DOS cable, Islamabad 06863,"Afghanistan: Demarche to Taliban on New Bin Ladin Threat," Sept. 14, 1998. See also NSC memo, Clarke to principals,"Possible New Attacks on US by UBL Network," Sept. 12, 1998, which suggested language for the demarche, including a warning that future attacks would bring "severe consequences." NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 19, 1998, indicates that the State Department used both its embassy in Islamabad and a direct call to Mullah Omar's office to deliver the warning.

63. DOS memo,"Mullah Omar's 8/22 Contact with State Department," Aug. 22, 1998.

64. DOS cable, Islamabad 007665,"High-Level Taliban Official Gives the Standard Line on Bin Ladin with a Couple of Nuances," Oct. 12, 1998.

65. NSC memo, Sept. 24, 1998; Coll, Ghost Wars, p. 414.
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« Reply #1385 on: September 08, 2009, 12:22:32 am »

66.The CIA in particular pressed the Saudis hard on intelligence sharing. DCI Tenet met with Crown Prince Abdullah,Ambassador Bandar, the minister of defense and aviation, and other senior officials repeatedly and pressed them on counterterrorism. See, e.g., CIA memo,Tenet to Berger,Tenet's meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah in Jeddah, June 7, 1998. As late as July 3, 2001, the DCI was pressing Bandar, conveying the urgent need for information. CIA cable, DCI meeting with Bandar, July 3, 2001.

67. See, e.g., Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003).The Saudis, however, were reluctant to provide details of incomplete investigations and highly sensitive to any information related to Saudi nationals, particularly those in the Kingdom. See CIA memo, Saudi CT Cooperation, June 18, 1998.

68. CIA talking points,Vice President's meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah, Sept. 24, 1998; NSC memo, Simon to Berger,"Talking Points for Lott-Gingrich Meeting," Sept. 24, 1998.

69. NSC memo, Wechsler, summary of conclusions of Nov. 16, 1998, meeting of Working Group on UBL's Finances.

70. Rick Newcomb interview (Feb. 4, 2004);Treasury memo, Office of Foreign Asset Control to DOS,"Draft Cable on Meeting with Two of UBL's Brothers," May 19, 2000; DOS cable, State 035243,"January 2000 Meeting Regarding UBL Finances," Feb. 27, 2000; Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004).The U.S. government team learned that the Bin Ladin family sold UBL's share of the inheritance and, at the direction of the Saudi government, placed the money into a specified account then frozen by the Saudi government in 1994.

71. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Roadmap, Nov. 3, 1998. According to Clarke,Tenet's deputy, John Gordon, agreed that there was no senior CIA manager to answer these questions and promised to fix that.

72. DOS memo, McKune to Albright,"State Sponsorship of Terrorism: Pakistan," Feb. 1998. For the rejection of the proposed designation, see handwritten notes on the McKune memo.

73. Madeleine Albright interview (Jan. 7, 2004).

74. NSC memo, Simon to NSC officials, Oct. 6, 1998. Links between Pakistan's military intelligence service and Harakat ul Ansar trainees at Bin Ladin camps near Khowst were also discussed in DOS memo, Inderfurth to Talbott,"Pakistani Links to Kashmiri Militants," Aug. 23, 1998.

75.William Milam interview (Dec. 29, 2003).

76. By the fall of 1999, the Glenn, Pressler, and Symington amendments prohibited most economic and military assistance to Pakistan. Clinton administration officials told us that these sanctions made it impossible to offer "carrots" to Pakistan, and that before 9/11, waiving sanctions was not feasible because of the Musharraf coup, nonproliferation concerns, and Congress's pro-India orientation. Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004); Strobe Tal-bott interview (Feb. 8, 2004).

77. Strobe Talbott interview (Feb. 8, 2004). Berger agreed with Talbott that using other sticks, such as blocking loans from international financial institutions, would have risked a collapse of the Pakistani government and the rise of Islamists to power in a nuclear-armed country. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

78. DOS memo, Pickering to Albright,"Berger meeting on UBL," Nov. 3, 1998.

79.White House reports made available to the Commission. President Clinton met with Prime Minister Sharif on December 2, 1999, and called him on December 18, 1999.

80. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 9, 1998.The event described in the intelligence report was said to have occurred on November 17, 1998. Intelligence officials now tell us that there are some doubts about the accuracy of the report.

81. Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003). For Sheehan's background, see Madeleine Albright, with Bill Woodward, Madam Secretary (Miramax, 2003), pp. 369-370. For one of Sheehan's warnings, see DOS cable, Abu Dhabi 002212,"Messages for the Taliban," Apr. 9, 1999.

82. Michael Sheehan interviews (Dec. 16, 2003; March 2004). For Albright's views, see Madeleine Albright interview (Jan. 7, 2004). NSC memo, Principals' Decision Paper, Mar. 8, 1999. In May 1999, Albright approved a State Department diplomatic strategy calling for increased high-level pressure on the Taliban and the three countries that recognized it-and for unilateral sanctions if this failed. DOS memo, Inderfurth, Indyk, and Sheehan to Albright,"A New Bin Ladin Strategy," May 15, 1999.

83. NSC email, Riedel to Berger and Clarke, June 8, 1999.

84. See Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004); DOS memo, Inderfurth to Albright, May 6, 1999; Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003). Although Sheehan told us he was initially skeptical about supporting the Northern Alliance, he eventually came around in the fall of 2000.

85. For aid to the exile groups, see Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004); Peter Tomsen interview (July 14, 2004).The aid was later cut because of alleged accounting deficiencies. For the diplomat's views, see Christina Rocca interview (Jan. 29, 2004). But Peter Tomsen, the State Department's special envoy to the Afghan resistance in the late 1980s, believed that neither administration did enough to assemble an anti-Taliban ruling coalition inside and outside Afghanistan. Peter Tomsen interview (Oct. 8, 2003); see also letter from Peter Tomsen to the Commission, June 30, 2004.

86. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Roadmap, May 18, 1999.

87. DOS memo, Inderfurth to Albright, May 6, 1999; DOS memo, Oakley to Pickering,"Designating the Tal-iban a FTO," Apr. 22, 1999; Executive Order 13129, July 4, 1999. Since 1979, the secretary of state has had the authority to name "state sponsors of terrorism," subjecting such countries to significant economic sanctions. Being designated a "foreign terrorist organization" also brings sanctions and stigmatizes a regime.While the U.S. government did not use either designation against the Taliban, the sanctions under this executive order mimicked the sanctions that would have been implemented under them.

88. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267, Oct. 15, 1999. UNSCR 1267 demanded that the Tal-iban render Bin Ladin to justice within 30 days; upon noncompliance, UN member states were called on to restrict takeoff and landing rights of Taliban-owned aircraft.The sanctions also required member states to freeze Taliban funds and financial resources. But Taliban "charter flights" continued to fly between Afghanistan and the UAE. Judy Pasternak and Stephen Braun, "Emirates Looked Other Way While Al Qaeda Funds Flowed," Los AngelesTimes, Jan. 20, 2002, p. A1. Enforcing the financial restrictions also proved a challenge-especially in the Middle East. Anthony Wayne interview (Jan. 14, 2004); Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); DOS report,"Usama Bin Ladin Intelligence Update," Nov. 19, 1999.

89. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Oct. 30, 1999.

90. Ibid.; NSC memo, Benjamin to CSG, Nov. 12, 1999. Earlier, Clarke had worried that the expulsion of Bin Ladin might mean he would move to Somalia or Libya, where he might be even harder to target. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Oct. 8, 1998.

91. See Intelligence report, relations between al Qaeda and the Taliban, Feb. 20, 2002.

92. Intelligence report, March 2000.

93. UNSCR 1333, Dec. 19, 2000.

94. Edmund Hull interview (Oct. 18, 2003).
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« Reply #1386 on: September 08, 2009, 12:22:43 am »

95.Ambassador Milam characterized UNSCR 1267 and UNSCR 1333 as "punchless."DOS cable, Islamabad 000656, "Options for dealing with Afghan terrorism problem," Feb. 6, 2001. But Ambassador Sheehan indicated that even if UNSCR 1333 failed to stop the arms flow from Pakistan to the Taliban, it had enormous symbolic importance. He also noted that UNSCR 1333 must have stigmatized the Taliban because they "went ballistic over the sanctions." Sheehan added that UNSCR 1333 made Saudi Arabia and the UAE "very nervous" about their relationships with the Taliban. Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003).

96.White House cable to U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, message to Prime Minister Sharif, June 16, 1999; Madeleine Albright prepared statement, Mar. 24, 2004.

97.White House cable to U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, message to Prime Minister Sharif, June 16, 1999; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); NSC memo, Clarke and McCarthy to Berger, Aug. 2, 1999.

98. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); DOS memo, Sheehan to Albright, "S/CT Update on Critical Issues," July 9, 1999.

99. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

100.Thomas Pickering interview (Dec. 22, 2003).

101. See Executive Order 13099, Aug. 20, 1998.

102. CIA talking points, information on Bin Ladin for the DCI's Sept. 2, 1998, briefing to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sept. 2, 1998.

103. For the Tirana raid and resulting operations, see Benjamin and Simon, Age of Sacred Terror, pp. 261, 264; Clarke, Against All Enemies, p. 183; CIA talking points,"CIA Operation Results in Capture of Two Bin Ladin Operatives," July 7, 1998; CIA memo, Jeff to Tenet, "Biweekly Developments in CT Policy," July 15, 1998. For other operations, see NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger, Oct. 9, 1998. For the arrest of Abu Hajer, see CIA report,"Appre-hension of Senior UBL Lieutenant in Germany," Sept. 22, 1998; NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger, Oct. 9, 1998; NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 17, 1998. For an overview of the CIA's efforts to disrupt al Qaeda, see Joint Inquiry testimony of George Tenet, Oct. 17, 2002. For Clarke's comment to Berger, see NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 25, 1998.
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« Reply #1387 on: September 08, 2009, 12:22:59 am »

104. For ambush attempts, see Joint Inquiry report (classified version), pp. 312-313; CIA memo,"Status of the Bin Ladin Capture Operation," Sept. 30, 1998 (part of materials for Small Group meeting). For CIA officials' doubts, see James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004); Jeff interview (Dec. 17, 2003). On the quality of the tribals' reporting, see Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004).The tribals' extensive reporting on Bin Ladin's location is reflected in near daily UBL Situation Reports prepared for the DCI from December 1998 to January 2001.

105. See Martin Sieff, "Terrorist Is Driven by Hatred for U.S., Israel," Washington Times, Aug. 21, 1998, p. 1. Regarding the leak, see Mary C. interview (Oct. 25, 2003); Richard Taylor interview (Dec. 10, 2003); Don Kerr interview (Sept. 9, 2003).

106. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Roadmap, Nov. 3, 1998; NSC talking points, Nov. 3, 1998. The quoted sentence is in boldface.

107. NSC memo, summary of conclusions of Oct. 26, 1998, CSG Meeting, Oct. 28, 1998; NSC notes, CSG Agenda:"Bin Ladin Penetration of the United States," Oct. 26, 1998. For the threat against Washington, see NSC memo, Clarke to Berger,Weekly Report, July 3, 1998; NSC email, Clarke to various NSC staff, Sept. 7, 1998; NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Roadmap, Nov. 3, 1998.

108. NSC memo, summary of conclusions of Oct. 26, 1998, CSG meeting, Oct. 28, 1998.

109. Indictment, United States v. Usama Bin Laden, No. 98 Cr. (S.D. N.Y. unsealed Nov. 4, 1998), p. 3. For the reports concerning Derunta, see NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Roadmap, Nov. 3, 1998.

110. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Nov. 4, 1998. Evidence on Iraqi ties to al Qaeda is summarized in chapter 2.

111. Patrick Fitzgerald testimony, June 16, 2004.

112.The PDB was a summary of Intelligence report, planning by UBL to hijack U.S. airplane, Dec. 4, 1998.
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« Reply #1388 on: September 08, 2009, 12:23:26 am »

For the immediate responses, see NSC memo, summary of conclusions of Dec. 4, 1998, CSG meeting; FAA security directive, "Threat to Air Carriers," SD 108-98, Dec. 8, 1998.We requested declassification of this document; the declassified document was delivered on July 13, 2004.

113. On further information, see Intelligence report, possible arrest of persons involved in hijacking plan, Dec. 18, 1998; Intelligence report, timeframe for completion of hijacking operation, Dec. 24, 1998; Intelligence report, claim that Bin Ladin postponed hijacking, Jan. 8, 1999; CIA analytic report,"Reporting on Al-Qaida plans to Use Aircraft as Terrorist Weapons,"Aug. 26, 2002.After 9/11, the U.S. government checked again with the foreign government to determine if there could be any connection between the attacks and these 1998-1999 reports.The foreign government had no intelligence of such links, but judged that the 1998 plan could have influenced planning for the 9/11 operation. Ibid.

On the FBI followup in 1998-1999, see FBI memo, Jack S. to FAA ACI, "FBI Investigative Efforts," Jan. 27, 1999; FAA records, information in FAA Intelligence Case File 98-0199B. A Saudi who had just completed pilot training, boarding a flight to return to Saudi Arabia, had been arrested at JFK Airport in late November 1998. He had been carrying an inert hand grenade, which was detected by a checkpoint screener.The terminal was evacuated, and police found miscellaneous gun parts, pistol ammunition, and military paraphernalia in the man's checked bags. FAA record, "Security Summary NY-99-007," undated. The man was released after a few days in jail and, assisted by the local Saudi consulate, had returned to Saudi Arabia.The new threat information caused the FBI and the CIA to look again at this case. FBI agents found that the man's statements about his flight training were true and that his firearms were legally registered.The Saudi investigators reported that the Saudi had enjoyed shooting at a gun club in Texas, where he had completed his flight training for a commercial pilot's license.The Saudis further indicated that the man had no apparent political motive, and the results of a security investigation in the Kingdom were negative. FAA memo, Matthew K. to Jack S. and Tom K., Saudi national, Jan. 17, 1999; FBI memo, Jack

S. to FAA ACI,"FBI Investigative Efforts," Jan. 27, 1999; Intelligence report (to FAA), Saudi information, Apr. 13, 1999. For the expiration of the FAA security directive, see FAA security directive, SD 108-95; FAA record,"SD/EA Status: 108 Security Directives," May 20, 2002.

114. NSC notes, Clarke briefing notes for Berger for Small Group, Dec. 17, 1998; CIA memo,"Bin Ladin Ready to Attack," Dec. 18, 1998.

115. NSC notes, Clarke briefing notes for Berger for Small Group, Dec. 17, 1998; NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger, Dec. 18, 1998; DOD memo, "UBL Campaign:Talking Points for Qandahar Attack," Jan. 11, 1999; Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

116. NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger, Dec. 18, 1998; DOD order, Execute Order (EXORD), Dec. 18, 1998.

117. NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger, Dec. 18, 1998; Mike interview (Jan. 6, 2004); CIA emails, Mike to Schroen,"Urgent re UBL," and Schroen's response, Dec. 20, 1998.

118. John Maher III interview (Apr. 4, 2004). Maher said he found General Zinni's figures to be "shockingly high." On the principals' decision against recommending an attack, see NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Jan. 12, 1999. See also George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); Mike interview (Feb. 6, 2004).

119. CIA email, Mike to Schroen, "Your Note," Dec. 21, 1998; CIA email, Schroen to Mike, "Re Urgent re UBL," Dec. 20, 1998.

120. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

121. CIA report, "Further Options Available Against UBL," Nov. 18, 1998; CIA talking points, "Options for Attacking the Usama Bin Ladin Problem,"Nov. 24, 1998. On the MON, see Randy Moss interview (Feb. 6, 2004); James Baker interview (Feb. 4, 2004).

122. NSC note, Dec. 20, 1998.There is no indication as to who wrote this note or to whom it was directed. It was cleared with Berger, Reno, Assistant Attorney General Randy Moss, and CTC's "Jeff," and briefed in substance to Leon Fuerth, national security adviser to Vice President Gore, and to Deputy DCI Gordon. See also attached CIA memo, Gordon to Berger, Dec. 21, 1998; NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, Dec. 24, 1998.

123. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, Dec. 24, 1998; Randy Moss interview (Feb. 6, 2004); James Baker interview (Feb. 4, 2004). Both Moss and Baker told us they concluded that killing Bin Ladin did not violate the assassination ban contained in Executive Order 12333.

124. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, Dec. 24, 1998; Janet Reno interview (Dec. 16, 2003). See also Randy Moss interview (Feb. 6, 2004).Tenent told us he does not recall this episode.

125. CIA cable, message from the DCI, Dec. 26, 1998.

126. CIA cable, instructions passed to tribals and response, Dec. 27, 1998.

127. CIA cable, comments on tribals' response, Dec. 27, 1998. "Mike" noted that the tribals' reaction had "attracted a good deal of attention" back at CIA headquarters. CIA cable, comments from Schroen, Dec. 28, 1998. Schroen commented that the tribals' response was an effort to appear statesmanlike and take the moral high ground.

128. See President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 1, 2004); Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004). For a CIA senior intelligence manager, operator, and lawyer's view, see George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); Gary Schroen interview (Jan. 6, 2004); Doug B. interview (Nov. 17, 2003); Mike interview (Jan. 6, 2004).

129. James Baker interview (Feb. 4, 2004); President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

130. NSC memo, McCarthy to CIA, Dec. 1999.

131. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Jan. 12, 1999.

132. NSC email,Ward to Clarke and others, Jan. 5, 1999.

133. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Jan. 12, 1999.

134. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick, Feb. 10, 1999; Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004).

135. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Feb. 11, 1999.The email in fact misspells "boogie" as "boggie."

136. NSC email, Riedel to NSC front office, Feb. 16, 1999.The email does not provide Riedel's source. For Berger's authorization, see NSC notes,TNT note, Feb. 12, 1999.

137. DOD memo,"Chronology of Planning," Dec. 14, 1998.

138. DOS cable,Washington 157093,"Aug. 21 telephone conversation between POTUS and Prime Minister Sharif,"Aug. 26, 1998. Sharif was cordial but disagreed with the U.S. decision to strike.

139. Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 29, 2004).

140. Ibid.

141. DOD memo, Headquarters SOC, "Planning Directive for Infinite Resolve," Dec. 23, 1998. On basing options, see DOD memo,"Summary of Conclusions: AC-130 Deployment Decision Paper," Jan. 12, 1999.

142. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger and Steinberg, Roadmap for Feb. 2, 1999, Small Group meeting, undated; John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004); Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 29, 2004); Peter Schoomaker interview (Feb. 19, 2004).

143. Peter Schoomaker interview (Feb. 19, 2004);William Boykin interview (Nov. 7, 2003).

144. Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

145. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004);William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

146. Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004);William Boykin interview (Nov. 7, 2003).

147. General Zinni reminded us that in addition to severing military-to-military relations with Pakistan after the 1998 nuclear test, the United States had not shipped to Pakistan the F-16s Pakistan had bought prior to the test. Instead, the United States kept the money Pakistan paid for the F-16s to fund storage of the aircraft. Meanwhile, Pakistani pilots were crashing and dying."Guess how they [felt] about the United States of America," Zinni said. Nevertheless, Zinni told us that Musharraf was someone who would actually work with the United States if he was given the chance to do so.Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 29, 2004).
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« Reply #1389 on: September 08, 2009, 12:23:50 am »

148.William Boykin interview (Nov. 7, 2003).

149. Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

150.William Cohen testimony (Mar. 23, 2004).

151. CIA report,"UBL Situation Report," Feb. 2, 1999. Public sources include Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 447-449; Benjamin and Simon, Age of Sacred Terror, p. 281.

152. CIA cable,"Update on Location of an Activity at Sheikh Ali's Camps," Feb. 7, 1999.

153. DOD order, MOD 001 to CJCS warning order, Feb. 8, 1999.

154. CIA reports,"UBL Situation Report," Feb. 6-10, 1999.

155. CIA cable,"Support for Military Contingency Planning," Feb. 10, 1999.

156. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick, Feb. 10, 1999.

157. CIA talking points,"CIA Operations Against UBL," Feb. 10, 1999.

158. CIA reports,"UBL Situation Reports," Feb. 11-12, 1999.

159. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004); Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004); Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2004); Mike interview (Jan. 6, 2004).

160. Mike briefing (Mar. 11, 2004); John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

161. NSC memo, Clarke, secure teleconference between UAE Chief of Staff Muhammad bin Zayid and Clarke, Mar. 7, 1999.

162. Mike interview (Jan. 6, 2004). Maher told us he thinks it "almost impossible" that the CIA cleared Clarke's call. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

163. Days before overhead imagery confirmed the location of the hunting camp, Clarke had returned from a visit to the UAE, where he had been working on counterterrorism cooperation and following up on a May 1998 UAE agreement to buy F-16 aircraft from the United States. His visit included one-on-one meetings with Army Chief of Staff bin Zayid, as well as talks with Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai. Both agreed to try to work with the United States in their efforts against Bin Ladin. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger,Trip Report, Feb. 8, 1999; Theodore Kattouf interview (Apr. 21, 2004). On February 10, as the United States considered striking the camp, Clarke reported that during his visit bin Zayid had vehemently denied rumors that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick, UBL update, Feb. 10, 1999. Subsequent reporting, however, suggested that high-level UAE officials had indeed been at the desert camp. CIA memo, "Recent High Level UAE Visits to Afghanistan," Feb. 19, 1999. General Shelton also told us that his UAE counterpart said he had been hunting at a desert camp in Afghanistan at about this time. Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

164. Mike briefing (Mar. 3, 2004).Talking points for the DCI to use at a late March Small Group meeting note that concurrently with the UAE being "tipped off" to the CIA's knowledge of the camp, one of the tribal network's major subsources (within Bin Ladin's Taliban security detail) was dispatched to the north, further handicapping reporting efforts. CIA talking points, "Locating Bin Ladin," Mar. 29, 1999.

165.Theodore Kattouf interview (Apr. 21, 2004). Kattouf was the U.S. ambassador to the UAE from 1999 to 2001. He indicated that high-level UAE officials would agree to restrict Afghan flights but told him that the government had a difficult time enforcing this. For communications with the UAE, see White House letter, President Clinton to bin Zayid, July 23, 1999; DOS memo, Sheehan to Albright, "Signs of Progress on our UBL strategy," Sept. 12, 1999.
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« Reply #1390 on: September 08, 2009, 12:24:10 am »

166. DOS memo, Indyk and Sheehan to Albright,"UAE Gives Ultimatum to Taliban on Bin Laden," July 16, 1999, and attached transcript of conversation between Hamdan bin Zayid and Mullah Mutawakkil,"Informal Translation of UAE Note," July 14, 1999; DOS cable, Abu Dhabi 04644, "Taliban Refuse to Expel Bin Ladin Despite UAEG Ultimatum: Need to Stiffen UAE Resolve to Take the Necessary Next Steps," July 19, 1999.

167. DOS memo, Indyk and Sheehan to Albright,"UAE Gives Ultimatum to Taliban on Bin Laden," July 16, 1999.

168. Jeff interview (Dec. 17, 2003). Schroen, however, told us that the tribals' reporting was 50-60 percent accurate. Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2004).

169. For discussion of the Taliban generally, see Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale Univ. Press, 2000).

170. Ibid.; Benjamin and Simon, Age of Sacred Terror, pp. 338-399; George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004).

171. George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004).

172. Richard interview (Dec. 12, 2003); Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2004).

173. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004). For an account of the reporting from this period written by Mike, see CIA memo, Jeff to Tenet,"Tracking Usama Bin Ladin, 14-20 May 1999," May 21, 1999. Mike's account was also used to prepare the DCI for a May 25, 1999, Principals Committee meeting. CIA briefing materials,"Back-ground Information: Evaluating the Quality of Intelligence on Bin Ladin (UBL) in Qandahar, 13-20 May, 1999," undated (probably May 25, 1999).

174. CIA email, Mike to Schroen,"Re:Your Note," May 17, 1999.

175. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

176. George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); John Gordon interview (May 13, 2004).

177. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

178.The May 1999 intelligence on Bin Ladin's location in Kandahar came as criticism of the CIA over the recent bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was at its peak.The DCI later testified that this bombing was the result of a CIA mistake.Testimony of George Tenet before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, July 22, 1999. On Bin Ladin's whereabouts during the December 1998 episode, see John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

179. Cruise missiles were readied for another possible strike in early July 1999. But none of the officials we have interviewed recalled that an opportunity arose at that time justifying the consideration of a strike. See, e.g., John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004).

180. Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004); DOD briefing materials, UBL JCS Focused Campaign, undated.

181. NSC memo, Benjamin to Berger and Steinberg, Apr. 29, 1999; NSC email, Clarke to Berger, May 26, 1999.

182. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, June 24, 1999. For Clarke's request to Berger to convene the Small Group, see NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Analysis/Options re UBL, Jun. 13, 1999. See also NSC email, Storey to Berger and Clarke, June 24, 1999.

183. Berger notes on NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, June 24, 1999.

184. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, June 24, 1999.

185. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, UBL review for Dec. 3, 1999, Small Group meeting, Dec. 2, 1999.

186. NSC memo, CSG agenda, Sept. 24, 1999.
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« Reply #1391 on: September 08, 2009, 12:24:26 am »

187. According to CTC talking points for the CSG in June 1999, more than 40 members of al Qaeda had been imprisoned over the past year. CIA talking points, C/CTC TPs/Backgrounder for CSG, June 7, 1999. Figures cited in the DCI's letter to President Clinton in October, however, are slightly different: CTC had helped render 32 terrorists to justice since July 1998, more than half of whom were al Qaeda. CIA letter,Tenet to President Clinton,"CIA's Counterterrorism Efforts," Oct. 16, 1999.

188. See CIA cable,"Usama Bin Ladin:The Way Ahead,"Aug. 25, 1999, soliciting comments from various stations on "possible new approaches to capturing UBL and disrupting operations." The evolution of some of this thinking can be seen throughout the summer of 1999. See, e.g., CIA briefing materials, CTC UBL Update:"Must Do Some Fundamental Rethinking," July 20, 1999 (Afghan assets are not capable of mounting a UBL capture operation or ambush); CIA briefing materials, CTC UBL Update:"Problems with Capturing UBL,"Aug. 3, 1999 (tribals are good reporters but are unlikely to capture Bin Ladin because of the risks involved, so there is a need to identify a new group to undertake a capture operation).

189. July 1999 Memorandum of Notification.

190. See James Baker interview (Feb. 4, 2004); Janet Reno interview (Dec. 16, 2003); Randy Moss interview (Jan. 22, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004). On the Pakistani and Uzbek capture teams, see CIA memo, "Outline of Program to Build Pakistan Team to Seek the Capture and Rendition of Usama Bin Ladin and his Lieutenants," July 27, 1999; CIA memo, CIA Outline of Program to Build Uzbek and other teams to Seek the Capture and Rendition of Usama Bin Ladin and his Lieutenants, July 27, 1999; CIA briefing materials, talking points for the DCI for the Aug. 3 Small Group meeting,Aug. 3, 1999 (Other Pakistani Involvement in Efforts to Capture UBL; Uzbek and other programs). On the Uzbeks' readiness, see CIA briefing materials,"Executive Summary for UBL Conference," Sept. 16, 1999.

191. CIA briefing materials, "Executive Summary for UBL Conference," Sept. 16, 1999. For its preface, the Plan quoted a memo Tenet had sent to the CIA's senior management in December 1998: "We are at war with Usama bin Ladin."

192. Ibid. See also the following briefings of the Plan: CIA briefing materials, CTC/NSC Briefing on the Plan, Sept. 29, 1999; CIA briefing materials, Executive Summary: UBL Conference, prepared for Berger, Nov. 30, 1999; CIA briefing materials, CTC briefing for the NSC Small Group, Dec. 2/3, 1999.

193.This figure increased through the fall of 1999, from less than 5 percent on September 16 to less than 10 percent by November 30, and finally to less than 15 percent by early December. CIA briefing materials, "Executive Summary for UBL Conference," Sept. 16, 1999; CIA briefing materials, Executive Summary: UBL Conference, prepared for Berger, Nov. 30, 1999; CIA briefing materials, CTC briefing for the NSC Small Group, Dec. 2/3, 1999. On Massoud, see also CIA briefing materials,"DDCI UBL Update," Oct. 29, 1999; CIA briefing mate-rials,"DCI UBL Update," Nov. 12, 1999.

194. CIA briefing materials, "Executive Summary for UBL Conference," Sept. 16, 1999. For the JSOC estimate, see CIA briefing materials, Executive Summary: UBL Conference, prepared for Berger, Nov. 30, 1999.
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« Reply #1392 on: September 08, 2009, 12:24:43 am »

5 Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland

1.Though KSM and Bin Ladin knew each other from the anti-Soviet campaign of the 1980s, KSM apparently did not begin working with al Qaeda until after the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Nov. 21, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004.

2.Those detainees are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Riduan Isamuddin (also known as Ham-bali), Abd al Rahim al Nashiri,Tawfiq bin Attash (also known as Khallad), Ramzi Binalshibh, Mohamed al Kah-tani,Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani,Ali Abd al Rahman al Faqasi al Ghamdi (also known as Abu Bakr al Azdi), and Hassan Ghul.

3. On KSM's relationship to Yousef and his ethnicity, see CIA analytic report, Khalid Sheik Muhammad's Nephews, CTC 2003-300013, Jan. 31, 2003. On KSM's biography, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003; FBI electronic communication, requests for information on KSM colleges/universities, June 10, 2002.

4. In an uncorroborated post-capture claim that may be mere bravado, KSM has stated that he considered assassinating Rabbi Meir Kahane when Kahane lectured in Greensboro at some point between 1984 and 1986. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. On KSM's connection to Sayyaf, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 3, 2003; July 12, 2003; FBI electronic communication,"Summary of Information . . . with regard to . . . KSM," July 8, 1999. On KSM's battle experience and his electronics work, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 3, 2003; July 12, 2003. On KSM's anti-Soviet activities, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 17, 2004 (in which KSM says he apparently met Bin Ladin for the first time when the Sayyaf group and Bin Ladin's Arab mujahideen group were next to each other along the front line).

5. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also notes that his group continued fighting in the Jalalabad area, and his brother Abid was killed there). KSM claims that Ramzi Yousef visited the NGO's establishment in Jalalabad while Yousef was undergoing training. KSM adds that between 1993 and 1996, he traveled to China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bosnia (a second time), Brazil, Sudan, and Malaysia. Most, if not all, of this travel appears to have been related to his abiding interest in carrying out terrorist operations.Although KSM claims that Sheikh Abdallah was not a member, financier, or supporter of al Qaeda, he admits that Abdallah underwrote a 1995 trip KSM took to join the Bosnia jihad. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 23, 2003.

6. On KSM's learning of Yousef 's plans, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004 (in which KSM also contends that Yousef never divulged to him the intended target of the attack). On KSM/Yousef phone conversations, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 17, 2004 (in which KSM also says that most of his phone conversations with Yousef were social in nature, but that Yousef did discuss mixing explosives ingredients once or twice and that on one occasion,Yousef asked him to send the passport Yousef had in his true name,Abdul Basit). On KSM's money transfer, see FBI report,Tradebom investigation, Mar. 20, 1993.

7. Evidence gathered at the time of Yousef 's February 1995 arrest included dolls wearing clothes containing nitrocellulose. FBI evidence, Manila air investigation. On KSM's rationale for attacking the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003 (in this regard, KSM's statements echo those of Yousef, who delivered an extensive polemic against U.S. foreign policy at his January 1998 sentencing). On the Manila air plot, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM,Apr. 17, 2003; July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also says bojinka is not Serbo-Croatian for "big bang," as has been widely reported, but rather a nonsense word he adopted after hearing it on the front lines in Afghanistan).According to KSM, the plot was to receive financing from a variety of sources, including associates of co-conspirator Wali Khan and KSM's own funds. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Nov. 26, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004. On activities during the summer of 1994, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, May 3, 2003; July 12, 2003; Nov. 10, 2003; Feb. 21, 2004; Feb. 24, 2004.
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« Reply #1393 on: September 08, 2009, 12:25:11 am »

8. On recruiting Wali Khan in Karachi, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Abdul Hakim Murad,Apr. 13, 1995; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM recounts how he knew Wali Khan from Afghanistan). On the testing of the timer, see Brief for the United States of America, United States v. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, No. 98-1041(L) (2d Cir. filed Aug. 25, 2000), pp. 85-86, 88-91. The latter explosion caused the death of a passenger and extensive damage to the aircraft, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Okinawa. In 1996,Yousef was convicted on charges arising out of the Bojinka plot, including the bombing of the Philippine Airlines flight. See ibid., p. 8. On KSM's travels, see generally Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003.Yousef managed to escape to Pakistan, but his accomplice, Murad-whom KSM claims to have sent to Yousef with $3,000 to help fund the operation-was arrested and disclosed details of the plot while under interrogation. Contrary to Murad's confession, in which he described his intended role as one of the five operatives who would plant bombs on board the targeted aircraft, KSM has said that Murad's role was limited to carrying the $3,000 from Dubai to Manila. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004; (two reports); Feb. 24, 2004;Apr. 2, 2004.This aspect of KSM's account is not credible, as it conflicts not just with Murad's confession but also with physical evidence tying Murad to the very core of the plot, and with KSM's own statements elsewhere that Murad was involved in planning and executing the operation. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 24, 2004 (in which KSM also claims that while he was in Qatar in February 1995, he and Yousef consulted by telephone regarding the cargo carrier plan, and Yousef proceeded with the operation despite KSM's advice that he hide instead).We have uncovered no evidence that KSM was present at the guesthouse in Islamabad where Yousef 's arrest took place, as has been suggested in the press.

9. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. KSM's presence in Bosnia coincided with a police station bombing in Zagreb where the timing device of the bomb (a modified Casio watch) resembled those manufactured by KSM and Yousef in the Philippines for the Manila air operation. FBI report, Manila air investigation, May 23, 1999. On the Sudanese trip and Afghanistan, see Intelligence report, interrogation of SM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also claims to have encountered Sayf al Adl while in Yemen; apparently KSM has not divulged the substance of this meeting).

10. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. In another interrogation report, however, KSM downplays the significance of his relationship to Yousef in enabling him to meet with Bin Ladin. Specifically, KSM notes that Yousef was not a member of al Qaeda and that Yousef never met Bin Ladin. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.

11. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004.With respect to KSM's additional proposal to bomb cargo planes by shipping jackets containing nitrocellulose, KSM states that Bin Ladin expressed interest in changing the operation so that it would involve a suicide operative. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 10, 2003.

12. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.

13. Probably inflating his own role, KSM says he and a small group of colleagues, including Yousef and Wali Khan, were among the earliest advocates of attacking the United States. KSM asserts that Bin Ladin and some of the other jihadist leaders concentrated on overthrowing Arab regimes and argued for limiting confrontation with the United States to places like Somalia. On KSM's description of Bin Ladin's agenda, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003. As discussed in chapter 2, we do not agree with this assessment. On Bin Ladin's reactions to KSM's proposal, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004. On KSM's intent to target the United States and Bin Ladin's interest in Somalia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003.

14. On KSM's independence, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. Even after he began working with Bin Ladin and al Qaeda, KSM concealed from them his ongoing relationship with Sayyaf. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 30, 2003. Although KSM says he would have accepted the support of another organization to stage a 9/11-type operation, there is no evidence he ever peddled this idea to any other group. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004. On his travels after meeting Bin Ladin, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. Hambali also was one of the founders of Konsojaya, a Malaysian company run by a close associate of Wali Khan. FBI report, Manila air investigation, May 23, 1999. Hambali claims he was asked to serve on the company's board of directors as a formality and insists that he did not recognize the "Arabs" who were to run the company or play any role in its operations. Intelligence report, interrogation of Ham-bali, Nov. 19, 2003.
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« Reply #1394 on: September 08, 2009, 12:25:44 am »

15. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Feb. 19, 2004 (two reports). KSM maintains that he provided similar services for other mujahideen groups at this time, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and a group headed by Abu Zubaydah. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.

16. On KSM's understanding of Bin Ladin's commitment, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb.

19, 2004. On KSM's assistance to al Qaeda, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003 (two reports). On Bin Ladin's decision to approve 9/11 operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. KSM has observed that the East Africa bombings and the subsequent bombing of the USS Cole yielded a recruiting bonanza for al Qaeda, as increasing numbers of Arab youth became enamored of the idea of waging jihad against the United States. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003.

17. On KSM's decision to move to Kandahar, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. On the media committee, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also says that as head of the media committee, he would take charge of producing the propaganda video al Qaeda issued following the bombing of the USS Cole). On the oath, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003 (in which KSM also claims his reluctance stemmed from a concern that he would lose the ability to persevere with the 9/11 operation should Bin Ladin subsequently decide to cancel it).

18. On a possible Southeast Asian operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 4, 2003. On a possible U.S. operation, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, June 27, 2003; July 14, 2003. On a possible Israeli operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 30, 2003. On other possible targets discussed with Atef, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 4, 2003 (Thailand); Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 4, 2004 (Singapore, Indonesia, Maldives).

19. For an example of KSM's popularity, see Intelligence report, interrogation of al Qaeda facilitator, Oct. 11, 2002. See also Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Nov. 7, 2002; Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Feb. 10, 2003.

20. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Hambali, Jan. 14, 2003; Mar. 5, 2004.

21. Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (Columbia Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 187, 199.

22. On the trip to Karachi, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 12, 2003. On Hambali's relationship with Atef and receipt of al Qaeda funds, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Mar. 5, 2004. Al Qaeda began providing funds to JI for terrorist operations as early as 1999. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Mar. 3, 2004.
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