Thursday, August 06, 2009

Happy Anniversary, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Memo!

Happy eighth anniversary to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." memo!

Apologies to the Hibakusha, who memorialize this day for more tragic reasons.


Even though the memo was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," Condoleezza Rice told the 9/11 Commission that "nothing about the threat of attack in the U.S." appeared in the Presidential Daily Briefing the President received on August 6, 2001.

Full Text of the 6 August 2001 Memo:

Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate (Osama) Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a ...(edited)... service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told a ... (edited) ... service at the same time that Bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US.

Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation.

Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks.

Bin Laden associates surveilled our embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qaeda members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.

Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (edited)... service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Laden-related.

The CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the United Arab Emirates in May saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.

2 Comments:

Blogger section9 said...

Yeah, too bad for you Rice was absolutely correct about the memorandum. Read "Legacy of Ashes", Tim Wiener's devastating history of the deeply incompetent CIA. If you look at the memo real close, you'll see what he saw: the only actionable intelligence in that memo dated from 1998.

Happy Anniversary!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Shimmy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Section 9! If only Condoleezza Rice would have listened in the snow and, nothing herself, would have beheld the nothing that is not in the 6 Aug. 2001 memo and the nothing that is!

Too bad for all of us that Condoleezza Rice saw nothing she didn't want to see when she said she saw "nothing about the threat of attack in the U.S" in a memo that was called, after all, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S."

Even if I were asleep in the bathtub, I would discern a "threat" in the 8th paragraph of the memo: "Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks."

Or, just in case the audience for the memo was distracted by the capricious laser-printer dot on the rug, the next paragraph contextualizes the threat with an even greater attention to detail: "Bin Laden associates surveilled our embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997."

If the final clause of the previous paragraph seemed to contain no "threat" -- no evidence that Bin Laden was "determined to strike in U.S." -- the next paragraph clarifies a "danger" that reasonably could be described as a "threat." It implies that the White House might take heed of a pattern of evidence established in the planning for the 1998 Al Qaeda attacks: "Al-Qaeda members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks."

But one must have a mind of winter to crack the inscrutable code of a memo whose title urges the White House to pay attention to a terrorist "determined to strike in the U.S." One must have a mind of winter -- and have been cold a long time.

Happy Anniversary to you, too! And light a candle for the Hibakusha.

2:12 AM  

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