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T3 B9 Galley Edits of Final Report Fdr- Chapter 4- Team 3 Notes 991

T3 B9 Galley Edits of Final Report Fdr- Chapter 4- Team 3 Notes 991

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02/03/2013

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9-11
Chl_4.1pp7/13/04
11:31
AM
Page
RESPONSES
TO AL
QAEDA'SINITIAL
ASSAULTS
4.1
BEFORE
THE
BOMBINGS
IN
KENYA
AND
TANZANIA
Although the
1995
National Intelligence Estimate
had
warned
of a
newtypeof
terrorism,
many
officials
continuedtothinkofterrorists
as
agents
ofstates
(Saudi Hezbollah acting
for
Iran against Khobar
Towers) or as
domestic criminals
(Timothy
McVeigh
in
OklahomaCity).
As we
pointed
out in
chapter^the
White
House
is not a
nat-
ural
locus
for
program management.
Hence,
government
efforts
to
cope with terrorism were essentially the work of individual agencies.President
Bill
Clinton's counterterrorism
Presidential
Decision
Directives
in
1995 (no.
39) and May
1998
(no.
62)
reiterated
that
ter-
rorism
was a
national security problem,
not
just
a law
enforcement
issue.
They reinforced the authority of the National Security Council(NSC) to coordinate domestic as well as foreign
counterterrorism
efforts,
through
Richard
Clarke
and his
interagencyCounterterrorism
Security
Group (CSG). Spotlighting new concerns about unconven-tional attacks, these directives assigned tasks
to
lead agencies
but did
not
differentiate
typesofterrorist threats. Thus, while Clarke might
prod or
push agencies
to
act, what actually happened
was
usually
decidedat
the
State Department,
the
Pentagon,
the
CIA,
or the
Justice
Depart-ment.
The
efforts
of
these agencies were sometimes energetic
and
sometimes
effective.
Terrorist plots were disrupted and individual
ter-
rorists
were captured. But the United States did
not,
before
9/11,
adopt as aclear strategic objectivethe
eliminatio
125
 
9-11
Chl_4.1pp
7/13/04
11:31
AM
Page
126
THE
9/11
COMMISSION
REPORT
Early
Efforts
against
Bin
Ladin
Until
1996, hardly anyone
in the
U.S. government understood that
Usarna
BinLadinwas an inspirer andorganizerof the newterrorism.In 1993, the CIA noted that he had paid for the training of someEgyptian terrorists in Sudan. The State Departmentdetected.hismoney in aid to the Yemeni terrorists who set a bomb in an attempt
to
kill U.S. troops
in
Aden
in
1992.
State
Department
sources even
saw
suspicious
links with OmarAbdelRahman, the "Blind Sheikh" in the
New
York
area,
commenting that Bin Ladin seemed "committed tofinancing 'Jihads' against 'antiIslamic'regimes worldwide."
After
thedepartment designated Sudanastate sponsorofterrorismin1993,itput Bin Ladin on its TIPOFF watchlist, a move
that
might
have
pre-vented hisgettingavisahad hetriedto
enter
theUnited States.Aslate as 1997, however, even the CIA's Counterterrorist Center
contin-
ued to describe him as an
"extremist
financier."
1
In
1996,
the CIA set up a special unit to collect intelligence on andplan operations against
Bin
Ladin. David
Cohen,
the
head
of the
CIA'sClandestine Service, wanted to test the idea of having a "virtual sta-
tion"—a
station based
at
headquarters
but
collecting
and
operating
against a
subject
much
as
stations
in the field
focus
on a
country. Tak-
ing his cue
from
National
Security Advisor Anthony Lake,
who
expressed special interest
in
terrorist
finance,
Cohen
formed his
vir-tual station as a terrorist financial links unit. He had trouble getting
any
Directorate of Operations
officer
to run it; he finally recruited aformeranalyst
who was
then running
the
Islamic Extremist Branch
ofthe
Counterterrorist
Center.This
officer,
who was
especially
knowl-
edgeable about Afghanistan, had noticed a recent stream of reportsaboutBinLadinandsomething called
al
Qaeda,andsuggestedtoCohen thatthestation
focus
onthisoneindividual. Cohen agreed.Thus was born the Bin Ladin
unit.
2
In
May
1996,
Bin
Ladin
left
Sudan
for
Afghanistan.
A few
monthslater,as the BinLadin unitwasgearingup,
Jamal
Ahmedal
Fadl
walkedintoaU.S. embassyin
Africa,
establishedhisbonafides as aformer senior employee of Bin Ladin, and provided a major break-through of intelligence on the creation, character, direction, andintentions of al Qaeda. Confirming evidence came from anotherwalk-in source
at a
different
U.S. embassy. More
corroboration
was
supplied later that year
by
intelligence
and
other sources, includingmaterial gathered
by FBI
agents
and
Kenyan police
from
an al
Qaedacell
in Nairobi.
3
 
9-11
Chl_4.1pp
7/13/04
11:31
AM
Page
RESPONSES TO
AL
QAEDA'SINITIAL
ASSAULTS
127
/
\
By
1997,
officers
in the Bin Ladin unit recognized that Bin Ladin
was
more than
just
a financier.
They
learned that
al
Qaedahad amil-
itary
committee that
was
planning operations against U.S. interests
worldwide and was
actively trying
to
obtain nuclear material.
Analysts
assigned
to the station looked at the information it had gathered and
"found
connections everywhere," including links
to the
attacks
onU.S.
troops
in
Aden
and
Somalia
in
1992
and
1993
and to the
Manila
air
plot
in the
Philippines
in
1994-95.
4
The Bin
Ladin station
was
already working
on
plans
for
offensive
operations
against Bin Ladin. These
plans
ivere
directed at bothphys-"
ical
and financial
assets.?Liymet
juino
rooiotance
in the CTA
inH
still,
•more
•eventually
from
the
TP
=T
TCg3
ding-in
bank*.
The
MS(lu
luusidei
possible
actions
agaiml
utrtain
Mamieattempt to attack Bin Ladin's money holdings proved a blind
In
late
1995,
when
Buf
Ladm
was
still
in
Sudan,
the
State
Depart-
ment
and the CIA-kaaTearned
that Sudanese
officials
were discussing
with
the
Saudi government
the
possibility
of
expelling
Bin
Ladin. U.S.
Ambassador
Timothy Carney encouraged
the
Sudanese
to
pursue this
course. The
Saudis, however,
did not
want
Bin
Ladin, giving
as
their
reason
the
revocation
of his
citizenship.
A
Saudi
official
has
sinceexplained that the ruling
family
feared
criticism
if it jailed
someone
considered a
hero
by
many Muslims.
He
also
said
that
the
SudanesewantedtheSaudistoagreeinadvanceon a
pardon.
6
Sudan's
minister
of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan
offered
tohandBinLadin overto theUnited States.The Commission
has found
no
credible evidence that this
was so.
Ambassador Carneyhad instructions only
to
push
the
Sudanese
to
expel
Bin
Ladin.
:
vviel
fi
,
TT
ffi
-i
ill
n
il
..1
T
n
ti
*
r
.
imm.
,
n
, n,,
-asoo
ciatosTAmbassador
Carney
had no
legal
basis
to ask for
more
from
the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding.
7
The chief of the Bin Ladin station, whom we will
call
"Mike,"
saw
Bin
Ladin's move
to
Afghanistan
as a
stroke
of
luck. Though
the CIAhad
virtually abandoned
Afghanistan
after
the
Soviet withdrawal,
caseofficers
hadreestablishedoldcontacts while tracking downMir
Amal
Kansi,
the
Pakistani gunman
who had
murdered
two CIA
employees
in
January
1993.
These contacts contributed to intelligence about Bin
Ladin's
local movements, business activities, and security and living
arrangements, and
helped provide evidence that
he was
spending large
amounts
of money to help the Taliban. The chief of the
Counterter-

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