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Main article: 1990s

1992: Last Edition of Guide to Terrorist Passports for US Officials Published The CIA produces the last edition of its Redbook before 9/11. The Redbook is a manual written by the CIA for immigration officials; it helps the officials identify terrorists using telltale signs in their passports through commonalities among forged passports, travel cachets, and visas used by terrorists. The 1992 edition claims that more than “200 people carrying forged passports provided by terrorist groups have been identified before they could engage in terrorist acts.” Types of Fraud - It focuses on five types of travel document fraud committed by terrorists: forgeries of some 35 national passports and the travel cachets of at least 45 countries; forged documents terrorists purchase from commercial vendors; stolen blank passports, which terrorists can fill in with biographical data of their choosing; information on genuine altered passports that have been photo-substituted or given an extended validity date; and genuine, unaltered passports, most likely procured with the knowledge of the issuing country or through a corrupt government official. Reason for Discontinuance - The 9/11 Commission will say that the Redbook stops being published in 1992 due to “a lack of new exemplars,” but then add that there was plenty of “raw data” and a “rich trove of information on the travel tactics of terrorists” after this time. Citing an interview with an unnamed source, the commission will say that the CIA claimed it had no new data to analyze, as the FBI did not share what it gathered from its law enforcement investigations. However, the CIA did certainly obtain some new exemplars between 1992 and 9/11. For instance, it found some visa stamps, blank Egyptian birth certificates, and a forged passport in a June 1998 raid on extremists in Albania. Significance of Non-Publication - The commission will also note that the information contained in the Redbook is directly relevant to al-Qaeda’s travel tactics before 9/11: “From the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the disruption of the millennium plot in December 1999, information suggested that al-Qaeda continued to employ all five methods of document fraud first noted in the Redbook years earlier, along with some new methods of their own.” The commission will also highlight how important the failure to take advantage of the information contained in the Redbook will be: “In practical terms, this meant the United States denied itself the ability to disrupt terrorist operations and prevent undetected terrorist entries by disrupting operatives’ ability to travel.” Several of the 9/11 hijackers will have anomalies in their passports (see November 2, 2007). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 45-46, 61, 69, 102 ] Islamist radicals linked to the WTC bombings and fighting in Bosnia will obtain a copy of the Redbook at some point in the next three years (see 1995 or Before). Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

1992: Ali Mohamed Informs for FBI Again, Never Polygraphed Double agent Ali Mohamed, who became an informant for the FBI in 1990 (see 1990), apparently works as an FBI informant again, obtaining intelligence on some suspects at a San Jose, California, mosque. But he is never polygraphed, even though this is standard procedure. Retired FBI agent Joseph O’Brien will later complain, “One of the most unbelievable aspects of the Ali Mohamed story is that the Bureau could be dealing with this guy and they didn’t” polygraph him. “The first thing you do with any kind of asset or informant is you polygraph him and if the relationship continues, you make him submit to continued polygraphs down the line.” FBI agent John Zent becomes Mohamed’s handler. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 95-96] Apparently Mohamed will be given a polygraph test in 1993 and will fail it (see May 1993). Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ali Mohamed, Joseph O’Brien, John Zent Category Tags: Ali Mohamed, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy

1992: Al-Qaeda Allegedly Plans Bomb Attack Inside US Counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna will later claim in a book that al-Qaeda planned to bomb a target inside the US this year. Operatives plan to get explosives in Italy and ship them to the US via Cuba. However, the operation is aborted. Further details, such as what the target is or who is involved, are unknown. Gunaratna is known to have sources inside US intelligence and will claim the information came from the CIA, but it is unclear when the CIA may have first learned about this alleged plot. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 133] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Warning Signs

1992: Bin Laden Brought to Philippines by Government Hoping to Strengthen the Rebels It Is Fighting In 2002, it will be reported that a former head of the CIA station in Manilia, Philippines, alleges that Osama bin Laden comes to the Philippines personally this year at the invitation of the Philippine government. This CIA official claims, “Bin Laden presented himself as a wealthy Saudi who wanted to invest in Muslim areas and donate money to charity.” He was flown to the southern island of Mindanao by Philippine President Fidel Ramos. Bin Laden is not known as a notorious terrorist at the time, but it appears he actually is invited to help strengthen Abu Sayyaf and other rebel groups based in Mindanao fighting the Philippine government. A 2002 article calls this “an alleged plot” by Ramos “to manipulate Abu Sayyaf as a means of enhancing his personal political power.” [INSIGHT, 6/22/2002] There have been reports for years that the Philippine government has propped up Abu Sayyaf to split the Muslim militants in the southern Philippines and for other Machiavellian reasons (see for instance 1991-Early February 1995, 1994, and July 27-28, 2003). It has also been reported that bin Laden visited the southern Philippines around 1988 to set up operations there. This was before Abu Sayyaf was formed (see Early 1991), but he apparently met with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a larger rebel group in the same region. [SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 10/11/2001; CNN, 1/27/2002] Entity Tags: Abu Sayyaf, Philippines, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Fidel Ramos, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1992: Iran Opens Arms Smuggling Route to Bosnia Iran opens a weapons smuggling route to Bosnia with the assistance of Turkey. [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 178, 196-197] Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1992: Al-Qaeda Southeast Asian Affiliate Is Founded; Founding Member Is Indonesian Government Mole

Fauzi Hasbi. [Source: SBS Dateline] In 1992, the Southeast Asian Islamist militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is founded. It will eventually become known as al-Qaeda’s main affiliate in the region. Actually, many of its alleged founders, such as Abu Bakar Bashir, have been pressing Islamist militant causes for several decades, but with the creation of JI their efforts become more violent. Also in contrast to previous Islamist groups in the region, JI is deliberately set up as a military organization. One of the founding members of JI is Fauzi Hasbi, who has been an Indonesian government mole posing as a militant leader since the late 1970s (see 1979-February 22, 2003). Hasbi actually facilitates JI’s first major meeting, held in Bogor, Indonesia. For many years, he also lives in the same small Malaysian village as the top JI leaders, such as Bashir and Hambali (see April 1991-Late 2000). The Australian television program SBS Dateline will later comment: “The extraordinary story of Fauzi Hasbi raises many important questions about JI and the Indonesian authorities. Why didn’t they smash the terror group in its infancy?” Umar Abduh, an Indonesian Islamist convicted of terrorism and jailed for ten years, works with Hasbi. In 2005, he will claim that in retrospect he realizes that he and other militants were completely manipulated by the government. “[T]here is not a single Islamic group, either in the movement or the political groups that is not controlled by [Indonesian intelligence]. Everyone does what they say.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/27/2003; SBS DATELINE, 10/12/2005] Entity Tags: Jemaah Islamiyah, Fauzi Hasbi, Abu Bakar Bashir, Umar Abduh, Hambali Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Hambali, Indonesian Militant Collusion

1992-2000: Secret Continuity of Government Exercises Prepare for Terrorist Threat During the 1980s, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were regular participants in top-secret exercises, designed to test a program called Continuity of Government (COG) that would keep the federal government functioning during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (see 1981-1992). Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the COG exercises continue into the 1990s, being budgeted still at over $200 million per year. Exercises Prepare for Terrorist Attacks - Now, terrorists replace the Soviet Union as the imagined threat in the exercises. The terrorism envisaged is almost always state-sponsored, with the imagined terrorists acting on behalf of a government. According to journalist James Mann, the COG exercises are abandoned fairly early in the Clinton era, as the scenario is considered farfetched and outdated. However another journalist, Andrew Cockburn, suggests they continue for longer. Exercise Participants Are Republican Hawks - Cockburn adds that, while the “shadow government” created in the exercises had previously been drawn from across the political spectrum, now the players are almost exclusively Republican hawks. A former Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the program will later say: “It was one way for these people to stay in touch. They’d meet, do the exercise, but also sit around and castigate the Clinton administration in the most extreme way. You could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no idea what was going on.” [ATLANTIC MONTHLY, 3/2004; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 88] Richard Clarke Participates - A regular participant in these COG exercises is Richard Clarke, who on 9/11 will be the White House chief of counterterrorism (see (1984-2004)). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/7/2004; ABC NEWS, 4/25/2004] Although he will later come to prominence for his criticisms of the administration of President George W. Bush, some who have known him will say they consider Clarke to be hawkish and conservative (see May 22, 1998). [BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29/2004; US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 4/5/2004] The Continuity of Government plan will be activated, supposedly for the first time, in the hours during and after the 9/11 attacks (see (Between 9:45 a.m. and 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 3/1/2002] Entity Tags: Clinton administration, Andrew Cockburn, Richard A. Clarke, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, James Mann, US Department of Defense Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline, Civil Liberties Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Military Exercises

Early 1990s: Al-Qaeda Operative Running Training Camps in California Also Helping Militants in Bosnia War Khalil Deek, a US citizen and al-Qaeda operative mostly living in California, also works in Bosnia for the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), during the Bosnia war. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/17/2000] A secret 1996 CIA report will say, “The IARA office in Zagreb [Croatia] provides weapons to the Bosnian military, according to a clandestine source. The source claimed the office was controlled by officials of Sudan’s ruling party, the National Islamic Front.” [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 1/1996] The Wall Street Journal will later claim that the “US suspects [the IARA] was involved in smuggling fighters into Bosnia from among the mujaheddin.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/17/2000] Deek has a Bosnian passport. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 270] Some reports identify him as a US Army veteran. [ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY, 6/15/2006] Deek will later reportedly serve similar roles for al-Qaeda in Pakistan, helping to smuggle weapons (see May 2000) and direct recruits to militant training camps in Afghanistan (see 1998-December 11, 1999). While in Bosnia, he will get to know other al-Qaeda operatives later connected to various bomb plots (see January 2000). Around the same time that he is working in Bosnia, he is also being monitored by the FBI running militant training camps in California, but the FBI takes no action against him or his camps (see Early 1990s). Entity Tags: Khalil Deek, Islamic African Relief Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Khalil Deek, Terrorism Financing

1992: Militant Financial Front Said to Fund Terrorism Through Real Estate Investments in US

The Barnaby Knolls housing development, another Washington, DC, suburb funded by BMI Inc. [Source: Susan Biddle/ Washington Post] BMI Inc., is a New Jersey-based Muslim investment firm. Some of the lead investors have been suspected of supporting terrorism and other types of violence in the Middle East (see 1986-October 1999). In 1992, a branch of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a Saudi charity gives $2.1 million to BMI to invest in real estate. The money disappears from BMI’s books. By 1996, the CIA will secretly report that the IIRO supports terrorism financing in many locations around the world (see January 1996). In October 1999, BMI will go defunct after it is unable to repay this money to the IIRO branch. Additionally, the IIRO branch will give BMI over a million dollars between 1992 and 1998. BMI uses some money from the IIRO and other investors to build houses in Oxon Hill, a Washington, D.C., suburb. Many well to do Muslims invest in the housing development because BMI advertises itself as investing according to Islamic principles. Most of the small investors as well as the middle class Americans who buy the Oxon Hill houses do not realize that the profits from the property sales go to Mousa Abu Marzouk, a known leader of Hamas. Marzouk is said to make $250,000 in profits from BMI real estate deals in the early 1990s. In 2004, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement court declaration will assert that significant amounts of cash obtained from BMI by Marzouk is eventually used “in furtherance of Hamas terrorist operations.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 8/20/2003; WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/26/2004; WASHINGTON POST, 4/19/2004] By the end of 1992, BMI will have projected revenues in excess of $25 million based largely on their real estate investments in the US. [US CONGRESS, 10/22/2003] Entity Tags: Mousa Abu Marzouk, International Islamic Relief Organization, BMI Inc., Hamas Category Tags: Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing, BMI and Ptech

1992: Terrorists Have Started World War Four, Warns French Spy Chief in Prescient Book Count Alexandre de Marenches, the former head of France’s secret services for 11 years (1970-1981), publishes his last book, The Fourth World War: Diplomacy and Espionage in the Age of Terrorism (co-authored with journalist David A. Andelman). In addition to many cloak-and-dagger stories, the book warns that “the Fourth World War has already begun,” waged by “small, highly deadly units of terrorists,” and that Americans will eventually have to deal with terrorism at home. [DE MARENCHES AND ANDELMAN, 1992] One 1992 reviewer says, “These extreme views inadvertently cast some doubt on his judgment while running French intelligence.” [FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 12/1/1992] However, after 9/11, the expression “World War Four” is taken up by neoconservatives. In 2006, Tony Corn will write in Policy Review, “Back in 1992, the former head of the French Intelligence Service Alexandre de Marenches had already raised the specter of a ‘Fourth World War.’ In the aftermath of 9/11, the concept was given a new currency by former CIA Director James Woolsey and others, both in the US and abroad. So long as it is clearly understood that ‘World War IV-as-Fourth-Generation Warfare’ will not be a copycat either of War World II or the Cold War, it is indeed no exaggeration to speak in terms of a fourth World War.” [POLICY REVIEW, 1/2006; MACLEANS, 7/25/2006] Entity Tags: Alexandre de Marenches Timeline Tags: Neoconservative Influence Category Tags: Other Pre-9/11 Events

1992-2002: Violations of Prohibited Airspace over White House Frequent; Pilots Rarely Sanctioned According to a 2002 review of FAA records by the Associated Press, the prohibited airspace protecting the White House is violated at least 94 times during the years from 1992 to 2002. Most violations do not lead to significant sanctions against the offending pilots, usually just a letter of warning. [CBS NEWS, 4/4/2002] Category Tags: US Air Security

1992: Small Knives Used in Hijackings, FAA Memo Warns

Steve Elson. [Source: 911Report LLC] A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) internal memo warns that small knives have been used in hijackings. The memo states, “Small knives (blade length of four inches or less), the most frequently employed weapon to hijack aircraft (in the US), were used in three incidents.” Details of the memo will later be provided to the 9/11 Commission by Steve Elson, an FAA special agent for security. According to Elson, the memo is widely distributed to agency security officials. Elson will quit the FAA 1999 in frustration over lax security. [NEW YORK MAGAZINE, 9/24/2001; ELSON, 9/4/2003; SALON, 8/3/2004; LINDA ELLMAN, 2005; VILLAGE VOICE, 2/8/2005] By 9/11 it will still be legal to bring small knives onto planes (see July 8-August 30, 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Steve Elson Category Tags: US Air Security

Early 1990s: FBI Reportedly Aware of California Training Camps Run by Known Al-Qaeda Operative but Take No Action Al-Qaeda operative Khalil Deek runs military training camps in Southern California in the early 1990s. Those trained in the camps include followers of the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, and some of the people involved in the 1993 “Landmarks” plot (see June 24, 1993). Deek is a member of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell based in Orange County and has reportedly been under investigation by US intelligence since the late 1980s (see Late 1980s). Rita Katz, a private counterterrorism expert who sometimes works with US officials, will learn of these camps when speaking to an FBI agent in early 2002. According to Katz, she is told that the FBI had known about the camps for “years” but had not acted because of the “wall” between criminal and intelligence investigations. The FBI agent will tell Katz that the information about the camps was “Intel information. Unusable.” [KATZ, 2003, PP. 186-187] Deek also attracts attention for his suspected involvement with Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the militant group led by Abdul-Rahman, because of the group’s plans “to bomb a Masonic temple in Los Angeles.” [LA WEEKLY, 9/15/2005] Katz will conclude that “the FBI had learned that Deek was running military training camps for al-Qaeda in California and was planning to blow up various American targets. And the agency let these people go about their business undisturbed.” [KATZ, 2003, PP. 186-187] Around the same time, Deek also works in Bosnia for a charity suspected of funneling weapons and new recruits to the mujaheddin fighting there (see Early 1990s). In late 1999, Deek will be captured overseas for participation in a planned millennium bombing (see December 11, 1999). It will later be alleged that he was a mole for the Jordanian government (see Shortly After December 11, 1999). Entity Tags: Rita Katz, Khalil Deek, Al-Qaeda, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Omar Abdul-Rahman Category Tags: Warning Signs, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Khalil Deek, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy

Early 1990s: US Intelligence Monitoring Bin Laden in Sudan

Bin Laden’s house in Khartoum, Sudan. [Source: PBS] It has not been revealed when US intelligence begins monitoring bin Laden exactly, though the CIA was tailing him in Sudan by the end of 1991 (see February 1991- July 1992). But in late 1995 the FBI is given forty thick files on bin Laden from the CIA and NSA, mostly communications intercepts (see October 1995). The sheer amount of material suggests the surveillance had been going on for several years. Dan Coleman, an FBI agent working with the CIA’s bin Laden unit, will begin examining these files and finds that many of them are transcripts from wiretapped phones tied to bin Laden’s businesses in Khartoum, Sudan, where bin Laden lives from 1991 to 1996. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 148-149; WRIGHT, 2006, PP. 242-244] CIA Director George Tenet will later comment, “The then-obscure name ‘Osama bin Laden’ kept cropping up in the intelligence traffic.… [The CIA] spotted bin Laden’s tracts in the early 1990s in connection with funding other terrorist movements. They didn’t know exactly what this Saudi exile living in Sudan was up to, but they knew it was not good.” [TENET, 2007, PP. 100] The London Times will later report that in Sudan, “bin Laden used an $80,000 satellite phone and al-Qaeda members used radios to avoid being bugged…” [LONDON TIMES, 10/7/2001] Bin Laden is mistaken in his belief that satellite phones cannot be monitored; a satellite phone he buys in 1996 will be monitored as well (see November 1996-Late August 1998). Entity Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Osama bin Laden, Dan Coleman, Central Intelligence Agency, Alec Station, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Remote Surveillance, Osama Bin Laden

1992: Bin Laden’s Main Charity Front in US Turns Focus to Supporting Bosnian War

“A Call for Jihad in Bosnia” flyer published by the Al-Kifah Refugee Center’s Boston branch. [Source: Public domain] The Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, New York, is al-Qaeda’s main foothold in the US and most of the 1993 WTC bombers are closely tied to it. It had been formed in the 1980s to send militants to fight in Afghanistan and also help veteran fighters settle in the US (see 1986-1993). But the Afghanistan war against the Soviets ended in early 1989 and the winning factions soon began fighting amongst themselves (see February 15, 1989). But a new cause is on the horizon as Yugoslavia starts falling apart. By 1991, the center’s parent organization in Pakistan, Maktab al-Khidamat(MAK)/Al-Kifah begins setting up al-Qaeda charity fronts in the Bosnia region (see 1991). The main regional MAK/Al-Kifah branch in Zagreb, Croatia, is also called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center like the Brooklyn branch and has very close ties with that branch (see Early 1990s). In 1992, war breaks out in Bosnia (see April 6, 1992) and the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn shifts its focus fully to the Bosnia cause. For instance, the Boston branch publishes “A Call for Jihad in Bosnia.” It claims that more than 100,000 Bosnians had been killed and that thousands of Muslim girls had been kidnapped and kept in Yugoslav army camps for sex. It urges readers who wish “to provide the emerging jihad movement in Bosnia with more than food and shelter” to send their donations to Al-Kifah. And just as Al-Kifah led the effort to send US-based militants to fight in Afghanistan, it appears to do the same for Bosnia. Vanity Fair will later claim, “Dozens and perhaps hundreds of US residents are reported to have joined appeals to fight the Serbs in Bosnia.” [VANITY FAIR, 3/2005] The head of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center’s Zagreb branch, Kamer Eddine Kherbane, apparently is also one of the leaders of the mujaheddin fighters in Bosnia around this time (see 1990 and 1991). The CIA had ties to Al-Kifah during the Afghan war (see Late 1980s and After) and there is some circumstantial evidence of US government ties to it during the Bosnia war. In 1992, Ali Mohamed, a double agent and ex-US Special Forces officer with close ties to Al-Kifah, leads a group of US militants who are all ex-US soldiers to train and fight in Bosnia (see December 1992). Abu Ubaidah Yahya, an ex-US marine and security chief at the Brooklyn branch, will lead a second group of US militants to fight in Bosnia (see Spring 1993). Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Kamer Eddine Kherbane, Maktab al-Khidamat Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

1992-1996: KSM Lives in Qatar with Government Protection Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) lives in Qatar during these years. He is invited there by Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Religious Affairs at the time. He works on a farm owned by al-Thani and lives in the open, not even bothering to use an alias. He works as a project engineer for the government. One US official will later recall that al-Thani “has this farm and he always had a lot of people around, the house was always overstaffed, a lot of unemployed Afghan Arabs…. There were always these guys hanging around and maybe a couple of Kalashnikovs [machine guns] in the corner.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 12/22/2002] KSM continues to plot and travel extensively, including a 1995 trip to fight in Bosnia with the trip’s expenses paid for by al-Thani. Apparently the CIA becomes aware that KSM is living there in 1995 and is also already aware of his role in the 1993 WTC bombing and the Bojinka plot (see October 1995). KSM will finally have to leave his Qatar base after his presence becomes too well known in early 1996 (see January-May 1996). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 12/22/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 147, 488] KSM will return to Qatar occasionally, even staying there with the knowledge of some Qatari royals for two weeks after 9/11 (see Late 2001). Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Other Government-Militant Collusion

1992-1993: US Officials Work with Afghan Mujaheddin to Fight for Government of Azerbaijan Gary Best, an American working under the cover of an apparently phony oil company named MEGA Oil, arranges for several high level US military officers and Special Forces operatives to work for the government of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is involved in a number of local disputes, especially with Armenia. The Americans include General Richard Secord, who was heavily involved in the Iran-Contra Affair, and General Harry “Heini” Aderholt. Aderholt advises the Azeris to file a formal request with the US for a mobile training team, even though the request would not be granted. “Then I told them to start shopping around the private sector for advisors to do the same thing.” The project ends in disaster. The top US military advisors, including Secord and Aderholt, drop out because the Azeris do not follow their advice. With the help of Gary Best and US Special Forces operatives, the Azeris import hundreds of Afghan mujaheddin as mercenaries. As in Bosnia (see 1993-1995), the mujaheddin prove to be unreliable and uncontrollable. In November of 1993 an offensive by the Azeri army, relying heavily on mercenaries, takes a terrible beating in Armenia. [GOLTZ, 1999, PP. 270-279, 432] Entity Tags: Harry “Heini” Aderholt, Richard Secord, Gary Best Timeline Tags: Iran-Contra Affair Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

1992-1993: Key Al-Qaeda Charity Front Relocates to US

A map of where BIF operates. Taken from the BIF website, the date of the map is unknown. [Source: BIF] (click image to enlarge) In 1987, Saudi millionaire Adel Batterjee founds the Islamic Benevolence Committee, a charity front supporting the mujaheddin in Afghanistan. In 1998, bin Laden’s brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa founds the Benevolence International Corporation export-import company in the Philippines to support militant groups there. In 1992, the two groups merge and create a new Saudi charity called the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). BIF funds charity projects, but its 1999 mission statement says its purpose is to make “Islam supreme on this earth,” and it funds radical militants as well. In 1992, it moves its headquarters to Florida in the US. Then, in 1993, it moves its headquarters again to Chicago. Battargee is replaced as head of the organization by Enaam Arnaout, but Battargee maintains a behind the scenes role. Arnaout fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s and in fact in 1988 the Arab News published a picture of Arnaout and bin Laden together at a mujaheddin camp in Afghanistan. Mohammed Loay Bayazid, a US citizen and one of the founder members of al-Qaeda, is made president of BIF. BIF mostly funds regions where Islamist militants are fighting, especially Bosnia and Chechnya. [BURR AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 45-46] In 1993, bin Laden will privately name BIF as one of al-Qaeda’s three most important charity fronts (see 1993). The US will designate BIF a terrorism financier in 2002 (see March 2002) and will similarly designate Batterjee in 2004 (see December 21, 2004). Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Benevolence International Foundation, Adel Abdul Jalil Batterjee, Mohammed Loay Bayazid, Enaam Arnaout Category Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism Financing, BIF, Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

1992-1995: Pentagon Helps Bring Islamic Militants to Fight with Bosnians Against Serbs The Pentagon helps bring thousands of mujaheddin and other Islamic militants from Central Asia into Europe to fight alongside the Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs. [WIEBES, 2003; SPECTATOR, 9/6/2003] Bin Laden plays a key organizing role. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/7/2001] As a result, the Balkans become a “safe haven” and “staging area” for Islamist terrorism. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/30/1995; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/7/2001] Category Tags: US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy, Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1992-1996: Bin Laden Attacks US Interests Using Sudanese Base

Bin Laden (center) being feted by Sudanese leaders. [Source: CBC] (click image to enlarge) With a personal fortune of around $250 million (estimates range from $50 to $800 million [MIAMI HERALD, 9/24/2001] ), Osama bin Laden begins plotting attacks against the US from his new base in Sudan. The first attack kills two tourists in Yemen at the end of 1992. [NEW YORKER, 1/24/2000] The CIA learns of his involvement in that attack in 1993, and learns that same year that he is channeling money to Egyptian extremists. US intelligence also learns that by January 1994 he is financing at least three militant training camps in North Sudan. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/14/1996; PBS FRONTLINE, 2001; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Warning Signs, Other Government-Militant Collusion

1992-1995: KSM Fights and Fundraises in Bosnia Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) fights and fundraises in Bosnia. The 9/11 Commission will later state, “In 1992, KSM spent some time fighting alongside the mujaheddin in Bosnia and supporting that effort with financial donations.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 147] He reportedly fights with the elite El Mujahid battalion, and gains Bosnian citizenship. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 281] He also works for Egypitska Pomoc, an Egyptian aid group in Zenica, Bosnia, and in 1995 becomes one of its directors. [PLAYBOY, 6/1/2005] KSM mostly lives in Qatar for the next three years (see 1992-1996), but in 1995 he is back fighting in Bosnia as the violence escalates that year. Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Religious Affairs, underwrites the costs of the trip. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 12/22/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 147, 488] This second trip to Bosnia means that KSM fights there at the same time as 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, though it is not known if they meet (see 1993-1999). The FBI will later suspect that KSM helped build a bomb used to blow up a police station in neighboring Croatia while KSM was in the area (see October 20, 1995). Entity Tags: El Mujahid battalion, Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Egypitska Pomoc, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Other Government-Militant Collusion

Early 1990s: Al-Kifah’s Bosnia War Branch Is Connected to Terrorist Attacks and Brooklyn Office

Fateh Kamel. [Source: Radio Canada] The Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn has an office in Zagreb, Croatia, also called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, and the links between the two are very close. Both are connected to Maktab al-Khidamat/Al-Kifah in Pakistan, which is an al-Qaeda charity front. Hassan Hakim, deputy director of the Zagreb office, says his office is linked only to the Brooklyn office. This is important because the Zagreb office is closely involved in assisting mujaheddin in the Bosnian war and the Brooklyn office is closely linked to the CIA, suggesting the CIA could be assisting the Bosnia mujaheddin through the relationship between Brooklyn and Zagreb offices. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/3/1993; KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 41] The Zagreb office will remain open after the Brooklyn office is closed in the wake of the 1993 WTC bombing (see February 26, 1993), as all of the bombers were connected to that office. A Washington Post journalist who visits it in August 1993 describes it as being “housed in a modern, two-story building staffed by Arabs who identified themselves as Algerians.” [WASHINGTON POST, 8/3/1993] Like the Brooklyn office, the Zagreb office appears to be staffed with many militants involved in illegal activities:

Fateh Kamel will reportedly be involved in many attacks and is considered a leader for Ahmed Ressam, who will attempt to bomb the Los Angeles airport (see December 14, 1999). 
Lionel Dumont is involved in numerous al-Qaeda plots, even as far afield as Japan. 
Hocine Senoussaoui is connected with Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and the GIA and will be arrested in France in 1996. [KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 164, 186, 189, 195] 
Kamar Eddine Kherbane, head of the Zagreb office, is a known al-Qaeda operative as well as a leader of an Algerian extremist group, and allegedly will be involved in the 9/11 attacks (see September 18-20, 2001). 
Hassan Hakim. A 1996 CIA report will say that he is a senior member of Algerian extremist groups and was arrested in France for weapons smuggling in July 1994. 
In 1996, a CIA report will say that an Algerian national connected to the Zagreb office is “preparing for an unspecified terrorist attack in Europe…” [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 1/1996]

Entity Tags: Lionel Dumont, Hocine Senoussaoui, Hassan Hakim, Kamer Eddine Kherbane, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Fateh Kamel, Maktab al-Khidamat Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

1992-1995: Yemeni Sheikh Allegedly Helps Supply Recruits and Funds For Bosnian War Yemeni Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad helps funnel Islamist warriors to Bosnia for al-Qaeda from 1992 through 1995, prosecutors will allege during his 2004-2005 trial. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/10/2005] At the trial, a “protected” Croatian witness will testify that al-Moayad is involved in laundering $800-$900 million from a Saudi charitable organization through the Croatian Zagrebacka Bank. The stated purpose of these funds is to aid Muslim refugees from the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, but 90 percent of this money actually goes to al-Qaeda guerrillas fighting on the Bosnian Muslim side. [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 9/21/2005] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Yemeni Militant Collusion

1992-1993: Suspected CIA Operative Has Ties to Philippine Militant Leaders Michael Meiring, a suspected CIA operative connected to Philippine militant groups (see May 16, 2002), first comes to the Philippines and lives there for a year. According to a later report by the Manila Times, Meiring lives in the capital of Manila and is frequently seen with two agents of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Yet at the same time he is believed to have ties with the top leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which, together with the Abu Sayyaf, are the main Muslim militant groups in the southern Philippines. “Meiring’s connections with rebel leaders made the military wary about him. He was under surveillance by more than one intelligence unit on more than one occasion.” One close US friend later claims that in 1992 Meiring said he had found and sold a box full of US Federal Reserve notes worth more than $500 million. It is believed that he spends millions of dollars while in the Philippines. [MANILA TIMES, 5/29/2002] (There appear to have been frequent scams in the Philippines involving millions and even billions of dollars of fraudulent US Federal Reserve notes.) [TIME, 2/26/2001] Meiring, a former citizen of South Africa, fled to the US when he became the subject of an investigation toward the end of South Africa’s apartheid regime. He then became a US citizen. Meiring is connected to a group of treasure hunters led by James Rowe, an American. Rowe connects with a group of right-wing white supremacists linked to the US neo-Nazi party. In 1993, Meiring and Rowe travel to the Philippines together. [MANILA TIMES, 5/30/2002] Meiring will come and go between the US and the Philippines for the next ten years, claiming to be a treasure hunter. In 2002 he will be severely injured by a bomb he is trying to make and will be whisked out of the Philippines by US officials (see May 16, 2002) and December 2, 2004). Philippine officials have observed other right-wing Americans with ties to Muslim militants starting in the early 1990s (see Early 1990s and After). [MANILA TIMES, 5/29/2002] Entity Tags: National Bureau of Investigation, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, James Rowe, Michael Meiring Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

Early 1992: Yousef Plans WTC Bombing at Militant Base in Philippines Al-Qaeda bomber Ramzi Yousef plans the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (see February 26, 1993) at an Abu Sayyaf base in the Philippines. Yousef will admit this during his trial for the bombing after his 1995 arrest. He says he plotted there with “Afghans”—other veterans of the war in Afghanistan during the 1980s. [LABEVIERE, 1999, PP. 220-221] It isn’t known when he did this exactly, but reports place him in the Philippines with the Abu Sayyaf for much of early 1992 (see December 1991-May 1992) before his trip to the US in September 1992 (see September 1, 1992), so it most likely took place then. It will later come to light that the Abu Sayyaf militant group is deeply penetrated by the Philippine government at this time, as even the second in command of the group is an undercover operative (see 1991-Early February 1995). It is not known if the Philippine government gave the US any warning about Yousef’s activities. Entity Tags: Abu Sayyaf, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Philippine Militant Collusion, Ramzi Yousef, Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

January 1992-Summer 1993: Texas Arrest Could Help Investigators Link WTC Bombers to Bin Laden In January 1992, Wadih El-Hage is briefly arrested and detained by police in Arlington, Texas, for a traffic violation. Police records show the driver of the car is Marwan Salama. From late 1992 until about a month before the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993 (see February 26, 1993), more than two dozen calls were placed from phones used by the bombers to an Arlington number used by Salama. Salama is never charged with any crime and continues to live in the US at least through late 1998. [DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/28/1998] Several months later, El-Hage moves to Sudan to work as bin Laden’s personal secretary. He registers his presence there with the US consulate. [JACQUARD, 2002, PP. 80] US intelligence began investigating El-Hage in 1991 for links to both a murder and an assassination in the US (see March 1991), and in the summer of 1993 one of the WTC bombers reveals his links to El-Hage (see Summer 1993). Presumably, links can be drawn between the bombers and El-Hage working for bin Laden in Sudan, but it is unknown if that link is made. Entity Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Marwan Salama Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Wadih El-Hage, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

1992-January 1993: Future Democratic 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Leads Cover-up of Republican Plot In 1992, a House of Representatives task force chaired by Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton conducts a ten-month investigation into the “October Surprise”—an alleged Republican plot to delay the release of US hostages held in Iran in 1980 until after that year’s US presidential election. The investigation concludes in 1993 that there is “no credible evidence” of any such plot. But Robert Parry, a journalist writing for the Associated Press and Newsweek, gains access to the stored records of Hamilton’s task force. He finds clear evidence of a major cover up. For instance, William Casey, CIA Director in the early 1980s, was alleged to have been involved in the plot, and Hamilton’s investigators discovered a CIA created index of Casey’s papers made after Casey’s death in 1987. When investigators searched Casey’s possessions, they found all the papers mentioned in the index, except for all the ones relevant to the alleged October Surprise plot. But the disappearance of such evidence was not mentioned in Hamilton’s findings. [SCOTT, 2007, PP. 101] In addition, an official Russian intelligence report placing Casey in Europe in order to arrange a politically favorable outcome to the hostage crisis arrived in Washington shortly before Hamilton’s task force issued their conclusions, but this Russian information was not mentioned by the task force. [SCOTT, 2007, PP. 106-107] Hamilton will later be appointed co-chair of the 9/11 Commission (see December 11, 2002). Entity Tags: William Casey, Robert Parry, Lee Hamilton Category Tags: 9/11 Commission

January 11, 1992: Islamic Party’s Election in Algeria Upended by Army Coup; Years of Violence Ensue

A large rally for the FIS on January 9, 1992, in Algiers, Algeria. [Source: Gyori Antoine / Corbis] Starting in 1989, the Algerian government allows political reform and elections. The country has been ruled by one party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), since independence. In June 1990, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won by large margins in local elections. Journalist Jonathan Randal will later comment that “the outcome was more a massive no-confidence vote against the corrupt, incompetent, and self-satisfied secular establishment than an endorsement of an Islamic republic.” In legislative elections in December 1991, the FIS wins again. They seem poised to win a runoff election one month later that would put them in power. But on January 11, 1992, the army stages a coup, overthrowing President Chadli Benjedid and canceling the runoff elections. Within months, the FIS is banned, its local officials elected in 1990 are removed from office, and tens of thousands of suspected sympathizers imprisoned and often tortured. Radical Islamists go underground and launch a number of violent militant groups. Over 150,000 will die over the next decade. [RANDAL, 2005, PP. 165-167] Entity Tags: Chadli Benjedid, National Liberation Front, Islamic Salvation Front Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion

Shortly After January 11, 1992: US Tacitly Supports Algerian Government’s Cancellation of Elections After the junta ruling Algeria suspends elections and declares martial law (see January 11, 1992), the US decides to tacitly support the junta’s actions. Islamist groups were poised to take power. Secretary of State James Baker will later explain, “We pursued a policy of excluding the radical fundamentalists in Algeria even as we recognized that this was somewhat at odds with our support of democracy.” A State Department report will later comment that the US supported the Algerian junta with “something of a wink and a nod.” Algeria will become embroiled in a civil war and the Algerian government’s crackdown on opponents will become increasingly brutal, but the US will continue to support the junta. [DREYFUSS, 2005, PP. 315-316] Entity Tags: Algeria, US Department of State, James Baker Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion

January 21, 1992: US Ambassador Says US Is Trying to Break Up Yugoslavia

Warren Zimmerman. [Source: BBC] The official US policy at this time is that the US in working to keep Yugoslavia together. But in an interview with a Croatian newspaper, US ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmerman says, “We are aiming for a dissolution of Yugoslavia into independent states peacefully…” [DANAS, 1/21/1992] Entity Tags: Warren Zimmerman Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

February 1992: Soviet Puppet Government Ousted in Afghanistan Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah, a Soviet puppet in power since 1988, is finally ousted by Ahmed Shah Massoud in February 1992. US aid to the mujaheddin continues during this period, but at a lower level. There are disagreements about which leaders should be receiving support. The CIA favors Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an extreme Islamist closely associated with bin Laden (see 1983), while the State Department favors the much more Westernized and well educated Massoud. [COLL, 2004, PP. 205-207, 225] Entity Tags: Ahmed Shah Massoud, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mohammad Najibullah Timeline Tags: War in Afghanistan Category Tags: Soviet-Afghan War

February 1992-February 7, 1995: Ramzi Yousef’s Stay at Pakistani Guesthouse Links Him to Bin Laden

Apparently the bin Laden guest house where Yousef lived. [Source: National Geographic] According to Pakistani investigators, Ramzi Yousef spends most of this time at the Beit Ashuhada guesthouse (translated as House of Martyrs) in Peshawar, Pakistan, which is funded by Osama bin Laden. Pakistani investigators reveal this bin Laden-Yousef connection to US intelligence in March 1995. The CIA will publicly reveal this in 1996. [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 1996 ; TENET, 2007, PP. 100] While living there, Yousef receives help and financing from two unnamed senior al-Qaeda representatives. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 47] Yousef will be arrested at another nearby bin Laden safe house in February 1995 (see February 7, 1995) with bin Laden’s address found in his pocket. [LONDON TIMES, 10/18/1997] During these years, Yousef takes long trips to the US in preparation of the WTC bombing (see February 26, 1993) and the Philippines, where several plots are developed (see January 6, 1995). He also uses an al-Qaeda influenced mosque in Milan, Italy, as a logistical base (see 1995-1997). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Ramzi Yousef, Pakistan and the ISI


February 23-March 18, 1992: US Discourages Bosnian Muslim Leader from Signing Agreement to Avoid War In a meeting held in Lisbon by the European Community, top Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, top Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, and top Bosnian Croat leader Stepan Klujic sign an agreement to partition Bosnia into three ethnically based divisions which would form a loosely joined independent confederation. But the New York Times will later report, “A few days later, influenced by what he saw as an encouraging conversation with Warren Zimmermann, the United States ambassador, [Izetbegovic] changed his mind.” The Bosnian Muslims and Croats then quickly hold a referendum on the issue of Bosnian independence which passes by 99 percent on March 1, but the Bosnian Serbs boycott the vote. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2003] Then, on March 18, the same three leaders hold another meeting in Lisbon and again agree to the partition plan. But the New York Times will report a year later, “On returning to Sarajevo, Mr. Izetbegovic was encouraged by United States and European Community diplomats to choose instead a sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina under his presidency, saying that was justified by the referendum on March 1 on independence.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/17/1993] War will break out one month later (see April 6, 1992). The final agreement at the end of the war three years later will closely resemble the agreement almost signed before it began (see December 14, 1995). Entity Tags: Alija Izetbegovic, Radovan Karadzic, Stepan Klujic, Warren Zimmermann Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

March 1992: Bosnian Mafia Figure Negotiates Arms Deals between Turkey and Bosnia Muhammed Cengic, who has close ties to Bosnian intelligence, negotiates a military cooperation agreement with Turkey. According to Prof. Cees Wiebes, the agreement ostensibly involves Turkish purchases of Bosnian arms, but “it is reasonable to assume that the Turkish-Bosnian arms traffic in reality went in the opposite direction.” The Cengic family is very powerful in Bosnia. Western intelligence sources describe them as “Mafia.” [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 178-179] The clan also includes Hasan Cengic, who is one of the key figures in the Third World Relief Agency charity front and illegal weapons pipeline (see Mid-1991-1996). Entity Tags: Muhammed Cengic Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

March 8, 1992: Raw US World Dominance Plan Is Leaked to the Media

The New York Times headline on March 8, 1992. [Source: Public domain] The Defense Planning Guidance, “a blueprint for the department’s spending priorities in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,” is leaked to the New York Times. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/8/1992; NEWSDAY, 3/16/2003] The document causes controversy, because it hadn’t yet been “scrubbed” to replace candid language with euphemisms. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/10/1992; NEW YORK TIMES, 3/11/1992; OBSERVER, 4/7/2002] The document argues that the US dominates the world as sole superpower, and to maintain that role, it “must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/8/1992; NEW YORK TIMES, 3/8/1992] As the Observer summarizes it, “America’s friends are potential enemies. They must be in a state of dependence and seek solutions to their problems in Washington.” [OBSERVER, 4/7/2002] The document is mainly written by Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who hold relatively low posts at the time, but become deputy defense secretary and Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, respectively, under George W. Bush. [NEWSDAY, 3/16/2003] The authors conspicuously avoid mention of collective security arrangements through the United Nations, instead suggesting the US “should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/8/1992] They call for “punishing” or “threatening punishment” against regional aggressors before they act. [HARPER'S, 10/2002] Interests to be defended preemptively include “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to US citizens from terrorism.” The section describing US interests in the Middle East states that the “overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region’s oil…, deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect US nationals and property, and safeguard… access to international air and seaways.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/8/1992] Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) later says, “It is my opinion that [George W. Bush’s] plan for preemptive strikes was formed back at the end of the first Bush administration with that 1992 report.” [NEWSDAY, 3/16/2003] In response to the controversy, US releases an updated version of the document in May 1992, which stresses that the US will work with the United Nations and its allies. [WASHINGTON POST, 5/24/1992; HARPER'S, 10/2002] Entity Tags: Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Lincoln Chafee, Soviet Union, United States Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, US International Relations, Neoconservative Influence Category Tags: US Dominance

March 15, 1992: UN Troops Arrive in Bosnia just before War UN forces begin arriving in Bosnia, where they make their regional headquarters in the capital of Sarajevo. The UN troops are moving into the region in an attempt to keep the peace between Croatian and Serb forces fighting in neighboring Croatia. But within a month, war will break out in Bosnia and the UN troops will find themselves involved there as well (see April 6, 1992). [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/15/1992] US troops will soon be forced to withdraw from Bosnia, but are able to establish a truce in Croatia. [NEW YORK TIMES, 5/31/1992] Entity Tags: United Nations Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

April 1992: US Recognizes Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia; EU Recognizes Bosnia The United States recognizes the states of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia. The European Union, which has already recognized Croatia and Slovenia, recognizes Bosnia. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 12/6/1995] Entity Tags: European Union, United States Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

After April 6, 1992: CIA Paramilitary Fights in Bosnia CIA paramilitary contractor Billy Waugh fights in Bosnia. Details of his actions, the other members of his team, and the actual operations are unknown, but in his 2004 autobiography Waugh will say, “I saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, conducting operations I cannot discuss.” [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004, PP. 307] This may occur during the Bosnian Civil War, at which time no US troops are officially involved in combat in Bosnia. [NATO REVIEW, 9/2005] Alternatively, according to Time magazine, during the mid and late 1990s CIA paramilitaries hunt Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, so Waugh may be part of this operation. [TIME, 2/3/2003] Waugh is a covert operations legend—his career began in Vietnam and will end in Afghanistan in 2002, by which time he is in his 70s. [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004] Entity Tags: Billy Waugh, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

April 6, 1992: Bosnia Declares Independence; War between Bosnia and Serbia Begins

Territory controlled around the start of the war. White represents the Bosnian Serbs while gray represents Bosnian Muslims and Croats. [Source: Time / Cowan, Castello, Glanton] Bosnia declares independence from Yugoslavia (which is now mostly made up of Serbia). The Bosnian Serbs immediately declare their own separate state, but remain closely tied to Serbia. War between Bosnia and Serbia begins immediately, adding to the existing war between Croatia and Serbia. Within days, the US recognizes the states of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia. The European Union, which has already recognized Croatia and Slovenia, recognizes Bosnia as well. Serbia immediately gains the upper hand and within a month Serbian forces surround most of the area around the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 12/6/1995; TIME, 12/31/1995; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2003] Entity Tags: Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

Shortly After April 6, 1992: Mujaheddin Begin Arriving in Bosnia to Fight against Serbs Soon after Bosnian Muslims declare independence from Yugoslavia (see April 6, 1992), Muslim volunteers from all of the Muslim world come to help fight against the Bosnian Serbs. These volunteers are generally known as the mujaheddin, just as they were in the 1980s war in Afghanistan (and many fought there as well). A military analyst will later call them “pretty good fighters and certainly ruthless.” However, their numbers are small, never reaching more than 4,000 (see 1993-1995). In an interview shortly after 9/11, Richard Holbrooke, Balkans peace negotiator for the US, will say, “I think the Muslims wouldn’t have survived without” help from the mujaheddin. But he will also call their help “a pact with the devil” from which Bosnia is still recovering. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/7/2001] Entity Tags: Richard Holbrooke Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

April 24-September 1, 1992: WTC Bombers Have Numerous Links to Al-Kifah Charity Front On April 24, 1992, Houston pizza deliveryman Ahmad Ajaj and San Antonio cabdriver Ibrahim Ahmad Suleiman fly together from Texas to Pakistan. Suleiman is a Texas contact of the al-Kifah Refugee Center, the Brooklyn-based Islamist militant organization linked to both the CIA and al-Qaeda (see 1986-1993). Suleiman had begun raising funds for the Afghan war in Texas in the late 1980s, and acquaintances said he traveled to Pakistan several times, carrying a briefcase full of cash to fund the mujaheddin fighting in Afghanistan. When they arrive in Pakistan, they stay at a hostel in Peshawar, near the Afghanistan border, known as the Abdullah Azzam House. Named after Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam, this hostel is owned by al-Kifah and also houses its Pakistan headquarters. Ajaj and Suleiman stay there off and on over the next several months. Al-Qaeda bomber Ramzi Yousef also sometimes stays there during the same months. Ajaj also allegedly receives explosives training at an Afghanistan training camp with Yousef. His letter of introduction to the camp is signed by an Azzam House official. On September 1, 1992, Ajaj and Yousef arrive together in New York City on a flight from Pakistan. Ajaj is carrying some bomb manuals; investigators will later find the fingerprints of Ajaj, Yousef, and Suleiman on them. Both men are carrying identification cards that give the PO box number in Tucson, Arizona, that matches an al-Kifah branch there. Ajaj is briefly detained at the airport, but Yousef is allowed to go. [DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/8/1997] He gets into a taxi and tells the taxi driver to drive him to the building that houses the al-Qaeda headquarters in Brooklyn as well as the closely associated Al Farooq mosque, led at the time by the “Blind Shiekh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. [LANCE, 2003] Ajaj and Yousef will later be sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the 1993 WTC bombing (see February 26, 1993). Suleiman will only be sentenced to 10 months in prison for lying to a grand jury about his travels with Ajaj. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/25/1998] A CIA internal report will conclude the agency is “partly culpable” for the WTC bombing, mainly due to its support for al-Kifah (see January 24, 1994). Entity Tags: Ahmad Ajaj, Abdullah Azzam, Ramzi Yousef, Ibrahim Ahmad Suleiman, Al-Kifah Refugee Center Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef, 1993 WTC Bombing, Al-Kifah/MAK

May 1992-Spring 1993: ISI Helps Ramzi Yousef Travel, Then Helps Him Avoid Capture

Ramzi Yousef’s passport photo. [Source: National Geographic] Ramzi Yousef gets considerable help from the Pakistani ISI. When Yousef returns to Pakistan on May 15, 1992, he uses an Iraqi passport bearing a visa issued by the Pakistani embassy in Baghdad. However, the seal on the visa is not the official one and the signature of the visa officer is faked. A senior US intelligence official will later say, “Yousef was developing high-level contacts in Pakistani intelligence through his links with bin Laden, mainly in the ISI. It’s a dirty mess. They facilitated much of his travel. Getting airport officials to turn a blind eye to his travel would have been nothing. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 136-137] Then, on August 31, 1992, Yousef and Ahmed Ajaj are able to fly from Pakistan to the US despite lacking the proper papers to leave Pakistan. US intelligence officials will later claim senior ISI officials helped Yousef enter the US. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 139] When Ramzi Yousef’s Pakistani immigration records are checked after the WTC bombing, it is discovered his embarkation card and other documents had mysterious disappeared. ISI agents had access to the room where the records were stored. The FBI later gives the Pakistani government the names of Pakistani officials they suspect were colluding with terrorists, but apparently it is never discovered for sure who helped Yousef. One US investigator will later say, “Bin Laden had friends in the ISI who had funded him during the war in Afghanistan. The same contacts were cultivated by Yousef and members of his family.” [REEVE, 1999, PP. 48-49] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Ahmad Ajaj, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Pakistan and the ISI

May 1992: CIA Analysis Ignored by US Officials Opposed to Intervening in Bosnia War At the outset of the war in Bosnia, a small three- or four-man team from the CIA and National Security Agency determine from satellite images that the Serb’s artillery guns are in vulnerable positions and can be easily “eliminated in one single day of air strikes-right at the start of the siege.” When a diplomat who is working with the team sends word of this to Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Tom Niles, the intelligence is ignored by US officials who do not want to US to get militarily involved. Two months later, officials from the Pentagon and CIA will incorrectly tell the Senate foreign relations committee that striking Serbian artillery positions would be impossible because of the dense forests and mountainous terrain. The diplomat will later take his story to the Guardian, suggesting that claims the Bosnian War was unexpected by US intelligence were without merit and that the Senate Committee was deliberately misled. [GUARDIAN, 5/20/1995] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Tom Niles, National Security Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

May-December 1992: Alleged Hijackers’ Associate Linked to Islamic Militant Organization US authorities discover a connection between Osama Basnan, who is later alleged to associate with 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi (see April 1998 and December 4, 1999), and Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ). The US will connect EIJ to bin Laden in 1996 and the FBI will become aware that a high-level EIJ member sits on al-Qaeda’s Shura council. The State Department gives the FBI a box of documents recovered from an abandoned car in May 1992. The documents are in Arabic and one of them is a newsletter addressed to EIJ supporters reporting news about the EIJ council. The newsletter is marked “confidential.” In addition, the box contains letters addressed to Basnan discussing plans to import used cars into the US. The FBI opens a counterterrorism investigation on the EIJ, but finds little, closing it in December of the same year. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 176-7 ] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Osama Basnan, Eritrean Islamic Jihad Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Bayoumi and Basnan Saudi Connection

May 30, 1992: UN Imposes Economic Sanctions on Serbia The US Security Council votes to impose tough sanctions on Yugoslavia, which effectively refers to Serbia since most other Yugoslav republics have declared independence. The embargo requires all the countries of the world to cease trading in any commodity, including oil, and to freeze all its foreign assets. All air traffic links are suspended as well. Sales of medicine and food are exempted. The sanctions are meant to pressure Serbia to agree to a cease fire in the war in Bosnia. [NEW YORK TIMES, 5/31/1992] Entity Tags: United Nations Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

June 4, 1992: FBI Investigates Ties Between George W. Bush and Saudi Money

James Bath. [Source: Time Life Images] The FBI investigates connections between James Bath and George W. Bush, according to published reports. Bath is Salem bin Laden’s official representative in the US. Bath’s business partner contends that, “Documents indicate that the Saudis were using Bath and their huge financial resources to influence US policy,” since George W. Bush’s father is president. George W. Bush denies any connections to Saudi money. What becomes of this investigation is unclear, but no charges are ever filed. [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/4/1992] Entity Tags: James Bath, Federal Bureau of Investigation, George W. Bush, Salem bin Laden Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden Family, Terrorism Financing

Early July 1992: FBI Fires Informant Who Has Penetrated WTC Bombing Group

Emad Salem. [Source: National Geographic] In mid-June 1992, FBI informant Emad Salem talks to El Sayyid Nosair, who is in prison for killing Zionist leader Rabbi Meir Kahane (see November 5, 1990). Nosair and an associate of his named Ali Shinawy reveal to Salem that their group (all of whom are close to Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman) is plotting to set off bombs at twelve “Jewish locations” in New York City, including temples and banks. A few days later, Nossair’s cousin Ibrahim El-Gabrowny introduces Salem to “Dr. Rashid,” which is an alias for Clement Rodney Hampton-El, although Salem does not know that yet. “Dr. Rashid” says he is unable to get the remote bomb detonators the group wants, but he can get already assembled pipe bombs for about $1,000 apiece, and guns. Salem and Shinawy agree to find a warehouse where they can build the bombs. Salem tells all of this to his FBI handlers Louis Napoli and John Anticev, but their boss, Carson Dunbar, insists that Salem has to wear a wire so they can record conversations in order to get the evidence to make a convincing court case against the plotters. But Salem, who is only being paid $500 a week to inform for the FBI, refuses to wear a wire, saying it is too dangerous. The FBI had been able to corroborate most of Salem’s information through their own surveillance such as the monitoring of Nosair’s calls from prison. But even though Salem is easily the FBI’s best source of information on Abdul-Rahman’s group, the FBI fires Salem in early July 1991. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 70-75] The FBI had a long tradition of having pure intelligence agents who did not wear wires. One FBI source will later note that the FBI could have easily gotten what they needed to make a criminal case without Salem wearing a wire. “It would just take a little more work. We’d have to take his leads and do surveillance. Follow these guys and contain the threat. This is what the FBI does.” [LANCE, 2003, PP. 92] Author Peter Lance will later comment that without Salem, “Now, when it came to Nosair, the bombing plot, and Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, the [FBI] was essentially flying blind.” The FBI will be unaware as the “Jewish locations” plot morphs into a plot to bomb the World Trade Center over the next several months. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 92] Entity Tags: El Sayyid Nosair, Ali Shinawy, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Louis Napoli, John Anticev, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ibrahim El-Gabrowny, Emad Salem, Carson Dunbar Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Other Possible Moles or Informants

Between August 1992 and 1993: Bin Laden Sends Quarter of Million Dollars to US; CIA Is Monitoring His Banking Operations Osama bin Laden sends about $250,000 to an associate named Essam al Ridi in the US. The money is moved in more than one transfer from the Al-Shamal Islamic Bank in Sudan and is for the purchase of a plane by al Ridi for bin Laden (see Early 1993). The CIA has been monitoring bin Laden’s banking operations for some time (see 1991-1992). Al Ridi will be asked about this transfer at the US trial of al-Qaeda operatives involved in the 1998 embassy bombings, where he is a witness for the prosecution. Under cross examination, he will say that he was not concerned about such large transfers from Sudan to Texas because receiving such monies was not a problem for him in the US, although it might have been a problem for him if he was still in Egypt. [UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 1/14/2001] Al Ridi previously purchased assassination rifles for the anti-Soviet Afghan Arabs, apparently with the CIA’s knowledge (see Early 1989). Entity Tags: Al-Shamal Islamic Bank, Essam al Ridi, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism Financing

(August 1992): Clinton Calls for Military Intervention in Bosnia Presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns “vociferously in support of greater US engagement in Bosnia.” A commission, created by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to devise a post-Cold War foreign policy framework, has been “hand-feed[ing]” key Democrats its recommendations (see February 1992) in advance of the release of its reports. [AMERICAN SPECTATOR, 6/1999; DAALDER, 2000, PP. 6] Entity Tags: William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton

August 1992-1993: El-Hage and US Associate Discuss Purchase of Aircraft for Bin Laden; Stingers Discussed Openly on Phone High-ranking al-Qaeda operative Wadih El-Hage contacts Essam al Ridi, a militant who had previously helped the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan (see Early 1983-Late 1984), to discuss buying a jet plane for Osama bin Laden. El Hage is at bin Laden’s base in Sudan, and al Ridi is in Texas, where he works as a flight instructor. The two men know each other from the 1980s, when they shipped equipment from the US to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan (see 1987 or 1988). The FBI has been aware of El-Hage’s terrorist connections for some time (see March 1991), and the CIA is monitoring bin Laden in Sudan (see February 1991- July 1992). There are “quite a few” communications, in which the two men discuss the price of the aircraft, the fact that the plane is for bin Laden, and the plane’s range. El-Hage says that the plane has to be able to fly 2,000 miles, as he and bin Laden want to use it to ship Stinger missiles from Peshawar, Pakistan, to Khartoum, Sudan, and al Ridi and El-Hage discuss the technicalities of shipping the missiles. [UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 1/14/2001] Bin Laden sends money for the plane to al Ridi in the US (see Between August 1992 and 1993), and al Ridi then buys the plane and flies it to Sudan (see Early 1993). It is unclear if these calls are monitored, although bin Laden is under surveillance by the US at this time (see Early 1990s and Early 1990s). Entity Tags: Essam al Ridi, Wadih El-Hage Category Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Remote Surveillance

Autumn 1992: Ali Mohamed Trains Top Al-Qaeda Leadership in Afghanistan; Detained in Italy Ali Mohamed returns to fight in Afghanistan, even though the Soviets have been defeated and the country is now involved in civil war. He trains rebel commanders in military tactics. This is just one of many such trips, as he later will confess spending several months out of each year training operatives overseas for most of the 1990’s. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/1/1998; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/21/2001; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/11/2001] US prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will later say of Mohamed’s visits to Afghanistan, “Mohamed did not [make a loyalty pledge] to al-Qaeda but he trained most of al-Qaeda’s top leadership—including bin Laden and [Ayman] al-Zawahiri—and most of al-Qaeda’s top trainers. Mohamed taught surveillance, counter-surveillance, assassinations, kidnapping, codes, ciphers and other intelligence techniques.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004] FBI agent Jack Cloonan will later say that in addition to bin Laden, others who attend Mohamed’s course are Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, al-Qaeda’s first military commander, and Mohammed Atef, its second military commander. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 104-105] During this 1992 trip he teaches intelligence tradecraft, later admitting, “I taught my trainees how to create cell structures that could be used for operations.” Also around this time, he is detained by Italian authorities at the Rome airport when airport security discovers his luggage has false compartments. He is let go after convincing the Italians that he is fighting terrorists. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/1/1998; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/21/2001; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/11/2001] Mohamed will regularly return to Afghanistan in years to come, as part of at least 58 trips overseas leaving from the US. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/11/2001] Nabil Sharef, a university professor and former Egyptian intelligence officer, will say, “For five years he was moving back and forth between the US and Afghanistan. It’s impossible the CIA thought he was going there as a tourist. If the CIA hadn’t caught on to him, it should be dissolved and its budget used for something worthwhile.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26/2001] Entity Tags: Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, Al-Qaeda, Mohammed Atef, Osama bin Laden, Patrick Fitzgerald, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Italy, Nabil Sharef, Ali Mohamed Category Tags: Ali Mohamed

Autumn 1992: Al-Qaeda Builds Operations in Bosnia to Attack Europe and US

Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros in Bosnia in September 1992. His beard is dyed with henna. [Source: Pascal le Segretain / Corbis] Jamal al-Fadl, an al-Qaeda financial agent, is sent from bin Laden’s headquarters in Sudan to Zagreb, Croatia, to gather information about the Bosnian war and the prospects of buying businesses in Croatia for al-Qaeda. In Croatia, he meets with Enaam Arnaout (who will soon become the head of the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) in the US), and al-Qaeda operatives Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros (a.k.a. Abdel Rahman al Dosari), and Abu Zubair al Madani, one of bin Laden’s cousins (he will later be killed fighting in Bosnia). Barbaros tells al-Fadl that al-Qaeda is seeking to create training camps in Bosnia, develop relationships with Bosnian charities, and establish businesses to help finance al-Qaeda activities. He says that BIF is providing money for al-Qaeda to buy weapons to use in Bosnia and that they have already obtained some weapons from Germany with the help of BIF and Mohammed Loay Bayazid (who also works for BIF in the US). According to a later Justice Department indictment, Barbaros also says that “al-Qaeda’s goal in Bosnia [is] to establish a base for operations in Europe against al-Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.” Around this time, BIF begins providing food, clothing, money and communications equipment to fighters in Bosnia, including the elite Black Swans unit. [USA V. ENAAM M. ARNAOUT, 10/6/2003, PP. 24-25 ; KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 16-17] In 1996, al-Fadl will defect from al-Qaeda and tell all he knows to US investigators (see June 1996-April 1997). Entity Tags: Black Swans, Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros, Abu Zubair al Madani, Benevolence International Foundation, Enaam Arnaout, Jamal al-Fadl, Al-Qaeda, Mohammed Loay Bayazid Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, BIF

Autumn 1992: Al-Qaeda Develops Ties with Bosnian Charity Front Jamal al-Fadl travels to Vienna and has meetings with the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), which has its headquarters in Vienna. He opens up a Vienna bank account and al-Qaeda operative Wadih El-Hage also opens up a Vienna bank account around this time. Presumably these accounts are used by al-Qaeda to send money to TWRA for operations in Bosnia. Around the same time, al-Qaeda leader Mamdouh Mahmud Salim tells al-Fadl that al-Qaeda’s goal is to make Bosnia a base for European operations. [UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. USAMA BIN LADEN, ET AL., DAY 21, 3/22/2001; USA V. ENAAM M. ARNAOUT, 10/6/2003, PP. 24-25 ] TWRA will funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into Bosnia for illegal weapons purchases over the next several years while the US watches but fails to act. In 1996, al-Fadl will defect from al-Qaeda and tell all he knows to US investigators (see June 1996-April 1997). Entity Tags: Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, Al-Qaeda, Jamal al-Fadl, Wadih El-Hage, Third World Relief Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Wadih El-Hage

Autumn 1992: Influential Neoconservative Academic Advocates Breaking Up Middle Eastern Countries, Including Iraq

Bernard Lewis. [Source: Princeton University] Princeton University professor Bernard Lewis publishes an article in the influential journal Foreign Affairs called “Rethinking the Middle East.” In it, he advocates a policy he calls “Lebanonization.” He says, “[A] possibility, which could even be precipitated by [Islamic] fundamentalism, is what has late been fashionable to call ‘Lebanonization.’ Most of the states of the Middle East—Egypt is an obvious exception—are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common identity.… Then state then disintegrates—as happened in Lebanon—into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions, and parties.” Lewis, a British Jew, is well known as a longtime supporter of the Israeli right wing. Since the 1950s, he has argued that the West and Islam have been engaged in a titanic “clash of civilizations” and that the US should take a hard line against all Arab countries. Lewis is considered a highly influential figure to the neoconservative movement, and some neoconservatives such as Richard Perle and Harold Rhode consider him a mentor. In 1996, Perle and others influenced by Lewis will write a paper for right wing Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu entitled “A Clean Break” that advocates the “Lebanonization” of countries like Iraq and Syria (see July 8, 1996). Lewis will remain influential after 9/11. For instance, he will have dinner with Vice President Cheney shortly before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Some will later suspect that Cheney and others were actually implementing Lewis’s idea by invading Iraq. Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will say in May 2003, just after the invasion, “The neoconservatives’ intention in Iraq was never to truly build democracy there. Their intention was to flatten it, to remove Iraq as a regional threat to Israel.” [DREYFUSS, 2005, PP. 330-337] Entity Tags: Chas Freeman, Bernard Lewis, Richard Perle, Harold Rhode, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, Neoconservative Influence Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, US Dominance, Israel

Autumn 1992-1999: Atta Attends University in Hamburg, Germany

Dittmar Machule, a professor who worked with Mohamed Atta at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. [Source: Corbis/Antoine Serra] Mohamed Atta enrolls in the planning program of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, where he studies for a master’s degree. Atta chose Hamburg after meeting two German schoolteachers from there in the fall of 1991. The teachers were in Cairo because they organize student exchanges between Germany and Egypt. After being introduced by mutual friends, they offered Atta a rent-free room in their home, where he stays for about six months, before moving into student housing. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/7/2003] At the university, Atta is lucky that the department’s chairman, Dittmar Machule, is a specialist on the Middle East. Machule feels that Atta shares his passion and says that Atta is “tender, sensitive… he had deep, dark eyes. His eyes would speak. You could see the intelligence, the knowledge, the alertness.” Those who know Atta at the university will say he sits and listens, without making hasty comments, he is careful about what he says, and he is very respectful of well-prepared teachers. Fellow student Martin Ebert will say, “I don’t think it was possible to have a fight with him.” Another fellow student, Harmut Kaiser, will say that it is hard to draw Atta into political discussions in class, even if politics is relevant to the topic under discussion: “He wasn’t a guy who acted like he wanted to change the world—unlike a lot of other students in the group.” [MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 24-25] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Harmut Kaiser, Dittmar Machule, Martin Ebert Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda in Germany

September 1992: Charity Front Exposed as Illegal Weapons Pipeline, but No Action Taken Against It A secret weapons pipeline into Bosnia in violation of a UN arms embargo is exposed. Large transport planes have been arriving once a week for four weeks from Sudan to Maribor, Slovenia. The cargo is marked as humanitarian aid but in fact the planes are carrying tons of weapons, mostly from surplus stocks of old Soviet weapons. The planes are run by a company belonging to Victor Bout, a notorious illegal arms dealer who will later work closely with the Taliban in Afghanistan (see October 1996-Late 2001). [FARAH AND BRAUN, 2007, PP. 50-51, 268-269] Such planes have been bringing weapons through Croatia bound for Muslim Bosnia, but due to deteriorating relations between Croatia and Muslim Bosnia, the Croatian government stops the flights and impounds 120 tons of weapons. At the same time, chartered Russian helicopters fly more weapons directly into Muslim Bosnia. Austrian government agents learn that the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA) is financing all of these shipments. They are working with Hasan Cengic, a radical imam who is also a Bosnian government official. The TWRA and Cengic switch to other routes. The next year, the German government will stumbled across an illegal weapons deal being negotiated in Germany by Bosnian Muslims and Turkish arms dealers and arrest around 30. TWRA was the financial broker of the deal. But despite the exposure of TWRA as a charity front, no government takes any action against it and it will continue to be the main vehicle by which Muslim Bosnia gets illegal weapons. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/1996; FARAH AND BRAUN, 2007, PP. 50-51, 268-269] Bout and Cengic will apparently continue working together. A 2004 Bosnian intelligence report will say that “Victor Bout in collaboration with Hasan Cengic is transporting weapons to Chechnya” via a Bout front company. [FARAH AND BRAUN, 2007, PP. 50-51, 268-269] Entity Tags: Victor Bout, Hasan Cengic, Third World Relief Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Victor Bout, Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

September 1992 and After: Al-Zawahiri Frequently Visits Bosnia, Works with Bosnian Muslim Politicians

Ayman al-Zawahiri in disguise. [Source: Interpol] Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri is said to visit Bosnia many times from around this date. A prominent Muslim Bosnian politician later claims that al-Zawahiri visited mujaheddin camps in central Bosnia as early as September 1992. The Egyptian government, which considers al-Zawahiri an important enemy, claims al-Zawahiri is running several mujaheddin operations in Bosnia through charity fronts. They also claim he meets regularly with Bosnian Muslim politicians in Sarajevo. He is further said to occasionally meet with Iranian government representatives to discuss the war in Bosnia, as Iran is supplying weapons to the Bosnian Muslims. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 123, 141] Anwar Shaaban, a radical imam leading the Bosnian mujaheddin effort from Milan, Italy (see Late 1993-1994), remains in regular contact with al-Zawahiri, according to Italian intelligence. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 164] In 1993, bin Laden reportedly puts al-Zawahiri in charge of the organization’s operations in the Balkans. [OTTAWA CITIZEN, 12/15/2001] By 1994, al-Zawahiri will settle in Bulgaria to manage operations in Bosnia and the rest of the Balkan region (see September 1994-1996). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Anwar Shaaban, Ayman al-Zawahiri Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Ayman Al-Zawahiri

September 1, 1992: US Misses Opportunity to Stop First WTC Bombing and Discover Al-Qaeda

Ahmed Ajaj. [Source: FBI] Al-Qaeda Operatives Ahmad Ajaj and Ramzi Yousef enter the US together. Ajaj is arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York City. Yousef is not arrested, and later, he masterminds the 1993 bombing of the WTC. “The US government was pretty sure Ajaj was a terrorist from the moment he stepped foot on US soil,” because his “suitcases were stuffed with fake passports, fake IDs and a cheat sheet on how to lie to US immigration inspectors,” plus “two handwritten notebooks filled with bomb recipes, six bomb-making manuals, four how-to videotapes concerning weaponry, and an advanced guide to surveillance training.” However, Ajaj is charged only with passport fraud, and serves a six-month sentence. From prison, Ajaj frequently calls Yousef and others in the 1993 WTC bombing plot, but no one translates the calls until long after the bombing. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/14/2001] Ajaj is released from prison three days after the WTC bombing, but is later rearrested and sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/14/2001] One of the manuals seized from Ajaj is horribly mistranslated for the trial. For instance, the title page is said to say “The Basic Rule,” published in Jordan in 1982, when in fact the title says “al-Qaeda” (which means “the base” in English), published in Afghanistan in 1989. Investigators later complain that a proper translation could have shown an early connection between al-Qaeda and the WTC bombing. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/14/2001] An Israeli Newsweekly later reports that the Palestinian Ajaj may have been a mole for the Israeli Mossad. The Village Voice has suggested that Ajaj may have had “advance knowledge of the World Trade Center bombing, which he shared with Mossad, and that Mossad, for whatever reason, kept the secret to itself.” Ajaj was not just knowledgeable, but was involved in the planning of the bombing from his prison cell. [VILLAGE VOICE, 8/3/1993] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Ahmad Ajaj, World Trade Center, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1993 WTC Bombing, Ramzi Yousef, Israel, Other Possible Moles or Informants

Mid-September 1992: Bosnia Muslims Stage Attack from Sarajevo Hospital to Discredit Serbians Lord David Owen arrives in Sarajevo as the new European Union peace negotiator. Owen is initially seen as anti-Serb and had recently advocated Western air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs. He is outraged that his arrival coincides with a Serb bombardment of the Kosevo Hospital in Sarajevo, Bosnia. But within hours, he learns that the incident was actually provoked by the Bosnian Muslims. He will later say, “The UN monitors actually saw the Muslim troops enter the hospital and, from the hospital grounds, firing at Serb positions. Then the mortar was packed up and removed as the television crew showed up. A few minutes later a retaliatory fire of course landed in or near the hospital and all was filmed for television.” UN Gen. Philippe Morillon immediately writes a letter to Bosnian President Izetbegovic: “I now have concrete evidence from witnesses of this cowardly and disreputable act and I must point out the harm such blatant disregard for the Geneva Convention does to your cause.” But the letter and information about the incident is not made public and the Serbs are the only ones blamed for the incident. Owen will later say, “I asked Morillon why didn’t he make this public, and he shrugged his shoulders [and said], ‘We have to live here.’” [ROTHSTEIN, 1999, PP. 176, 188] Entity Tags: Alija Izetbegovic, Philippe Morillon, David Owen Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

October, 1992: UN Investigator Says Bosnian Muslims Are ‘Threatened with Extermination’ The Bosnian Serbs have the upper hand in their war with the Bosnian Muslims and Croats. A UN human rights investigator warns that the Bosnian Muslims are “virtually threatened with extermination” unless they are helped by outside forces. But a UN weapons embargo is still in place. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 4/5/1996] Entity Tags: United Nations Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

October 3, 1992: FBI Learns Al-Kifah Charity Front Is Forming an Elite Armed Militia Garrett Wilson is a burly ex-US Army Ranger and military police officer at a naval base in Philadelphia who also runs his own security business. He is also a trusted FBI informant, helping to monitor militant black Muslims who come to him to for paramilitary training and to buy surplus military equipment. On October 3, 1992, Wilson gets a call from Abdul Wali Zindani, head of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn. Al-Kifah is a charity front linked to both al-Qaeda and the CIA (see 1986-1993). Zindani wants Wilson to help train and supply an elite group of about ten men. Wilson then speaks to Abu Ubaidah Yahya, security chief for Al-Kifah, and Yahya further explains that they are especially interested in hostage rescue training. Wilson contacts his FBI handlers John Liguori and Tommy Corrigan, who are intrigued. They are aware that friends of El Sayyid Nosair have been plotting to break Nosair from prison and worry the hostage rescue training could be related to that, since Nosair has been closely linked to Al-Kifah. They tell Wilson to remain in contact with the people at Al-Kifah and see what develops. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 81-83] Entity Tags: El Sayyid Nosair, Abdul Wali Zindani, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Garrett Wilson, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, John Liguori, Tommy Corrigan Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Al-Kifah/MAK, Other Possible Moles or Informants

October 17, 1992: 9/11 Hijacker Associate Hosts Party for ‘Blind Shiekh;’ FBI Soon Finds out but Fails to Investigate Osama Basnan, who will later be accused of assisting two 9/11 hijackers in San Diego (see December 4, 1999), throws a party for the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. The party is held at Basnan’s house in Washington, DC. In 1993, the FBI receives reports about Basnan hosting this party. In 1992, the FBI was told that Basnan had a link to the Eritrean Islamic Jihad, a militant group later linked to al-Qaeda (see May-December 1992). Furthermore, records indicate Basnan entered the US in 1980 on a guest visa and has been in the country illegally ever since. But the FBI fails to investigate Basnan, and no effort is made to deport him. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/3/2001 ; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] A post-9/11 FBI report will indicate that in 1992 Basnan is working for the Saudi government in some capacity, but details of his job remain classified (see October 3, 2001). Entity Tags: Osama Basnan, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Omar Abdul-Rahman Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Bayoumi and Basnan Saudi Connection, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Saudi Arabia, Alhazmi and Almihdhar

November 1992-February 11, 1993: Egyptian Intelligence Repeatedly Warns US about Cells Linked to ‘Blind Sheikh’ in New York Beginning in November 1992, Egyptian intelligence repeatedly warns US intelligence that Sheikh Abdul-Rahman’s principal mosques in the US, the Al Salaam and Al Farouq mosques in Brooklyn, are “hotbeds of terrorist activity,” and that Abdul-Rahman is plotting a new round of terrorist attacks in Egypt. The Al-Kifah Refugee Center charity front is based inside the Al Farouq mosque (see 1986-1993). One Egyptian official later says, “There were many, many contacts between Cairo and Washington.” On November 12, 1992, members of the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya militant group led by Abdul-Rahman machine-guns a bus-load of Western tourists in Egypt, injuring five Germans. [VILLAGE VOICE, 3/30/1993] Between February 6 and 11, 1993, some FBI agents travel to Cairo, Egypt, to discuss Egyptian concerns with officials there. The Egyptians are said to warn about certain terrorist cells in the US connected to Abdul-Rahman but do not specifically warn about the WTC bombing. [NEW YORK TIMES, 4/6/1993] Perhaps as a result of these concerns, on February 13, the FBI obtains a FISA warrant and begins tapping Abdul-Rahman’s phone calls. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 103] Shortly after the WTC bombing two weeks later (see February 26, 1993), Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will say that the bombing could have been prevented if Egypt’s warnings had been heeded. [NEW YORK TIMES, 4/6/1993] Entity Tags: Egypt, Al Farouq Mosque, Al Salaam Mosque, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Hosni Mubarak, Federal Bureau of Investigation Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1993 WTC Bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Al-Kifah/MAK

Mid-November-December 20, 1992: FBI Informant Learns of Plot to Train and Arm Group with Automatic Weapons and Bombs In mid-November 1992, Garrett Wilson, an FBI informant who sells military equipment and conducts paramilitary training, is contacted by someone named “Dr. Rashid.” Wilson had previously been contacted by Abu Ubaidah Yahya, the security chief at the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, a charity front tied to both al-Qaeda and the CIA (see 1986-1993). Wilson’s FBI handlers are excited to learn about this because in June 1992, a “Dr. Rashid” had met with FBI informant Emad Salem and offered to supply bombs and guns (see Early July 1992). The FBI runs a background check and determines “Dr. Rashid” is really Clement Rodney Hampton-El, who works at a hospital in Long Island. The also learn from phone records that he has recently made calls to the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. On December 20, 1992, Wilson meets with Yahya and Hampton-El. They tell him that they want him to train eight to ten men for an international jihad battalion separate from another small group Al-Kifah wants Wilson to help train (see October 3, 1992). Hampton-El says he will provide AK-47s for the training sessions, but is looking for detonator caps, which are needed to make bombs. He also says the group will be sent to fight in Bosnia, but they are asking to be instructed in sniper firing and frontal assaults on buildings. Wilson tells FBI agent Tommy Corrigan, “It sounds to me like they either want to kidnap or kill someone.” Corrigan and other FBI agents are alarmed. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 83-84] Entity Tags: Tommy Corrigan, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Garrett Wilson, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Emad Salem Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Al-Kifah/MAK, Other Possible Moles or Informants

November 17, 1992: US Fights to Keep Bosnian Arms Embargo in Place The UN Security Council votes to impose a naval blockade around Serbia (which does not have much effect since Serbia is a landlocked country). While debating the resolution, a number of Islamic countries argue that Bosnia should be excluded from the arms embargo that was imposed on all former Yugoslavia republics in September 1991 (see September 26, 1991). But the US successfully leads an effort to shoot down the proposal. Former US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance tells the Security Council, “It taxes credulity to suggest that lifting the arms embargo for only one party is either feasible or desirable.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/17/1992] Ironically, around the same time, the US begins to secretly support Bosnian Muslim efforts to violate the embargo using a charity front controlled by radical militants (see September 1992). Entity Tags: United Nations, Cyrus Vance Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

Late 1992-1995: US and Saudis Allegedly Collaborate on Illegal Weapons Deliveries to Bosnian Muslims In 1996, the Washington Post reports that the Saudi Arabian government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to channel weapons to the Muslim Bosnians, and that the US government knew about it and assisted it. An anonymous Saudi official who took part in the effort will say that the US role “was more than just turning a blind eye to what was going on.… It was consent combined with stealth cooperation.… American knowledge began under [President George] Bush and became much greater under [President] Clinton.” The Bosnian program was modeled on Saudi and US cooperation to fund the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The major difference is that if Afghanistan the Saudis and Americans split the costs, but in Bosnia the Saudis pay for everything. They spend $300 million on illegal weapons deliveries plus around $500 million in Saudi aid to the Bosnian government. The US helps because Saudi Arabia lacks the “technical sophistication” to mount the operation on their own. The Post will report, “The official refused to go into detail about the American role in the operation, other than to say that the Saudis had made use of the same ‘network’ of undercover operatives, arms salesmen, and ‘former this and former that’ set up during the Afghan operation.” The official does say, “We did not set up a formal structure, the way we did in Afghanistan. But logic tells you that without the consent of NATO, the United States, and Germany, there was no way it could have happened.” Most of the weapons go through Croatia since Bosnia lacks good access to the sea, and the Croatian government takes a cut of up to half of all the weapons. Some emergency deliveries are made through “secret nighttime flights to Tuzla and other airports under the control of the Bosnian authorities.” Other supplies come by sea, with NATO apparently turning a blind eye in their naval blockade of the coastline. The direct aid given to Bosnia is used to buy weapons on the black market at high prices, sometimes from Serb enemies. US government officials will later deny any such arrangement took place, but British, French, and other officials believe the US was secretly involved in efforts to arm the Bosnians. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/2/1996] Much of the money must go through the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), since most illegal weapons get to Bosnia through the TWRA. This charity front has ties to Osama bin Laden and other radical militants (see Mid-1991-1996). Entity Tags: United States, Third World Relief Agency, Saudi Arabia Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism Financing

Late 1992-October 1993: Al-Qaeda Operatives Train Somali Militants to Fight US Soldiers Al-Qaeda operatives train militants in Somalia to attack US soldiers who have recently been posted there. This training will culminate in a battle on October 3-4, 1993, in which 18 US soldiers are killed (see October 3-4, 1993). [REEVE, 1999, PP. 182; PISZKIEWICZ, 2003, PP. 100] In the months before this battle, various al-Qaeda operatives come and go, occasionally training Somalis. It is unknown if any operatives are directly involved in the battle. Operatives involved in the training include:

Maulana Masood Azhar, who is a Pakistani militant leader connected with Osama bin Laden. He appears to serve as a key link between bin Laden and the Somali killers of US soldiers (see 1993). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/25/2002] 
Ali Mohamed, the notorious double agent, apparently helps train the Somalis involved in the attack (see 1993). 
Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, al-Qaeda’s military commander, who is one of the leaders of the operation. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 77] 
Mohammed Atef, al-Qaeda’s deputy military commander. An informant will later testify in an early 2001 US trial that he flew Atef and four others from bin Laden’s base in Sudan to Nairobi, Kenya, to train Somalis (see Before October 1993). [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/3/2002] 
Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, who will later be convicted for a role in the 1998 US embassy bombings, will boast that he provided the rocket launchers and rifles that brought down the helicopters. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/23/1998; LANCE, 2006, PP. 143] Odeh will later say that he is ordered to Somalia by Saif al Adel, acting for bin Laden. [BERGEN, 2006, PP. 138-139] 
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (a.k.a. Haroun Fazul), who will also be convicted for the embassy bombings, trains militants in Somalia with Odeh. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/23/1998] 
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who will be connected to the embassy bombings and will still be at large in 2007, is linked to the helicopter incident as well. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 143] 
Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, who will also be connected to the embassy bombings, will be killed in Pakistan in 2006 (see April 12, 2006). [CNN, 10/24/2006] 
Saif al-Islam al-Masri, a member of al-Qaeda’s ruling council. He will be captured in the country of Georgia in 2002 (see Early October 2002). 
Abu Talha al-Sudani, an al-Qaeda leader who settles in Somalia and remains there. He will reportedly be killed in Somalia in 2007 (see December 24, 2006-January 2007). [WASHINGTON POST, 1/8/2007] 

Bin Laden dispatches a total of five groups, some of them trained by Ali Mohamed. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 142] Atef reaches an agreement with one of the warlords, General Mohamed Farah Aideed, that bin Laden’s men will help him against the US and UN forces. These trips to Somalia will later be confirmed by L’Houssaine Kherchtou, testifying at the East African embassy bombings trial in 2001. Kherchtou will say that he met “many people” going to Somalia and facilitated their travel there from Nairobi, Kenya. [BERGEN, 2006, PP. 138-139, 141] Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Mohamed Farah Aideed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, Mushin Musa Matwalli Atwah, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Abu Talha al-Sudani, Saif al-Islam al-Masri, Mohammed Atef, Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: 1993 Somalia Fighting, Pakistan and the ISI, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Late 1992-Early 1993: Bosnian Charity Front Funds Training Camp and Militant Bombers in US Clement Rodney Hampton-El will later admit that he had been smuggling money into the US for military training from the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). [USA V. BENEVOLENCE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION AND ENAAM M. ARNAOUT, 4/29/2002, PP. 6-7 ] Hampton-El is linked to Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman and the Al-Kifah Refugee Center and will later be given a long prison term for involvement in the “Landmarks” plot (see June 24, 1993). He makes several trips to Europe in 1992-1993, raising over $150,000 to fund a Pennsylvania training camp (see Late 1992-Early 1993). After one trip to Vienna, Austria (where TWRA has its headquarters), he returns to the US with $20,000 hidden in his pants to avoid the scrutiny of US customs officers. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 8/2/1995] At the time, TWRA is funneling huge amounts of weapons into Bosnia in violation of a UN embargo but with the tacit approval of the US (see Mid-1991-1996). Hampton-El also travels to Bosnia around this time. [KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 73-74] Entity Tags: Third World Relief Agency, Clement Rodney Hampton-El Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, 1993 WTC Bombing, Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

December 1992: Saudi Embassy Pays Radical Militants in US to Fight in Bosnia Clement Rodney Hampton-El, one of the 1993 “Landmarks” bombers (see June 24, 1993), is summoned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington and told that wealthy Saudis are sponsoring fighters in Bosnia. Hampton-El has longstanding links to the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), which is closely tied to the Saudi government (see October 12, 2001). He is given $150,000 to recruit and train people in the US to fight in Bosnia. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 121-122] He starts a militant training camp in Pennsylvania that same month (see December 1992-Early February 1993) and gets $150,000 overseas from a bin Laden linked charity front (it is not known if this is the same $150,000 or additional money) (see Late 1992-Early 1993). The Saudi embassy also introduces him to a radical imam named Bilal Philips. Philips, a Canadian citizen and author on Islamic topics, has been employed by the Saudi government since early 1991 to proselytize among US soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia (see March-September 1991). Philips gives Hampton-El a list of likely candidates who are ex-US soldiers that Philips recently helped convert to Islam. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 121-122] That same month, 14 ex-US soldiers go to Bosnia to fight and train there (see December 1992-June 1993). They are led by double agent Ali Mohamed, who, like Hampton-El, is closely tied to the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in New York. Entity Tags: Bilal Philips, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, Saudi Embassy (US) Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Ali Mohamed, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

December 1992: US Army Allegedly Tries to Get Radical Militants in New York to Fight in Bosnia The Independent will report in 1998, “In December 1992, a US army official met one of the Afghan veterans from Al-Kifah [Refugee Center] and offered help with a covert operation to support the Muslims in Bosnia, funded with Saudi money, according to one of those jailed for assisting with the New York bombings. But that effort quickly disintegrated, leaving a great deal of bad feeling.” [INDEPENDENT, 11/1/1998] More details about this are not known. However, the plan may not have necessarily failed because it will later be reported that that very same month, double agent Ali Mohamed, an-ex US Special Forces soldier, is part of a 14-man al-Qaeda team made up of retired US military personnel that enters Bosnia through Croatia to train and arm mujaheddin fighters there in 1992 (see December 1992-June 1993). Mohamed is also closely tied to the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, which is located in Brooklyn, New York (see 1987-1989). Al-Kifah is closely tied to both al-Qaeda and the CIA (see 1986-1993). Also that same month, a Bosnian charity front largely funded by Saudi money begins paying for a militant training camp in Pennsylvania that trains some of those later arrested for roles in the New York bombing (see December 1992-Early February 1993). Entity Tags: Al-Kifah Refugee Center Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Al-Kifah/MAK

December 1992-June 1993: Ali Mohamed and Other Former US Soldiers Train Al-Qaeda Fighters in Bosnia Double agent Ali Mohamed spends much of 1992 training al-Qaeda recruits in Afghanistan. But he also gives specialized training in Sudan, Bosnia, and other conflict zones. Using the alias Abu ‘Abdallah, he is part of a 14-man al-Qaeda team made up of retired US military personnel that enters Bosnia through Croatia to train and arm mujaheddin fighters there. Apparently this will come to light in a 1998 trial in Egypt. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 41, 150, 337] The training takes place at Meskovic, a village near the town of Tuzla. The 14-man team are smuggled into Bosnia one by one in December 1992. The team is said to be sponsored by a “mosque in Newark, New Jersey.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/3/1995] Mohamed regularly trained militants at the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, an al-Qaeda front in the US (see 1987-1989), and there was a mosque associated to it in Newark. This effort takes place at a time when Al-Kifah is sending many US-based militants to fight in Bosnia (see 1992). It will later be alleged that a US Army official met with people at Al-Kifah in December 1992 and offered to help with a covert operation to support Muslims in Bosnia (see December 1992). Twelve of the Americans leave within two months after training a group of 25 mujaheddin in insurgency warfare. But Mohamed and another American only known by the code name Abu Musa remain at Meskovic until June 1993, occasionally accompanying the mujaheddin on attacks behind Serb lines. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/3/1995] Entity Tags: Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Al-Qaeda, Ali Mohamed Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Ali Mohamed, Al-Kifah/MAK

Late 1992-Early 1993 and Late 1994: Oklahoma City Bomber Said to Meet with Ramzi Yousef in Philippines

Terry Nichols. [Source: Oklahoma City Police Department] A Philippine undercover operative and one of his wives claims that Terry Nichols, later convicted for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, meets with al-Qaeda bomber Ramzi Yousef in the Philippines at these times. The operative, Edwin Angeles, was the second in command in the militant group Abu Sayyaf from 1991 to 1995 while secretly working for Philippine intelligence at the same time (see 1991-Early February 1995). In 1995, after the Oklahoma City bombing, he will claim in a videotaped interrogation that in late 1992 and early 1993 there are meetings in the southern Philippines between Yousef, Nichols, and a second would-be American terrorist named John Lepney. There are additional meetings with the same people and others in late 1994. For about a week, Angeles, Yousef, Nichols, and Lepney, are joined by Abdurajak Janjalani, the leader of Abu Sayyaf, two members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah (both of whom are working with Yousef on the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995), and a half-brother of Yousef known only by the alias Ahmad Hassim (this is a probable reference to Yousef’s brother Abd al-Karim Yousef, who is living in the Philippines at the time). Elmina Abdul, Angeles’ third wife, will add additional details about these 1994 meetings in a taped 2002 hospital confession to a Philippines reporter days before her death. She only remembers Nichols as “Terry” or “The Farmer” and doesn’t remember the name of the other American. She says, “They talked about bombings. They mentioned bombing government buildings in San Francisco, St. Louis, and in Oklahoma. The Americans wanted instructions on how to make and to explode bombs. [Angeles] told me that Janjalani was very interested in paying them much money to explode the buildings. The money was coming from Yousef and the other Arab.” [GULF NEWS, 4/3/2002; INSIGHT, 4/19/2002; MANILA TIMES, 4/26/2002; INSIGHT, 6/22/2002] (“The other Arab” may be a reference to the Arab Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, because Janjalani’s younger brother later claimed Abu Sayyaf was funded in its early years by Yousef and Khalifa). [CNN, 1/31/2007] She claims Nichols and Lepney are sent to an unnamed place for more instructions on bomb-making to destroy a building in the US. She also says that Angeles and others in Abu Sayyaf believed Yousef worked for the Iraqi government. [INSIGHT, 6/22/2002] The Manila Times later reports that “Lepney did indeed reside and do business in Davao City [in the Southern Philippines] during 1990 to 1996.” One bar owner recalls that when he got drunk he liked to brag about his adventures with local rebel groups. [MANILA TIMES, 4/26/2002] Entity Tags: Terry Nichols, Ramzi Yousef, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Wali Khan Amin Shah, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Elmina Abdul, John Lepney, Abd al-Karim Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, Abu Sayyaf, Abdurajak Janjalani, Edwin Angeles Category Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

December 8, 1992: UN and Senior Western Military Officials Claim Bosnian Muslims Are Attacking Their Own People to Gain International Sympathy The Independent reports, “United Nations officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst recent killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city’s mainly Muslim defenders - not Serb besiegers - as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention. The view has been expressed in confidential reports circulating at UN headquarters in New York, and in classified briefings to US policymakers in Washington. All suggest that Sarajevo’s defenders, mainly Muslims but including Croats and a number of Serb residents, staged several attacks on their own people in the hope of dramatizing the city’s plight in the face of insuperable Serbian odds. They emphasize, however, that these attacks, though bloody, were a tiny minority among regular city bombardments by Serbian forces.” The reports claim the following events were likely committed by the Bosnian Muslims:

The bombing of a bread line in Sarajevo on May 27, 1992. 
A mortar attack on July 17, 1992, hitting a bunker where British minister Douglas Hurd was meeting with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. Ten bystanders were killed or wounded. 
An August 4, 1992, explosion at a cemetery while two orphans were being buried. 
The August 13, 1992, death of ABC News producer David Kaplan near Sarajevo. One UN military officer says it would have been impossible the bullet that killed him was fired by a sniper from distant Serbian positions. “That shot came in horizontal to the ground. Somebody was down at ground level.” 
A Ukrainian soldier killed in Sarajevo on December 3, 1992, was similarly shot by small arms fire which would imply the Bosnian Muslims. 

The UN officials behind these reports claim that are not trying to exonerate the Serbs, who also have been killing many in sniper attacks, mortar rounds, and so forth. “But they expressed fears that the ‘self-inflicted’ attacks may not augur well for existing UN forces or for additional Western troops, including Britons, who have to serve there.” [INDEPENDENT, 8/22/1992] Entity Tags: David Kaplan, United Nations Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

December 1992-Early February 1993: Islamist Militants Learn to Fight at Pennsylvania Training Camp

Mohammed Abouhalima. [Source: Corbis] Siddig Siddig Ali, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, Mohammed Abouhalima, and others train at a militant training camp in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, with weapons and ammunition provided by Yahya and Clement Rodney Hampton-El (see February 21, 1995). Abouhalima will later be convicted for a role in the 1993 WTC bombing, as will his brother (see February 26, 1993) while the others mentioned will be convicted for roles in the related “Landmarks” plot (see June 24, 1993). [USA V. OMAR AHMAD ALI ABDEL-RAHMAN ET AL, 7/13/1995, PP. 9] Yahya is the chief instructor, as he is an ex-US Marine who served two tours in Vietnam and teaches at a martial arts academy. Siddig Ali will later say of Yahya, “[H]e’s decorated and has a lot of medals… [and he was] a great trainer…” The training even includes mock nighttime assaults on a nearby electric power substation. [KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 73] An FBI informant named Garrett Wilson helps lead the FBI to the camp, and the FBI monitors it for two days, January 16 and 17, but the monitoring team is mysteriously pulled away before the end of the second day (see January 16-17, 1993). In a wiretapped conversation with an FBI informant (most likely Wilson), Siddig Ali says regarding the camp, “Our goal is that these people get extensive and very, very, very good training, so that we can get started at anyplace where jihad (holy war) is needed… And after they receive their training, they go to Bosnia… And whoever survives, I mean, could come and [instruct] somewhere else, or Egypt, or any other place, etc…” [KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 73] Hampton-El makes trips to Europe to pick up money from the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA) charity front to fund the camp (see Late 1992-Early 1993). TWRA is funneling huge amounts of weapons into Bosnia in violation of a UN embargo but with the tacit approval of the US (see Mid-1991-1996). Entity Tags: Siddig Siddig Ali, Mohammed Abouhalima, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, Garrett Wilson, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, Third World Relief Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, 1993 WTC Bombing, Other Possible Moles or Informants

December 19, 1992: FBI, Having Fired Key Informant, Misses Opportunity to Uncover WTC Bombing Plot Mahmud Abouhalima, one of the 1993 WTC bombing plotters, calls Emad Salem. Salem had been an FBI informant on a group close to the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, including Abouhalima, but he had been fired by the FBI some months before (see Early July 1992). Salem is mad at the FBI about being fired and doesn’t bother to tell them about the phone call, and doesn’t call Abouhalima back. It will later be discovered that on that same day other plotters begin calling chemical companies in search of bomb parts and the next day another FBI informant is contacted and asked to help get bomb parts (see Mid-November-December 20, 1992). Salem has bomb making expertise so it is likely Abouhalima was calling him to get help in making the bomb to blow up the WTC. The authors of the 2002 book The Cell will later note, “Had Salem still be working as an informant for [the FBI] at the time of the call, the World Trade center bombing plot might well have been cracked before Salem had hung up the phone.” [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 84-85] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mahmud Abouhalima, Emad Salem Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Other Possible Moles or Informants

December 29, 1992: Islamic Militants Attack Hotels in Yemen, Killing Two

The Movenpick hotel in Aden, Yemen. [Source: Al Bab] Bombs explode at two hotels, the Movenpick and the Gold Mohur, in Aden, Yemen, killing a tourist and a hotel worker. US soldiers involved in an operation in Somalia are sometimes billeted nearby, but none are killed or injured in the blasts. [BERGEN, 2001, PP. 176; SCHEUER, 2006, PP. 147] US intelligence will conclude in April 1993 that “[Bin Laden] almost certainly played a role” in this attack. However, there is little chance of a successful prosecution due to lack of evidence. [BERGEN, 2001, PP. 176; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] Other operatives involved in the bombing are reputedly “point man” Tariq Nasr al-Fadhli, a leading Afghan veteran and tribal leader who later lives on a Yemeni government stipend, and Jamal al-Nahdi, who is said to have lost a hand in the blast. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/26/2000] The Yemen government sends an armored brigade to arrest al-Fadhli and he eventually surrenders, but is soon set free. Author Peter Bergen will later comment: “[T]he Yemeni government seems to have developed amnesia: al-Fadhli became a member of the president’s personally selected consultative council and his sister is married to General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, a member of President Saleh’s family; al-Nahdi is a businessman in Sana’a and a member of the permanent committee of Yemen’s ruling party.” [BERGEN, 2001, PP. 176] The US announces it is withdrawing from Yemen shortly after the bombings (see Shortly After December 29, 1992). Entity Tags: US intelligence, Tariq Nasr al-Fadhli, Jamal al-Nahdi, Osama bin Laden, Peter Bergen Category Tags: Warning Signs, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks, Yemeni Militant Collusion, 1993 Somalia Fighting

Shortly After December 29, 1992: US Announces Withdrawal from Yemen following Bombings, Bin Laden Later Claims Victory Following attacks on two hotels near where US troops stayed (see December 29, 1992), the US announces it will no longer use Yemen as a base to support operations in Somalia. [BERGEN, 2001, PP. 176] Although no US troops are killed, the attacks are regarded as a success by militant Islamists. In 1998, Osama bin Laden will say, “The United States wanted to set up a military base for US soldiers in Yemen, so that it could send fresh troops to Somalia… The Arab mujaheddin related to the Afghan jihad carried out two bomb explosions in Yemen to warn the United States, causing damage to some Americans staying in those hotels. The United States received our warning and gave up the idea of setting up its military bases in Yemen. This was the first al-Qaeda victory scored against the Crusaders.” [SCHEUER, 2006, PP. 147] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, US Department of the Army Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, 1993 Somalia Fighting

Timeline linksEdit

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11

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