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|Aliases: Usama Bin
Muhammad Bin Ladin, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, the Prince, the Emir, Abu
Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, the Director
USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE.
CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
Osama was exposed very early on his age to this experience but he lost his father when he was 13. He married at the age of 17 to a Syrian girl who was a relative. He grew up as religiously committed boy and the early marriage was another factor of protecting him from corruption.
Osama had his primary, secondary and even university education in Jeddah. He had a degree in public administration 1981 from King Abdul-Aziz university in Jeddah. Countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sudan are the only countries he has been to. All stories of trips to Switzerland, Philippines, and London are all unfounded.
The elder bin Laden emigrated from a remote area of neighboring Yemen to Saudi Arabia as a young man and built the largest construction company in the Saudi kingdom. The son of a Saudi Arabian businessman, Osama bin Laden has called for a Muslim jihad, or holy war, against the United States.
He has encouraged Muslims to kill all the Americans (civilian or military) they can, and is rumored to pay $10,000 for every American his terrorist cells can kill.
Most of his family has disavowed him, after he inherited some $250 million dollars ($USD) from his family's estimated $5 billion fortune, and later instigating terrorist activities.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan, a 22-year-old bin Laden traveled there to fight the Soviets
alongside the Afghan resistance fighters known as the mujahedeen.
As the war with the Soviets drew to a close, bin Laden
formed al Qaeda (Arabic for "the base"), an organization of
ex-mujahedeen and other supporters channeling fighters and funds to the
His rage stems from the decision by Saudi Arabia to allow the United States to use the country as a staging area for attacks on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq. After the victory, the U.S. military presence became permanent.
To fundamentalists like bin Laden, the U.S. presence is anathema because Saudi Arabia is home to "the two most holy places" in Islam -- Mecca and Medina. Mecca is the birthplace of Mohammed and the location of the Great Mosque of Mecca, considered by Muslims to be the most sacred spot on Earth.
Mecca also is the destination of the hajj, the pilgrimage that is one of five tenets of Islam. All Muslims who are physically and financially able are expected to perform the hajj at least once.
One of the rituals of the hajj is to circle the Kaaba, a black-draped, oblong stone building located inside the mosque. The Koran says the Kaaba is the oldest house of worship in the world and during the hajj pilgrims circle it seven times. It is toward the Kaaba -- believed to rest on the spot where, in the Bible, Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac before God stayed his hand and substituted a ram -- that Muslims face to pray.
In an interview bin Laden gave to CNN in 1997, he said the ongoing U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia is an "occupation of the land of the holy places."
"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 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," the statement, issued under the "World Islamic Front" name, read. It was published three months later in the London newspaper "Al-Quds al-'Arabi."
Here to Read Osama's Full Biography
The Monumental Struggle Of Good Versus Evil
terrorist fly hijacked plane into World Trade Center, New York
Statue of Liberty - we're coming!
American Eagle, symbol of freedom ... sharpening its claws
Rogue Warrior - Richard Marcinko
American flag raising in WWII & New York
Advertisement: FitnessWomen.com Â» Most Beautiful Fitness Women on the Net
Other Commonly Used Spellings: JIHAAD
America's New York World Trade Center towers in flames
Nostradamus prophecy about the fall of Two Brothers
(meaning the World Trade Towers) predicts the imminent start of World
Pentagon in Washington D.C.
"This will be a monumental struggle of good
versus evil, but good will prevail."
"The terrorist act is the action of some
American group. I have nothing to do with it.
Osama Bin Laden's Vow: To Kill Americans
Exclusive ABCnews Interview ... June, 1998
man jumping from top of flaming New York World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
American Stealth Bomber
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
Osama Bin Laden: One of the most wanted men in US
ERRI TERRORIST GROUP PROFILE - SPECIAL REPORT
ERRI Risk Assessment Services - Tuesday, June 30, 1998
Usamah Bin Mohammad
Bin Laden (Osama bin-Laden)
The terrorist group profile aims to inform the reader about the strengths and ideals of modern terrorist organisations. Today's special report is not about any one group, nor is it about just any regular terrorist. This special report is about an individual who is described as the world's most dangerous person.
He fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, he participated in the battles of the Jalalabad with the Arab mujahedin and now he is fighting a new battle or 'Jihad' with the United States.
In the past three years, he has issued three fatwa's declaring war on the American forces in Saudi Arabia. In these same three years, 24 Americans have died in two vicious bombings at US installations in the cities of Riyadh and Al-Khobar.
Evidence continues to mount against the one individual, who has a worth of more than $US250 million, that he is not only the financier behind the bombings, but also personally ordered them as well. He is Usamah Bin Mohammad Bin Laden, known in the Western world as Osama bin-Laden.
II. Profile of Osama bin-Laden
Osama bin-Laden was born in the city of Riyadh in 1957 and raised in AlMadina, AlMunawwara and Hijaz. He received his education in the schools of Jedda before studying management and economics in King Abdul Aziz University in Jedda.
While growing up, he developed a strong Muslim belief of Islamic law. From this belief emerged the necessity for armed struggle preceded by Da'wa and military preparation in order to repel the greater Kufr, and to cooperate with Muslims in order to unite their word under the banner of monotheism, and to set aside divisions and differences. His great struggle began in 1973 when he started interacting with a number of Islamic groups and would continue for several years. During this time he also acquired his personal fortune running the family construction business.
A short time after Jan. 11, 1979, when Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, bin-Laden left his family's business and set about gathering together his fortune to fund recruitment, transportation and training of a volunteer force of Arab nationals to fight alongside the existing Afghan mujahedin. He felt that it was his sense of duty to do so, since the Soviets actions had deeply offended him as a Muslim. His new volunteer group was named 'The Islamic Salvation Front.'
When the Soviet Union was forced out of Afghanistan in 1989, bin-Laden returned to the family construction business. As for his, Islamic Salvation Front, its aid which had been coming from the United States to fight the Soviets ended, and was unit was disbanded. In recent years, bin-Laden has down-played the U.S. involvement in his victory against the Soviets, to ensure most of the credibility for the success rests with him and his forces.
Bin-Laden was dealt a severe blow from his homeland in 1994 when the Saudi Arabian government seized his passport after Egypt, Algeria and Yemen accused him of financing subversive activities. This forced him to flee for Sudan, where the National Islamic Front (NIF) leader Hassan al-Turabi welcomed him.
While residing in Sudan, bin-Ladin financed and help set up at least three terrorist training camps in cooperation with the NIF, and his construction company worked directly with Sudanese military officials to transport and supply terrorists training in such camps.
But in May 1996, he suffered another blow when Sudanese officials, for "harming the image" of the country, expelled him. Bin-Laden maintained in several interviews that he left out of mere courtesy to Sudanese authorities.
From May 1996 onwards, the exact whereabouts of bin-Laden remain a mystery. Rumours ranged from him living in Yemen, to him living in Saudi Arabia with a false passport, to him being captured in Afghanistan. His exact location has not often been substantiated. He is known to have given interviews at a remote, well-guarded, camp in Afghanistan on at least two occasions.
His known activities have been established during interviews, mainly with Middle-Eastern reporters and on three occasion of the release of Fatwa's in April 1996, February 1997 and February 1998. Each one threatened a Holy War (Jihad) against the U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia and the Holy Lands, each one called for Muslims to concentrate on "destroying, fighting and killing the enemy."
III. Crimes that Osama bin-Laden may have been
Although bin-Laden has made numerous threats against the United States personnel in the 'Holy Land' regions he has not yet been indicted for any such crimes. However, rumours and investigations by the United States government believe that bin-Laden financed, and possibly "encouraged" some of the most devastating terrorist attacks in recent years. These include:
World Trade Center Bombing, February 26th, 1993
-- When the World Trade Center was bombed in February 1993, the United States was stunned by the ferocity and strength of that blast. Six people died in the explosion and more than 1,000 people were injured. Until then, there hadn't been a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Four people, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima and Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj were later arrested and charged. They were convicted and each sentenced to 240 years of imprisonment without the possibility of parole on March 4th, 1994.
On February 8th, 1995, nearly two years after the bombing suspect Ramzi Ahmed Yousef was arrested in a Pakistan guesthouse by local authorities before being turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yousef had been indicted two years earlier on March 11th, 1993. The owner of the guesthouse was a member of the bin-Laden family, whether it was Osama bin-Laden himself, or as some reports indicate -- his brother-in-law -- remain to be proven.
Riyadh Bombing, November 13th, 1995
-- At 11:30am of November 13th, a car bomb exploded at around a Saudi Arabian National Guard training facility in the middle of the Saudi capital Riyadh killing five Americans and two Indians. Sixty people were injured in the blast, 34 of them Americans. Two groups claimed responsibility, including the Tigers of the Gulf who also stated, "If the Americans don't leave the Kingdom as soon as possible we will continue our actions". The other group, the Islamic Movement for Change.
Four Saudi nationals were later arrested, charged and sentenced for the bombing. Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Nasser Al-Mothem, Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sa'eed, Riyadh Bin Suleiman Bin Is'haq Al-Hajeri and Muslih Bin Ayedh Al-Shemrani all pleaded guilty and were executed by beheading on May 30th 1996. They had also been involved in numerous other assassination and kidnapping plots, all of which had failed.
During the ABC interview, bin-Laden expressively praised the four who carried out the Riyadh attack. Bin-Ladin said that they had, "raised the head of the Muslim nation high, and washed away some of the dishonor we had to bear by the Saudi government's collaboration with the American government in the land of Allah," in other words, the murder of Americans made them a martyr. However, once again no firm evidence stands implicating Osama bin-Laden in this crime.
Dhahran, Al-Khobar Bombing, June 25th, 1998
-- Al-Khobar was the most destructive of the three bombings. A large explosion ripped through a U.S. Air Force housing complex at the King Abdul Aziz Airbase near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 19 servicemen and injuring at least 300 others. Security guards who witnessed the explosion said that a 5,000 gallon diesel truck had backed up to a dormitory that housed U.S. personnel and two people got out. The two proceeded to then escape in a small white car at which time the security ordered an immediate evacuation of the area. Three minutes later an explosion blasted a crater 10 meters (35 feet) deep and 30 meters (85 feet) wide. Buildings as far as 5 kilometers (3 miles) away had been damaged.
Later, explosive experts determined that 4,000 lbs. of TNT had been used. Saudi defense officials at the scene were quoted as saying that it was a terrorist act directed at the foreign presence in the Kingdom. They would also reveal that three groups had claimed responsibility for the bombing, one of them again being the Islamic Movement for Change. Final determination of those responsible for the Khobar attack has been slow in coming.
Aside from those described, bin-Laden may have had some
involvement in the following acts of terrorism:
- The December 1992 hotel bombings in Yemen that targeted U.S. servicemen on their way to Somalia as part of a U.N. force.
- The attempted assassination in June 1993 of Jordan's Crown Prince Abdullah.
- The attempted assassination in June 1995 of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sudan.
- Bombing of Egypt's embassy in Pakistan later in November 1996 that killed 17 people.
IV. The John Miller Interview of May 1998
John Miller of ABC television interviewed Osama bin-Laden on May 26th this year in his hideout in the mountains of Afghanistan. The 'Nightline' program aired the interview on June 6th, sending a very explicit threat to the American population, "leave Saudi Arabia or die." Osama bin-Laden is not unaccustomed to making such threats against Americans, he has been doing it for years, this time however, he was more aggressive than ever before.
The interview came after the release of his Fatwa in April, declaring a holy war or 'Jihad', against American Forces in Saudi Arabia. Responding to the threat, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued cautions suggesting 'increased attention in routine anti-terrorism planing' by security personnel. The Awareness of National Security and Response (ANSIR) program run by the FBI issued a warning about the threat. And later on June 4th following a press conference with bin-Laden in Khorst, The Department of State (DoS) issued a warning advising U.S. citizens to be alert and inconspicuous when travelling in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
Two day's later, ABC aired the interview.
"Thanks be to Allah..." bin-Laden begins, demonstrating a strong belief for the Muslim religion. A faith he goes on to say, calls for him to wage the holy war and kill Americans:
"Allah is the one who created us and blessed us with this religion, and orders us to carry out the holy struggle 'Jihad' to raise the word of Allah above the words of the unbelievers."
Osama bin-Laden makes it clear at this point that his actions and the actions of other Muslims will be justified by 'Allah'. He is stirring a sense of duty amongst Muslims. At the same time, he also strongly dispels any western notion that his return to Islam is for financial gain:
"Allah ordered us in this region to purify the Muslim land of all non-believers, and especially in the Arabian Peninsula... We believe that the biggest thieves in the world and the terrorists are the Americans ... We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this Fatwa."
The non-differentiation between civilians and soldiers makes the threat all the more explicit. Past interviews have never been so specific. However, bin-Laden never says anything without justification or a precedent, this time the killing of women and children with Atomic weapons at the end of World War II provides him with an excuse to do the same. An example he has used before when trying to defame American forces.
Although sufficient evidence for conviction isn't available, bin-Laden is thought to be connected with several bombings of recent years, one of them being the World Trade Center. During the interview when Miller asked bin-laden if he knew convicted bomber Ramzi Yousef, who was arrested in a guest house owned by the bin-Laden family, he replied, "Unfortunately I did not know him before the incident. I remember him as a Muslim who defended Islam from American aggression".
"A Muslim" in bin-Laden's eyes is his equal, there are no leaders in Islam. The Islamic religion forms a strong brotherhood and instances of Muslims helping out strangers to the point of sharing their house are not uncommon. ERRI's Senior Analyst Clark Staten said that, "There is evidence that he was associated with Yousef, including the fact that Yousef was arrested in a property allegedly owned by bin-Laden. We believe that bin-Laden supports a variety of terrorists and terrorist causes, in a number of ways, often at 'arms length'..."
Bin-Laden probably didn't know Yousef personally, before the 'incident', but which incident is bin-Laden referring too? Could he mean the arrest, or could he purposely be speaking ambiguously, inferring that he might have known him after the WTC bombing?
Answering these questions is impossible because bin-Laden, if he did contact and harbour Yousef after the bombing, is not about to implicate himself publicly for fear of retribution if ever he is arrested. Similar questions arise from the answers he gives when pressed about the Riyadh and Al-Khobar bombings. He only says that the perpetrators are heroes amongst Muslims, and did great service to Allah, but is never about his role.
"... Can the America government explain to its people when a SAM missile is launched against a passenger military airplane with 250 soldiers aboard? Can they justify their deaths? What the Saudi Arabian government captured is much less than what was not captured. The American government, if it has anything left to hang on to, has no choice but to pull its sons from the Holy Land..."
It may seem unbelievable that terrorists have weapons such as SAM's at their disposal, but ERRI's senior analyst Clark Staten says the possibility of bin-Laden's mujahedin possessing at least a limited number of ground-to- air missiles is very real. Stinger missiles, for example, were left with the insurgency in Afghanistan by the U.S. for the fight against the Soviets. Equivalent equipment from the former Soviet Union (SA-7, SA-9, etc.) can also be purchased fairly easily on the black-market in a number of Mid-East and S.W Asian countries. Bin-Laden is in effect biting the hand that fed him in the early 1980's.
Staten also believes that bin-Laden is belaboring a myth that he and his insurgents can actually take on the U.S. and win. "Many terrorist leaders are 'meglomanical' in their view of the world. Because they have been successful in small terrorist actions, they somehow believe that they can prevail in larger conflicts with countries like the United States," he said.
Bin-Laden has never directly said that he would stage a direct conflict between Muslims and the United States, but his constant hounding of American low-morale leads one to think that he believes the U.S. would be easy to defeat. He draws upon the example of Somalia:
"The youth [Muslim mujahedin in Somalia] were surprised at the low morale of the American soldier and realized more than before that the American soldiers are paper tigers. After a few blows, they ran in defeat..."
More like a 'sleeping grizzly bear' than a 'paper tiger', ERRI Risk Analyst Steve Macko said during an interview. He points out that the only reason the U.S. pulled out from Somalia was, "If they want to kill themselves, let them. This is not worth spilling American blood over."
"Americans complain and groan ... but if there is an event that angers the American people, there is no stopping them from achieving victory," he added. If bin-Laden had a clear view on the situation, would he be taking on the U.S.? Probably yes.
Throughout his life, bin-Laden held his faith in the religion of Islam high, at whatever cost. In the interview:
"Allah is the one who created us and blessed us with this religion, and orders us to carry out the holy struggle 'Jihad' to raise the word of Allah above the words of the unbelievers."
Even though bin-Laden can't possibly win a conventional war against the U.S., he will forever be compelled to wage a 'Jihad' using whatever means necessary. But some western analysts say that his driving force is less than holy, and is in fact, financial. Staten agrees to a small extent that this may be true, but like most terrorists he says bin-Laden probably has 'mixed motivations', "although most of his actions seem rooted in Muslim religious fanaticism. He is maybe receiving financing from state sponsors or others with an Islamic bent, but that is often not what drives him..."
Bin-Laden himself was also quick to dispel this judgment of him:
"...to Westerners and secularists in the Arab world who claim the reason for the awakening and the return of to Islam is financial difficulties. This is untrue. In fact, the return of the people to Islam is a blessing from Allah, and their return is a need for Allah."
V. The Latest Fatwa's
Bin-Laden's 'Jihad' is not without it's supporters from other terrorist leaders. In the much talked about Fatwa's, several known terrorist group leaders signed the decree aligning themselves with him. These included Ayman al-Zawahiri, amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt; Abu- Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, a leader of the Egyptian Islamic Group and Fazlul Rahman, amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh.
The first one for 1998 was released in February and was published in the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper under the title, "Kill Americans Everywhere." Largely unknown to the western world, bin-Laden told Muslims that 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, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque (Mecca) from their grip..." This February Fatwa was in comparison small, to the one that followed in April 1998.
Originally sent in 1996 after the bombing of Al-Khobar, bin-Laden re-sent the, "DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE AMERICANS OCCUPYING THE LAND OF THE TWO HOLY PLACES," Fatwa to his "Muslim Brethern" all over the world. The 27-page document was more of a Jihad manifesto than a specific threat towards the United States, filled with quotes from the Islamic Koran relating to Allah's stance on intruders in the holy-land. But again, bin-Laden was threatening to attack U.S. forces. Click here to see EmergencyNet News' previous report on Bin-Laden and "fatwas."
Osama bin-Laden has threatened to attack the U.S., whether this eventuates remains to be seen. He hasn't formally been connected with the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York, the bombing in Riyadh or the bombing of Al-Khobar, through lack of evidence. Only rumors and hearsay exists. The reason for this is because he is well protected from the western world by his associates (whether they be terrorists or not) in Afghanistan, who are merely protecting the hand that feeds them.
The only indication of where an attack may occur next is in the ABC interview. Somewhere in the Hejaz and Najd regions of Saudi Arabia, the holy lands. Specifically where is not known, but the event will no doubt be horrendous.
Although he taunts the United States by specifically inferring the target may be an American aircraft, this could only be a scare tactic, because the interview was merely for propaganda purposes. Subversive propaganda purposes that are designed to motivate Muslim fanatics around the world into carrying out violent acts against American soldiers and civilians. This unfortunately, is how people like Osama bin-Laden operate.
Click on the title to see the related ERRI story:
(c) Copyright, EmergencyNet NEWS Service, 1998. All Rights Reserved. Redistribution without prior permission of ERRI is prohibited by law.
Rogue Warrior - Richard Marcinko
Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK|
Osama Bin Laden is both one of the CIA's most wanted men, and a hero for many young people in the Arab world.
He and his associates are being sought by the US on charges of international terrorism, including in connection with the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Africa and this year's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
In May this year a US jury convicted four men believed to be linked with Mr. Bin Laden of plotting the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Mr. Bin Laden, an immensely wealthy and private man, has been granted a safe haven by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement.
During his time in hiding, he has called for a holy war against the US, and for the killing of Americans and Jews. He is reported to be able to rally around him up to 3,000 fighters.
He is also suspected of helping to set up Islamic training centres to prepare soldiers to fight in Chechnya and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
Sponsored by US and Pakistan
His power is founded on a personal fortune earned by his family's construction business in Saudi Arabia.
Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Mr. Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The Afghan Jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian.
While in Afghanistan, he founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army.
Egyptians, Lebanese, Turks and others - numbering thousands in Mr. Bin Laden's estimate - joined their Afghan Muslim brothers in the struggle against an ideology that spurned religion.
Turned against the US
After the Soviet withdrawal, the "Arab Afghans", as Mr. Bin Laden's faction came to be called, turned their fire against the US and its allies in the Middle East.
He spent the next five years in Sudan until US pressure prompted the Sudanese Government to expel him, whereupon Mr. Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan.
Terrorism experts say Mr. Bin Laden has been using his millions to fund attacks against the US.
The US State Department calls him "one of the most significant sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world today".
According to the US, Mr. Bin Laden was involved in at least three major attacks - the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 killing of 19 US soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
BBC correspondent James Robbins says Mr. Bin Laden had "all but admitted involvement" in the Saudi Arabia killings.
Some experts say he is part of an international Islamic front, bringing together Saudi, Egyptian and other groups.
Their rallying cry is the liberation of Islam's three holiest places - Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
The few outsiders who have met Osama Bin Laden describe him as modest, almost shy. He rarely gives interviews.
He is believed to be in his 40s, and to have at least three wives.
Osama Bin Laden's Vow: To Kill Americans
The threat, two months ago, was taken seriously: the State Department reinforced U.S. military bases and warned all Americans traveling in the Mideast to be extremely cautious.
U.S. troops will leave Saudi Arabia when Islamic terrorists send the bodies of American troops and civilians home in wooden boxes and coffins, Osama bin Laden vowed in an exclusive interview with ABCNEWS Correspondent John Miller.
We dont differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians. They are all targets in this fatwa.
Today, the United States struck at what it said were terrorist bases
linked to him.
He Organized a Terror Summit
A multi-millionaire who runs a private terror network of Islamic extremists from a hideaway in the mountains of Afghanistan, bin Laden threatened to attack American women and children as well as soldiers if necessary. He said his people were well-equipped, with an arsenal that includes surface-to-air missiles, and would strike within the next few weeks. One possible date: June 20, the anniversary of the bombing in al Khobar that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.
Osama bin Laden may be the most dangerous non-state terrorist in the world and we certainly have discussed that with the Saudis, who will take every precaution, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told ABCNEWS.
He Has a Global Reach
He is a role model for a lot of Islamic militants in the world today. I mean, his personal story is so compelling to them, says Cannistraro, an ABCNEWS consultant.
bin Laden, an exiled Saudi national who now enjoys the protection of Afghanistanâ€™s hard-line Taliban regime, says the Saudi royalty has committed a crime against Islam by allowing the U.S. military to occupy bases in Saudi Arabia. bin Laden has committed himselfâ€”and his considerable wealthâ€”to expelling all Americans and Jews from Muslim holy lands, and to overthrowing the Saudi royal family along the way.
A Track Record of Terror
U.S. intelligence officials believe bin Laden supplied the troops and rocket launchers that shot down U.S. helicopters in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 1993, killing 18 servicemen. They also believe he is behind the November 1995 bombing of a Saudi base in Riyadh that killed six Americans.
And he has been linked to Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing. Yousef was living in a guest house in Pakistan paid for by bin Laden at the time of his capturea connection that lead the FBI to investigate whether bin Laden was also the mysterious source of money behind the bombing. Yousef had access to money from several bank accounts that traced from Jersey City to Pakistan, and investigators are trying to tie bin Laden to those accounts.
When asked about the Riyadh bombing and other specific attacks, bin Laden refuses to answer directly. But he does praise the bombers: â€œWe look at these young men as great heroes and martyrs who followed the steps of the prophet, peace be upon him. We called and they answered.â€