Presidential Daily Briefing
bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US
AUGUST 6, 2001
Declassified and Approved for Release: April 10, 2004
Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct foreign terrorist attacks on the U.S. Bin Ladin implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."
After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted] service.
An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted] service at the same that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.
The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.
Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.
Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.
Al Qa'ida members - including some who are U.S. citizens - have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were U/S. citizens, and a senior member lived in California in the mid-1990s.
A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.
For the President Only
6 August 2001
Declassified and Approved
for Release, 10 April 2004
Monday, August 06, 2001
Presidential Daily Briefing
Presidential Daily Briefing AUGUST 6, 2001
Posted by Vigilante at 12:24 AM