Osama Bin Laden Declares War: The 1998 East Africa Embassy Bombings
In February 1998, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), led by Dr, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, formally merged as a unified organization. The main core members were Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin, Dr.Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu-Yasir Rifa’i Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan and Fazlur Rahman, emir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh. On February 23, 1998, the group released a fatwa, where it was read by Bin Laden, who gave a previous fatwa in 1996, which outlined the grievances which were attributed to the United States continued repression of the Muslim world.
“First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.
If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.
Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million… despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.
So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.
Third, if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.”
According to some Jihadist experts, al-Zawahiri was forced into Bin Laden’s hands because he needed funds and other assistance to keep his organization afloat. In this respect the decline of the militant Islamic movement in Egypt ironically boosted the strength of the broader international movement coalescing around Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden most likely was aware of this, and was keen on having the Egyptians as the military strength of Al Qaeda, as they were also the organizations best recruits. Unlike their “adversarial” sect in Egypt, Gamma Islamiyyah led by the imprisoned, Omar Abdel Rahman, who was being held in FMC Rochester in Maryland for his role in the Landmarks Bombing plot, The Egyptian Islamic Jihad wanted to overthrow the Hosni Mubarak government and force the country to accept the Quran and Sunnah as the leading instruments of the people.
But in the aftermath of the Luxor Massacre which took place on November 17th 1997, at Deir al-Bahri, an archaeological site and tourist destination located across the River Nile from Luxor, Egypt where 62 tourists were killed by members of Gamma Islamiyyah. The Egyptian radical movements had come under intense investigation and mass arrests of many of the top leadership put a pause in operations. The Mubarak government, as well as other foreign countries began embarking in a mass rendition and arrest of many Egyptian radicals who were known to be members of the Gamma Islamiyyah and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
During 1999, many of these fundamentalists located in broad areas of the world, were detained and renditioned back to Egypt to stand trial for a number of offenses. The trial was commonly known as, “The Returnees from Albania”. The court case is one of the principal sources of information about Sunni terrorist groups in the 1990s, especially Gamma Islamiyya and its offshoot Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
The Egyptian military courts prosecuetd over a dozen members who faced the following charges:
The 1990 assassination of the chairman of the Egyptian parliament Dr. Rif’at al-Mahjub
The 1993 assassination attempt of Interior Minister Abdul Halim Moussa, which killed four others
The 1993 assassination attempt against Prime Minister Atef Sedki, in which a child was killed
The 1994 assassination of Major General Ra’uf Khayrat (assistant director of the SSIS) in Cairo
The 1995 assassination of Egyptian attaché Ahmed Alaa Nazmi in Switzerland
The 1995 assassination attempt against President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa
The 1995 bombing of Egypt’s embassy in Pakistan, killing 15 people; an intended simultaneous mass murder of tourists at Khan al-Khalili did not materialize.
The 1997 massacre of tourists at Luxor
In April 1999, Twenty were acquitted, nine sentenced to death (all in absentia), 11 to life imprisonment, and 67 were given sentences up to 25 years. One of those found guilty while in absentia, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. By then, al-Zawahiri was in Afghanistan, under house protection by Muhammad (Mullah) Omar’s ultra-orthodox sect, the Taliban. Bin Laden’s declaration however also illuminated the imprisonment of Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh”. Rahman had penned a will, which revealed the following:
“Oh brothers, if they [the Americans] kill me, and they inevitably will, then perform my funeral and send my corpse to my family. Do not forget my blood and do not squander it, but exact a most powerful and violent revenge.”
Rahman’s fatwa and will were handed out by his sons in May 1998. Soon afterwards, Bin Laden announced the formation of the “World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders.” The case for revenge was made, and to Bin Laden, the United States, had struck first.
On February 23, 1998, Al Quds Al Arabi, an Arabic London newspaper, publishes a 3 page statement written by members of the World Islamic Front, headed by Osama Bin Laden. The statement was faxed to the publishing office, and the contents pointed out that crimes of the United States in the mass arrest of members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and imprisoning, Omar Abdel Rahman of Gamma Islamiyyah. But it was the following edit, which brought the attention of the world.
“The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.”
When Al Quds Al Arabi published the fatwa, the intelligence community took immediate notice. Specifically the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the counter-terrorism center headed by Cofer Black and the DCI, George Tenet. In June 1999 Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) George Tenet named Black director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC). In this capacity, Black served as the CIA Director’s Special Assistant for Counterterrorism as well as the National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism. With Richard Blee replacing Michael Scheuer at the Bin Laden Issue Station, the CIA had replaced the “seasoned” veterans with minted bureaucrats.
Bin Laden continued to hold media interviews. Bin Laden holds his first and only press conference on May 26th to help publicize the fatwa he published several months before. Referring to the group that signed the fatwa, he says:
“By God’s grace, we have formed with many other Islamic groups and organizations in the Islamic world a front called the International Islamic Front to do jihad against the crusaders and Jews. And by God’s grace, the men… are going to have a successful result in killing Americans and getting rid of them.”
Bin Laden wasn’t done placating the West however. On May 28th, Bin Laden had allowed for John Miller from ABC News to come to Southern Afghanistan and interview the man who declared war on the United States. An aide to Bin Laden spoke with Miller just before he began however, “I have very good news. Mr. Bin Laden will answer each of your questions.” Then he added that Bin Laden’s answers would not be translated on the spot. “You can take the tape to New York and have them translate it there.” There would be no translations to Bin Laden’s statement, nor would there be any follow up questions.
Miller had asked Bin Laden, why did he wish to kill American soldiers when they were invited to Madinah to begin with. To which Bin Laden retorted.
“”Why should we believe that was the true reason America was there? Everywhere else they went where Muslims lived, all they did was kill children and occupy Muslim land.”
When the topic of killing civilians came up, Bin Laden did not miss a beat.
“We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwa. American history does not distinguish between civilians and military, not even women and children. They are the ones who used bombs against Nagasaki. Can these bombs distinguish between infants and military? America does not have a religion that will prevent it from destroying all people.”
The broadcast of the interview was met with intense interest by the intelligence community. The FBI began learning more about this wealthy Saudi who prepared accordingly for war. The CIA was already familiar with Bin Laden with a detailed recorded history while he was in Sudan in 1992. The NSA had began tapping the satellite phones he was using, as well as other Al Qaeda hierarchy. Between July and August 1998, The NSA is monitoring phone calls between Bin Laden in Afghanistan and Khalid al-Fawwaz, an Al Qaeda courier, in London. Al-Fawwaz, together with Ibrahim Eidarous (London-based chapter of Egyptian al-Jihad) and Adel Abdel Bary (al-Qaeda’s Europe-based propagandist), are operating as Bin Laden’s de facto international media office in London, and the NSA had listened in for two years as Bin Laden called them over 200 times.
In November 1997, Mustafa Mahmoud Said Ahmed, who worked for an al Qaeda unit in Nairobi walked into a US Embassy and offered to share details concerning a plan to bomb in the parking garage of the embassy. The CIA were unable to confirm his claims, as he went to other embassy's and predicted similar situations which turned out to be false. Ahmed told investigators that he and another man took photographs f the embassy on October 22, 1997. The American dismissed him as not credible. The Kenyan government then deported him back to Egypt. One anonymous intelligence official would later say, that Department of State would receive briefings about Bin Laden’s operatives “before, during and after” the August 1997 raid of Wadih el-Hage residence. “Some of those reports referred to Osama Bin Laden in the first paragraph”. el-Hage, was one of Bin Laden’s most trusted financial managers, who was implicated by US authorities for his role in money laundering for a terrorist orgaznaition while in Sudan.
Ahmed’s warnings about the embassies being a target were not an “isolated” incident however. Prudence Bushnell, was the US-Kenyan ambassador (1996–1999) sent memos in December 1997 and May 1998, warning about needing heightened security at the Embassy. Bushnell was seen as a “nuisance” who was overly obsessed about needing security. Before the US Embassy bombings on August 7th 1998, it wasn't hard to understand how few American officials had taken notice of Osama Bin Laden since no American deaths had been attributed to him. The Clinton administration however weren’t taking Bin Laden with the serious attention as opposed to Michael Scheuer. Following the declaration, the Clinton White House exerted pressure on the CIA to create a unit dedicated to investigating Bin Laden. In 1996, David Cohen, CUA Deputy Director created the Bin Laden Issue Station, code named Alec Station. Chief of Station was named to Michael Scheuer. It was housed as a virtual station operating in a nondescript building in a Virginia suburb separate from the main Langley building.
On May 22, 1998, President Clinton creates the new post of national coordinator for counterterrorism. He names Richard Clarke for the job, and Clarke soon becomes known as the counterterrorism “tsar.” This position is outlined in a new presidential directive on counterterrorism, Presidential Decision Directive 62 (PDD-62), which also outlines goals of fighting terrorism and attempts to strengthen interagency coordination of counterterrorism efforts.
With the FBI, Bin Laden certainly wasn’t a household name. John O’Neill, however, continued to warn of growing threats of terrorism, saying that modern groups are not supported by governments and that there are terrorist cells operating within the United States. Just last year, O’Neill moved to the big city to be Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s National Security Division. Meanwhile the Clinton White House National Security Counsel and CIA had developed a plan to capture Bin Laden in Afghanistan. A CIA-owned aircraft was stationed in a nearby country, ready to land on a remote landing strip long enough to pick him up. However, problems with having to hold bin Laden too long in Afghanistan made the operation unlikely.
The plan morphs into using a team of Afghan informants to kidnap bin Laden from inside his heavily defended Tarnak Farm complex. Mike Scheuer, head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, calls the plan “the perfect operation.” Gary Schroen, the lead CIA officer in the field, agrees, and gives it about a 40 percent chance of succeeding. However, higher-ups at the CIA are skeptical of the plan and worry that innocent civilians might die. The plan is given to CIA Director George Tenet for approval, but on May 29, 1998, he rejects it without showing it to President Clinton. He considers it too unlikely to succeed and decides the Afghan allies are too unreliable.
Nobody wanted to strike first, but Bin Laden was already long planning to. As the summer months began, Bin Laden sends a fax from Afghanistan to Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, a London-based Muslim imam who dubs himself the “mouth, eyes, and ears of Osama bin Laden.” Bakri publicly releases what he calls Bin Laden’s four specific objectives for a holy war against the US. The instruction reads:
“Bring down their airliners. Prevent the safe passage of their ships. Occupy their embassies. Force the closure of their companies and banks.”
Bin Laden began planning to attack US Embassies in East Africa while living in the Sudan in 1994. In 1992, Bin Laden sent Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri to Kenya to run it. It was al-Banshiri idea to stake claim in East Africa. In Somalia, he saw the potential for another Afghanistan, a tottering government that could give way to Islamists. Bin Laden had also began fermenting relationships with other Jihadist groups, mainly in Middle East, East Africa and Southeast Asia. Michael Scheuer wrote “Africa had remained a high interest locale for Bin Laden since the 1994 withdrawal of United Nations and US Forces from Somalia.” al-Ubaidah was in charge of relations with Somalia rebels. Scheuer also states that it was Bin Laden who sent 250 fighters in Somalia to help with Aidid against the Americans.
A key player in the East Africa cell was Wadih el-Hage. He was one of the operatives sent from Bin Laden base in Khartoum in Nairobi. In 1986 el-Hage went to work at the Bin Laden Services Bureau (Maktab al-Khidamat). Bin Laden offered el-Hage to live in Khartoum to work as a personal secretary. In July 1994, el-Hage went to Nairobi to replace Khaled al-Fawaaz whose cover running an Islamic charity called Mercy International. Fawaaz moved to London to help establish the Advice and Reformation's Committee through which he served as a conduit for Bin Laden’s message to the world. One of his responsibilities was to provide satellite telephones and other sophisticated communications gear so that Bin Laden could stay in touch with operations worldwide. Bin Laden also openly criticizing the Saudi Kingdom to reform and began publishing communiques lambasting all aspects of Saudi rule. However in March 1994, Bin Laden was stripped of his Saudi citizenship which left him rendering stateless.
Bin Laden had internal help of course, not from a foreign asset, but from a naturalized citizen, Ali Mohamed. Mohamed had been involved with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Cairo. Years later, Mohamed had taken residency in Santa Clara, California in 1987. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and managed to get stationed at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, until 1989. However, Mohamed had been a double agent starting in 1977 when he offered to begin spying in Islamic centers in Cairo, Egypt for the CIA. While inside the US, he also offered his services to inform for the FBI, al; the while being in constant contact with Osama Bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mohamed acted as a personal bodyguard and liaison for al-Zawahiri while he began collecting donations for the Arab and Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan. al-Zawahiri entrusted Mohamed to find sensitive targets to attack in East Africa, when Mohamed along with al-Banshiri, were training the Arab Mujahedeen in Khartoum.
In 1996, al-Banshiri was killed when the ferry he was on sunk and he drowned in Lake Victoria. Abu Mohammed al-Masri replaced him as head of the East Africa cell. Between July 1996-September 1997, the CIA began tapping the phone a el-Hage residence in Khartoum. They caught several exchanges between him and Bin Laden. On August 21,1997 FBI SA Dan Coleman and 2 CIA officers served a search warrant for el-Hage residence. They seized his laptop, address books, notebooks and micro cassettes. After realizing he was found out, el-Hage returned to the United States as he returned to Arlington with his family; several accounts say that he sold all of his possessions to fund the trip in September 1997.
The heat of August in East Africa can be rather overwhelming to the tourist, but to the citizenry in Kenya and Tanzania, it is a common atmosphere. The security details at US embassy were lowered as the intelligence threat matrix reports had began slowing down, in regards to international threats. Yes, Bin Laden made threats towards the West and the embassy's were deemed “safe” after enduring security inspections from the White House, but nothing seemed to be out of ordinary. Bin Laden however caught the ire of Taliban, who were weary of his interviews with western media and bringing attention from the foreign intelligence services.
In July 1998, Taliban officials allegedly meet with Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi intelligence, to continue talks concerning the Taliban’s ouster of Bin Laden from Afghanistan. Reports on the location of this meeting, and the deal under discussion differ. According to some reports, including documents exposed in a later lawsuit, this meeting takes place in Kandahar. Those present include Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabian intelligence, Taliban leaders, senior officers from the ISI, and bin Laden. According to these reports, Saudi Arabia agrees to give the Taliban and Pakistan “several hundred millions” of dollars, and in return, Bin Laden promises no attacks against Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis also agree to ensure that requests for the extradition of al-Qaeda members will be blocked and promise to block demands by other countries to close down Bin Laden’s Afghan training camps. Saudi Arabia had previously given money to the Taliban and bribe money to Bin Laden, but this ups the ante. They also warned him of not bringing negative attention to Afghanistan, the Taliban had their own problems which were fighting against the Northern Alliance for control of the country.
On August 5, 1998, The Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which has joined forces with al-Qaeda, issues a statement threatening to retaliate against the US for its involvement rounding up an Islamic Jihad cell in Albania. It is believed Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote the statement, which says:
“We wish to inform the Americans… of preparations for a response which we hope they read with care, because we shall write it with the help of God in the language they understand.”
August 7th 1990, marks the exact date the US military arrived in Saudi Arabia to take part in defending the country from Iraq, who invaded Kuwait. But on this day, a willing martyr awaits his final act. However he faces a pressing conundrum. The distinction between suicide and martyrdom is no trivial issue in the thinking of an Al Qaeda jihadi. Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda group went to great lengths to ensure there had to be a “religious” authority and guidance to anyone in the organization, in which they also had to swear “bayat” (loyalty) to the emir, Bin Laden before even god. This was to maintain moral authority over his subjects, who had to follow thru with his murderous invocations which, in his mind, were permissible even thru the Quran forbade it.
Committing a sin in furtherance of a “righteous” cause is theologically untenable. Bin Laden, shrewd as he was, twisted the sin to an act of martyrdom for the sake of Islam. As well as labelling the victims, as sacrifices for the greater good if they were Muslim, if they were not, they were advocates for the crusaders and jew. Mohamed Rashid Daoud al-Owhali was 21 when he embarked to die as a martyr for Bin Laden. He trained at the Khalden training camp located in the mountains of eastern Paktia Province, near to Tora Bora in 1996. He was in the passenger seat of a cream colored Toyota Dyna truck on this day. In the back of the truck was a covered cargo bay packed with cylinders of TNT, aluminum nitrate, and aluminum powder.
The driver was a fellow Saudi Jihad Muhammed Ali al-Harazi, also known as “Azzam”. al-Owhali’s role was to force the guards at the gate of the American Embassy in Nairobi, to allow Azzam to drive the truck into the garage. A security guard, Benson Okulu Bwaku approached the vehicle. al-Owhali leapt out of the truck and threw a stun grenade at embassy guards while running away from the vehicle. Azzam saw he could drive no further as security guards locked the garage by having the security gate close during the assault of gunfire. Azzam detonated his device.
al-Owhali fell flat on his stomach from the shockwave, which sent shredded debris flying in all directions, which in turn, shredded al-Owhali’s shirt and he sustained minor burns and injuries. However, al-Owhali was supposed to die in the explosion. He didn’t have any plans after that. He instead went to Nairobi’s MP Shah Hospital for his wounds. 213 people were killed in the Nairobi blast and an estimated 4,000 wounded. The explosion damaged the embassy building and collapsed the neighboring Ufundi Building where most victims were killed, mainly students and staff of a secretarial college housed there. Prudence Bushnell was at the top floor of the Cooperative Bank Building, when she heard the expulsion which knocked her off her feet.
“I will never forget the rattling of a teacup, just kept rattling, i thought to myself, that the building was going to collapse, that i was going to tumble down all those stories, and that i was going to die. I was immediately stuck by the eerie silence when it was over.”
Osama bin Laden later offered the explanation that it had been al-Owhali’s intention to leap out and shoot the guards to clear a path for the truck, but that he had left his pistol in the truck and subsequently ran off. People started to come out of nearby buildings, which suffered damages, to witness the ensuring horror of twisted bone, flayed flesh and dismembered bodies.
Ten minutes later, another truck explosion, this time in the southeast of the city at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam in Kenya. The Atlas truck that attacked the building located at 36 Laibon Road, was being driven by Hamden Khalif Allah Awad, known as “Ahmed the German” due to his blond hair, a former camp trainer who had arrived in the country only a few days earlier. 11 were killed and 75 wounded in this attack. Acting ambassador, John Lange, was in his top floor office holding a meeting when the explosion happened.
“Every room in the building was devastated. I was sitting with my back to the outside wall when the glass blew in over my head. In what seemed like slow motion. Thankfully, no one in our meeting was seriously injured.”
The FBI arrived in the largest deployment in it’s history. Pat D’Amuro, FBI out of New York City office, said:
“It was the finest investigation i was ever involved in. The reason it's important for this story to be told is that the last Africa investigation pulled together massive amounts of intelligence and can be credited with opening eyes around the world to the extent of the threat posed by Al Qaeda.”
al-Owhali had arrived at Nairobi’s main hospital where Kenyan doctors attending to al-Owhali were suspicious of his role in the event, and noted that his injuries showed he had his back to the explosion and suggested he may have been running from the scene.
The FBI investigated the Kenya and Nairobi bombings. With Pat D’Amuro in Nairobi and Pat Kelly in Kenya. The most crucial pieces of evidence for which every recovery specialists scoured the crime scene in Nairobi were any fragments that could identify the composition of the explosives' device and the delivery vehicles. 8 days into the investigation at Nairobi, Ken Piernick saw something catch his eye, he had it cleaned. It was the VIN number belonging to a 1987 Nissan Atlas. Steve Bongardt and Steve Gaudin were the first to interview al-Owhali on August 22,1998. al-Owhali broke down, and said he would only cooperate if he was tried in the United States, for he considered them the enemy. al-Owhali told Gaudin, that he met Bin Laden several times
“…and had expressed to him interest in missions that he would like to do and Bin Laden told him, take your time. Your mission will come in time.”
al-Owhali was told by Khalid Khalid in Pakistan that he was chosen for a martyrdom mission where al-Owhali filmed a farewell video in which he claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of The Liberation Army of the Islamic Sanctuaries. He arrived in Nairobi on August 2nd. al-Owhali was given a paper and pen to write down the number he first was to call. Surprisingly he complied, 967–1–200578. The number was already known to the NSA/CIA because it had called a number of times to Bin Laden’s satellite phone. They knw it belonged to a house in Sana'a, Yemen owned by Ahmed al-Hada. They knew it received calls from Nairobi before the attacks, but of course, didn’t know why until later. al-Owhali’s revelation confirmed Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
Lawrence Wright will later say:
“This Yemen number would prove to be the most significant piece of information the FBI would ever discover, allowing investigators to map the links of the Al Qaeda network all across the globe.”
al-Owhali also told investigators that, while staying at a guesthouse in Yemen, he overhead Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri discuss a plan to attack US ships in Aden with missiles. Also staying at the guesthouse was Tawfiq bin Attash (Khallad). He too was involved with the planning of the US Embassy attacks. On August 26, 1998 Mohammed Daoud al-Owhali was rendered to the United States.
In all, 22 suspects, including Bin Laden, were indicted for nearly three hundreds crimes by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which was given jurisdiction over the case. In 2000, Mohammad Rashid Daoud al-Owhali, Wadih el-Hage, Mohamed Saddiq Oleh, and K.K. Mohamed were brought before the federal court, the first Al Qaeda terrorists to be tried.
Mary Jo White, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who later prosecuetd the four defendants would state
“We got to put the organization on trial alongside the individuals. We got to publicly lay out the hierarchy of Al Qaeda, The entire blueprint for our military going after it’s leadership in Afghanistan came out of this investigation.”
Mohamed Dawoud al-Owhali stands alone as the only suicide bomber to successfully survive a bombing.
Osama Bin Laden said the embassies were targeted because of the US ‘invasion’ of Somalia but it was a plot to lure the US into Afghanistan. In this, it was partially successful by further radicalizing the Taliban against the US and giving Bin-Laden safer residency there.
Bin Laden had struck back, and would release a public statement to US President Bill Clinton.
“The Battle Has Not Yet Started, We Will Reply to Clinton in Deeds”