Sunday, April 11, 2004

8-6 PDB Memo: Al Qaida not behind 1993 WTC Bombing?

Perhaps the most overlooked revelation contained in the August 6, 2001 PDB memo to President Bush is the implicit assertion by U.S. intelligence that Osama bin Laden was not behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Not exactly hidden in the memo's first two sentences: "reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of the World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and 'bring the fighting to America' [emphasis added]."

The memo's next sentence cites bin Laden telling followers "he wanted to retaliate in Washington," but only "[a]fter U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998."

Two sentences later, "[t]he millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S."

The WTC bombing took place in 1993. If bin Laden took four years to "follow the example" of the WTC bombers, and had not led them, who was behind the 1993 WTC bombing?

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