V. Bin Laden In Exile

On August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and bin Laden’s easy lifestyle received a jolt. Suddenly there was a new threat to be dealt with and a new mission for him to embrace. On the day of the invasion bin Laden flew from his home in Jeddah by private jet to the capital of Riyadh. He went directly to the offices of King Fahd and was met by Prince Sultan. He offered the prince a handwritten ten-page memorandum in which he offered to raise an army of 10,000 battle-hardened mujahedin veterans to complement the Saudi Arabian army, to liberate Kuwait and drive out Saddam Hussein’s army. Biographer Adam Robinson describes the situation,

"Family members recall that for several days after making the offer Osama remained glued to his mobile telephone, expecting a reply from King Fahd. He called the monarch’s office repeatedly, contacted several of King Fahd’s aides to repeat the offer, sent several faxes and dispatched members of his office staff to the king’s office with copies of his letters. Meanwhile he worked day and night in his office marshalling his forces, mobilising them in preparation for action, confident that they would be the key to success in the war that lay ahead. But then, on August 7, came the snub that has consumed and angered him until this day." (1)

On that day it was announced that King Fahd had agreed to allow a coalition of American-led forces to occupy Saudi Arabian territory to protect his regime and to prepare to liberate Kuwait. The Bush Administration had panicked King Fahd with reports of satellite photos showing Hussein’s forces massing on the border preparing for a Saudi invasion. The reports were entirely bogus, the satellite photos did not exist and the threat was a complete fabrication.


Iraq had no intention of invading Saudi Arabia, as they attempted to make clear through diplomatic channels and the international media. Nevertheless King Fahd was intimidated into believing that his regime was in danger and he allowed the occupation and troop buildup for Desert Storm. (2)

Osama bin Laden, along with the Islamic leadership within Saudi Arabia and around the world, considered this foreign occupation of holy Muslim lands to be an abomination.


Bodansky describes the problem faced by King Fahd,

"In early August 1990 King Fahd asked the ulema -the country’s senior religious leaders- to endorse the deployment of U.S. forces. ’All the senior ulema were categorically against the idea,’ a Saudi official said in a study by exiled Saudi scholar Nawaf Obaid. ’It was only after long discussions with the King that Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz reluctantly gave his endorsement to the idea on condition that solid proof be presented as to the [Iraqi] threat.’ ...Word of this conflict between the Saudi Court and the ulema spread like wildfire throughout the Islamist circles of Saudi Arabia." (3)

Bin Laden had this to say about King Fahd in a 1998 interview,

"Any government that sells its peoples’ interests and betrays its people and takes action that remove it from the Muslim nation will not succeed. We predict that the Riyadh leader and those with him that stood with the Jews and Christians with American identities or other, will disintegrate. They have left the Muslim nation. We predict that like the Iran royal family, the Shah, they will disperse and disappear. After Allah gave them property on the most sacred land and gave them wealth that is unheard of before from oil, still they sinned and did not value Allah’s gift. We predict destruction and dispersal..." (4)

Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, but as the foreign occupation continued, so did bin Laden’s outspoken criticism of the Saudi regime. He gave speeches at meetings and at mosques and as a result he began to be closely monitored by the Saudi secret police. Bin Laden began to receive threats and Robinson writes of relatives that recall that on one occasion he was even cornered and beaten up by a group of "youths" (allegedly Saudi secret service agents) for criticizing the government.(5) Bin Laden began to realize that he was not welcome in his home country and that he would be better able to pursue his goals outside of Saudi Arabia. In April of 1991 he was able to leave under the pretext of signing a business deal in Pakistan. He had no intention of returning.

Bin Laden spent about eight months in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but even there he did not feel completely free. The Pakistan government was not especially friendly to Islamists at this time and bin Laden often heard rumors that Saudi Intelligence was working with the ISI to arrest him and bring him back to Saudi Arabia. His close relationship with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was a problem as well, because Hekmatyar had angered the Saudis through his strong support for Saddam Hussein during Desert Storm.


Throughout the Middle East the Islamists were feeling a backlash. Afghanistan was in the midst of a civil war, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were cracking down, Iran was Shi’ite and unwelcome towards Sunnis, and Egypt was cracking down as well. As a result many of the most fanatical Islamists fled to London, where they were always accepted, or to the newly established Islamic Republic of Sudan, to which bin Laden was invited.

Sudan had become an official bastion of Islamic Fundamentalism starting on June 30, 1989, when General Omar Hassan al-Bashir took over in a military coup. In August, just a few months later, Sudan’s role was confirmed at a London meeting of the International Muslim Brotherhood. The Sudanese delegate was a man by the name of Hassan al-Turabi, who would emerge as the real power behind the throne in Sudan, and a mentor to Osama bin Laden.

Hassan al-Turabi was born in 1932, educated in English-language schools in Sudan and indoctrinated into Islam by his father. He graduated the British-run Gordon College in Khartoum in 1955 with a law degree, and sometime during this time he joined the Muslim Brotherhood. After Gordon College he received a scholarship to attend the University of London, where he received his masters degree in law. Turabi then attended the Sorbonne University in France receiving his doctorate in 1964. Back in Sudan he emerged as the intellectual leader and spokesman of the Islamist movement and the leader of the Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. He became known as the Black Pope of Africa. (6)

At the Muslim Brotherhood meeting in London in 1989 it was decided that Sudan would be a new base for the Islamist movement, and a Muslim Brotherhood leadership council of nineteen members was subsequently established in Khartoum under Turabi. This council helped to organize the Islamist movement in the chaotic aftermath of the Afghan-Soviet war and in April 1991 a conference called the "Islamic Arab People’s Conference" was held in Khartoum. This was a congress of Islamist and terrorist groups from around the world and it helped to establish the Popular International Organization. The PIO then established another council in Khartoum of fifty members, one each from the fifty countries around the world that were engaged in an Islamic struggle. (7)

The International Muslim Brotherhood does more than just create councils and more councils. The IMB also controls the "International Legion of Islam" or "Islamic Legion." It emerged during the 1980s and was based primarily in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and also in Tehran, (earlier we covered the role the Muslim Brotherhood played in evicting the Shah and setting up the hardline Shi’ite regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini). During the 1990s the Islamic Legion would work most effectively out of Khartoum. The Islamic Legion is simply an unofficial loose-knit military organization that helps to coordinate the global jihad. Yossef Bodansky, the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and author of the bin Laden biography sited often in this study, refers to the Islamic Legion as the Armed Islamic Movement or AIM.

The Islamist movement suffered a huge blow on July 5, 1991 when the Bank of Credit and Commerce International was finally shut down by the Bank of England. As related in Part One, this bank was an important conduit of drug profits and money laundering that also served as a broker for illegal arms deals. It had been an important component of the global Islamist movement’s financial network and now it had been dissolved. Before the movement could rise to its potential its leaders knew that a new financial network had to be set up. This may be one of the reasons for inviting bin Laden to Sudan, because bin Laden was married to the sister of Khalid bin Mahfouz. In the book "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden," the French authors describe Mahfouz,

"Khalid bin Mahfouz was a key figure in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI, affair. Between 1986 and 1990, he was a top executive there, holding the position of operational director. His family held a 20 percent share in the bank at the time. He was charged in the United States in 1992 with tax fraud in the bank’s collapse. In 1995, held jointly liable in the BCCI’s collapse, he agreed to a $245 million settlement to pay the bank’s creditors, allowing them to indemnify a portion of the bank’s clients. The specific charges against the bank were embezzlement and violation of American, Luxembourg and British banking laws.

After dominating the financial news throughout the 1990s the BCCI is now at the center of the financial network put in place by Osama bin Laden’s main supporters." (8)

In 1999 the French Parliament commissioned an intense and thorough investigation of global money-laundering. After publishing reports on Liechtenstein, Monaco and Switzerland it produced, on October 10, 2001, the conclusions of its investigations into the banking system of Great Britain:

"The City of London, Gibraltar and the Crown Dependencies: Offshore Centers and Havens for Dirty Money."

Attached to the 400-page report was a 70-page addendum entitled "The Economic Environment of Osama bin Laden" that focused specifically on the London-based financial network associated with Osama bin Laden. The report concludes that up to forty British banks, companies and individuals were associated with bin Laden’s network, including organizations in London, Oxford, Cheltenham, Cambridge and Leeds.


In introducing the report French Member of Parliament Arnaud Montebourg said,

"Tony Blair, and his government, preaches around the world against terrorism. He would be well advised to preach to his own bankers and oblige them to go after dirty money... Even the Swiss co-operate more than the English." (9)

French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard (who I believe worked on the report) offers this conclusion in his book Forbidden Truth,

"The financial network surrounding Osama bin Laden and his investments is similar in structure to the fraudulent network put in place in the 1980s by the BCCI. They even share some of the same personalities (former BCCI executives and directors, oil and arms dealers, Saudi investors) and, sometimes, the same companies (NCB, Attock oil, BAII).

The study points out the fact that BCCI financing networks have survived, even though Osama bin Laden receives parallel support from political or terrorist movements from the Islamist sphere of influence.

The convergence of financial interests and terrorist activities, especially Great Britain and Sudan, does not seem to have been an obstacle to each group’s desired objectives.

A terrorist network backed by a vast financing system is the trademark of Osama bin Laden’s operations." (10)

And now I am going to introduce a thesis that we will return to often throughout the rest of this study. It is simply this, that Osama bin Laden is not the head of this covert, shadowy financial network that has surfaced occasionally as a source of funding for bin Laden’s terrorist activities. Osama bin Laden is not, nor has he ever been, the leader of the international Islamist movement which is directed by the International Muslim Brotherhood. Osama bin Laden has been used effectively as a figurehead for the Brotherhood’s militant branch to take responsibility for its atrocities, but he is not the mastermind of the entire operation, or even of the operations which he is asked to direct or take responsibility for.

By the same token the Muslim Brotherhood is being used as a tool by the British-based Globalists whose main objective is to overthrow the established world order and create a new one-world system of global governance. But we will get to this secondary and more sensational thesis later.

The International Muslim Brotherhood had used the BCCI to finance its activities up until its closure in July of 1991. When this happened, which was after all of the important high-level Islamist meetings had already taken place in Sudan, Osama bin Laden was brought in to help organize the rebuilding of the network in December of 1991. Bin Laden had established a reputation as an excellent organizer during his years with the MAK in Peshawar and so he was the perfect man for the job, and his close relationship with his brother-in-law Khalid bin Mahfouz was an added benefit. Mahfouz knew the British banking establishment like the back of his hand and he knew exactly which British banks and bankers could be trusted to help rebuild the covert quasi-legal network.


Adam Robinson writes about the resurrection of this network, which owed a great debt to the organizer bin Laden,

"Within months, Osama unveiled before an astonished al-Turabi what he called ’the Brotherhood Group’ [author - yes, the ’Brotherhood Group’]. This was a network of 134 Arab businessmen whose combined commercial empire extended around the globe and back many times. They maintained bank accounts in virtually every country and, collectively, routinely shifted billions of dollars around as part of their legitimate businesses. It was a perfect front. The Brotherhood Group came to be utilized by terror groups all around the world. Osama was the toast of his industry." (11)

Bin Laden also helped to invigorate Sudan’s own failing banking industry when he invested $50 million to capitalize the El Shamal Islamic Bank of Khartoum. This was bin Laden’s bank, owned in partnership with Sudan’s National Islamic Front, which is simply the Sudanese branch of the International Muslim Brotherhood.

After helping to reestablish the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial network bin Laden was kept busy in Sudan on projects related to his profession as a contractor. A company was set up jointly controlled by bin Laden, the Sudanese military and Sudan’s National Islamic Front called Al-Hijra for Construction and Development Ltd. Major projects were tackled including the development of Port Sudan on the Red Sea, an airport at Port Sudan and a four lane highway over the 650 miles from the Port to Khartoum. Al-Hijra also undertook a project to widen the Blue Nile and to build the Rosaires Dam. Work was also done to improve the rail lines, several smaller airports were built, and roads were paved throughout the country. (12)

While bin Laden was being kept busy building Sudan’s infrastructure, the International Muslim Brotherhood (IMB) was preparing to confront the United States Military in Somalia. While the intent to insert American forces into Somalia for "humanitarian purposes" was not publicized until late 1992, the IMB seemed to anticipate American intervention almost from the time that the Somalian government fell in January of 1992. It’s almost as if the U.S. Military’s mission to Somalia was pre-arranged to confront the Islamists, and to fail.

As was noted earlier, Sudan announced its intention to become a militant base for the IMB at the London meeting of 1989. After that, organizations such as the one run by Abu Nidal, HAMAS, and Iran/Lebanon’s Hezbollah set up offices in Khartoum. Soon after training camps were opened and bin Laden was invited in. Also in late 1991 Iran and Sudan began to form a strategic friendship. This cooperation between militant Shi’ite and Sunni Fundamentalism immediately caught the attention of the regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and it was understood that Sudan was emerging as a threat.

Hassan al-Turabi also made the diplomatic rounds in the West. According to bin Laden biographer Roland Jacquard, Turabi visited London in 1992 and was a guest at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. This is the headquarters of the British Globalists and the parent organization of America’s Council on Foreign Relations. After this visit he also took a trip to the United States, where he was given an official reception in Washington.(13) Back in Sudan Turabi established links with Somalian warlord Muhammad Farah Aidid.


Bodansky explains,

"The Somalian terrorists were provided with equipment and weapons for the militias they would train and lead. Some of these militias operated within the ranks of the main Somalian parties, while others were completely independent, answering only to Khartoum... Tehran, which controlled and sponsored these Somalian terrorists via Sudan, planned on using them against the U.S. forces the same way the HizbAllah had been used by Syria and Iran against the U.S. peacekeepers in Beirut in the early 1980s." (14)

In late 1992 the IMB also called upon Sheikh Tariq al-Fadli to return to Yemen from his comfortable exile in London to organize a terrorist cell to strike the American forces that would soon be passing through on their way to Somalia. Bin Laden had known al-Fadli from the Afghan campaign, and bin Laden was instrumental in linking the sheikh up with the thousands of Yemeni "Afghans" that had returned home. Al-Fadli was inserted into Yemen in "mid-November" according to Bodansky, while the intention to commit American forces to Somalia was not revealed by the Clinton Administration until November 28. (15)

American forces landed on the beaches of Somalia on December 9, 1992, as captured ridiculously by the floodlights of the waiting horde of international media. From the beginning the world, the majority of American citizens, and especially American servicemen and women, wondered what in the hell the US Military was doing trying to impose order upon the chaotic and unappreciative Islamic country of Somalia.

Initially the operation appeared to be a success, and the humanitarian aid was allowed to pass through, but the Islamists were simply biding their time waiting to strike. The first attack took place in Yemen, on December 29, 1992. Al-Fadli’s newly-organized Yemeni Islamic Jihad detonated bombs in the Aden Hotel and Golden Moor Hotel, killing three and wounding five. One of the bombs barely missed hitting a contingent of 100 American marines on their way to Somalia. Another team armed with RPGs failed as well, caught near the fences of an airport where U.S. Air Force transport planes were parked nearby. Al-Fadli and a few of his followers surrendered on January 8, 1993. The rest of the Yemeni "Afghans" were airlifted to Somalia by Osama bin Laden in a covert operation in the middle of 1993. Bin Laden later boasted in an interview that this operation cost him $3 million of his own money. (16)

On June 5, 1993, back in Mogadishu General Aidid’s forces ambushed and killed a Pakistani detachment of UN forces, killing twenty-three blue-helmeted soldiers. Aidid left Somalia and turned up later in June in Khartoum to appear at a top-level Islamist meeting. Turabi, bin Laden, a number of Iranian agents, and the head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Ayman al-Zawahiri, also attended. The meeting was focused on evicting the United States and the UN from Somalia. Bodansky writes that the operation was headed by Turabi, with Zawahiri, along with several other Arab "Afghans" serving under him as the military commanders. Bin Laden, like always, was responsible for the logistical support. In the fall of 1993 Zawahiri entered Somalia where he coordinated operations with Aidid’s senior commanders. (17)

The resistance to Operation Restore Hope peaked on October 3, 1993, with the events that have been memorably re-enacted in the Hollywood movie "Blackhawk Down." On this day Aidid’s forces managed to shoot down two Blackhawk helicopters, wound seventy-eight American soldiers, kill eighteen and capture another. Up to a thousand Somali fighters and civilians were killed in the carnage. After this incident it became apparent to the Clinton Administration that the Somali operation needed to come to an end. By March of 1994 almost all of the American forces had pulled out, leaving the Islamists in control.

Bin Laden considered this another great victory for Islam. First the Soviets had been beaten and expelled from Afghanistan, and now the United States had been beaten and expelled from Somalia. Two superpowers had been defeated by the strength of Islam. Robinson relates the following interview of bin Laden,

"The so-called superpowers vanished into thin air. We think that the United States is very much weaker than Russia. Based on the reports we received from our brothers who participated in jihad in Somalia, we learned that they saw the weakness, frailty, and cowardice of US troops. Only 80 US troops were killed. Nonetheless, they fled in the heart of darkness, frustrated, after they had caused great commotion about the new world order..." (18)

Section Notes and Sources


Back to Contents

VI. World Trade Center 1993

Under Hassan al-Turabi Sudan had achieved a great victory for the Muslim Brotherhood by evicting the United States from Somalia. But even prior to the Somalia engagement the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in a major strike at the heart of the United States. On February 26, 1993 the World Trade Center bombing occurred in which six people were killed and up to a thousand more were wounded, with the cost of damages over $250 million. The intention of the bomber, Ramzi Youssef, was to topple one tower onto the other, and at the same time disperse a cloud of cyanide gas over New York City. Fortunately the explosion in the underground parking structure was not enough to topple the tower, but it was enough to burn up the cyanide gas making it ineffective.

The mainstream media focused on the blind sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who was arrested, tried and convicted for being involved in the conspiracy. He was the leader of the Jamaat al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group), who had been imprisoned in Egypt for his moral support of the murderers of Anwar Sadat. When he was released in 1985 he made his way to Pakistan where he linked up with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Abdullah Azzam. He became a very famous cleric within Islamist circles, well known for his fearless militant preaching, and for his hatred of President Mubarak of Egypt. Throughout the late ’80s he constantly traveled preaching in Islamic centers throughout Saudi Arabia and even in Britain, Germany and the United States, with the blessing of the CIA. He also met several times with Hassan al-Turabi in Khartoum and London. (1)

In May of 1990 he acquired a visa from the American consulate in Khartoum, from a CIA agent posing as an official, despite the fact that his name was on a State Department list of terrorist suspects. Rahman settled in New Jersey where he began to preach the same militant message that he had always preached. In November of 1990 the State Department revoked Sheikh Rahman’s visa and advised the INS to be on the lookout for him. Five months later the INS, instead of deporting him, issued Rahman a green card. (2)

Sheikh Rahman’s move to the United States was sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood through at least two individuals. One was Mahmud Abouhalima, a member of the Brotherhood who had worked with the CIA in Afghanistan and networked with radical Muslims and Black Panthers in the United States. The other was Mustafa Shalabi who was the director of Abdullah Azzam’s Al Kifah Center in Brooklyn. (3)

After Rahman set up his mosque in New Jersey he and his associates began to pressure Shalabi to turn over control of the Al Kifah Center and its $2 million in assets to Sheikh Rahman. Shalabi backed down in the face of this threat and made plans to leave Brooklyn for Peshawar, Pakistan in March of 1991. The man chosen to succeed Shalabi as director of the Center was a Lebanese-American named Wadih el-Hage, a man closely-affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (most likely a member) who lived at the time in Arlington, Texas.


The transition was complicated however, by the murder of Shalabi on February 26, and although el-Hage was in Brooklyn at the time he did not take over the Al Kifah Center after Shalabi’s sudden death. Instead he returned to his home in Arlington where he continued his work brokering auto deals to the Middle East. About two years later he was called to Sudan where he worked for Osama bin Laden traveling and selling the agricultural merchandise from bin Laden’s businesses. Eventually he became bin Laden’s personal secretary. Today he is in a U.S. jail for his involvement with Al Qaeda and connection to the African embassy bombings of 1998, even though he returned to the United States in 1997. (4)

In Brooklyn the Al Kifah Center came under the complete control of Sheikh Rahman’s network. In September of 1992 the network brought Ramzi Yousef into the United States. Yousef is now generally recognized as the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and his case presents an interesting challenge. He entered the United States as Ramzi Yousef on an Iraqi passport. He had no visa, but was given political asylum. Some months later he visited the Pakistani consulate and, after presenting the required documentation, was given a passport under the name Abdul Basit Karim. The U.S. Government’s investigation of Ramzi Yousef concluded that Abdul Basit Karim was indeed his true identity.

Abdul Basit Karim was born in Kuwait in 1968 to a Pakistani father and Palestinian mother. His father was an employee of Kuwait Airlines. In 1984 Karim moved to Britain and began his college education. He took English language courses at the Oxford College of Further Education and attended the West Glamorgen Institute in Swansea, where he graduated with a degree in electronic engineering in 1989. According to Ramzi Yousef’s own confession, taken after he was finally arrested and brought to the U.S. in 1995, he was recruited into the Islamist movement in 1987 while living in Swansea after he was approached by local members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the summer of 1988 he traveled to Pakistan where he attended one of the many Brotherhood-sponsored mujahedin training camps.


After graduating with his degree in 1989 he was injured in a bomb blast in Karachi while he was trying to perfect his skills as a bomb-maker. During Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait he was in Kuwait collaborating with the Iraqis, as charged by the Kuwaiti Interior Minister, and then prior to Desert Storm he fled to the Philippines where he offered his expertise in bomb-making to the fledgling Islamist groups that were beginning to make their presence known. Abdul Basit Karim, a.k.a. Ramzi Yousef, was a Muslim Brotherhood operative and expert bomb maker, and the network brought him to the United States in late 1992 for the sole purpose of destroying the World Trade Center. (5)

A different theory on Ramzi Yousef’s true identity that has unfortunately achieved wide-spread coverage must also be addressed. In the aftermath of the 1993 attack there was a serious effort on the part of many conservatives to implicate Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as the state-sponsor of the 1993 bombing. This theory was spearheaded by well-respected analyst Laurie Mylroie, and subsequently supported by former head of the CIA James Woolsey, who was grasping for anything to mask the CIA’s own involvement in the bombing that occurred while he was director. The Iraq theory claims that Abdul Basit Karim was a mild-mannered academic who was murdered by Iraqi Intelligence during their occupation of Kuwait in 1990, and that Karim’s identity was stolen and given to "Iraqi super-agent" Ramzi Yousef.


This theory is almost entirely based on the fact that the Kuwaiti documents of Karim had been obviously tampered with prior to 1993 when they were brought forward during the investigation of the WTC bombing. Mylroie and company concluded that the Iraqis must have been responsible for this and that the tampering had been done to allow Yousef to take over Karim’s identity. The fingerprints between Karim and Yousef matched, and so the tampering was alleged by Mylroie to have also included switching fingerprints. This theory was quickly supported by a number of conservatives in the United States, and also by several prominent journalists in Great Britain. (6)

Mylroie does not consider the possibility that the documents may have been tampered with to cover up Karim’s collaboration with the Iraqi invaders and his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood which supported Iraq during the invasion. Mylroie’s elaborate theory was also understandably supported by several members of the faculty of Karim’s Swansea university. Ken Reid, the deputy principle, claimed that Karim’s height and weight were different than Yousef’s. He also stated that Yousef’s deformed eye and smaller ears and mouth did not match Karim’s.(7)


Brad White, a former Senate investigator and CBS newsman also took up Mylroie’s cause and interviewed teachers who had known Karim.

"Two people had a good memory of Abdul Basit but, shown photos of Yousef, were unable to make a positive identification. They both felt that while there was some similarity in looks, it was not the same person. ’Our feeling is that Ramzi Yousef is probably not Basit’, White was told."(8)

However, these alleged differences can be partly explained by Yousef’s bomb-making accident in Karachi in 1989 that resulted in facial injuries and a lengthy hospitalization.

Another angle was attempted by a British journalist who described Yousef’s command of the English language as "appalling" and theorized that he could not be the same Karim who had lived in Britain for four years and attended language courses at Oxford.(9) This theory falls flat when faced with Yousef’s performance during his trial:

"He insisted on representing himself at the first trial; he cut a sharp figure in a tailored, double-breasted suit, frequently turned on the charm and generally represented himself surprisingly well, even getting hostile witnesses to contradict themselves."(10)

Could his English have been that "appalling" for him to represent himself so well at his American trial?

Simon Reeve in his book The New Jackals confronts the allegations that Yousef was not Karim. He mentions Neil Herman, the head of the FBI investigation into the 1993 bombing, and he also quotes from several of Basit’s friends from his days at Swansea,

"...Neil Herman and the FBI are convinced Yousef and Karim are one and the same, and several former students remember and identify ’Ramzi,’ their ’temperamental’ and ’volatile’ former mate. ’One minute he was your friend, and the next . . .’ said one Welsh student. Another former student from South Wales remembers a mutual friend of his and Yousef’s -a Briton from an Asian family- mentioning a political conversation the two men had. ’He’s a real nutter,’ the man was told. Another student cut out and kept newspaper articles from Yousef’s trial. When Yousef was still on the run he remembers comparing the newspaper pictures with those in his albums. ’That’s my friend Jane, she’s a teacher,’ he would say to friends looking at the albums, ’that’s my friend Phil, he’s an engineer, and then [turning to the articles] that’s my friend Ramzi, the international terrorist and most wanted man in the world.’ " (10b)

In any case, it is understandable that the faculty of Karim’s university would like to distance their institution from Yousef the terrorist mastermind, and it is understandable that conservatives like Mylroie were so willing to look for a "higher power" responsible for the WTC bombing. A higher power did exist, but it was not Iraq, and most conservatives are so completely anglophile in their outlook that they find it impossible to look critically at Britain, which is where the Muslim Brotherhood is based.

The question of Yousef’s true identity was finally settled in the few weeks after September 11, 2001. Former CIA chief James Woolsey was dispatched to London to gather whatever proof he could that Iraq was at least partially responsible for the attacks. His trip was independently sponsored by Paul Wolfowitz, the hawkish deputy defense secretary, creating a rift within the Bush Administration and angering the state department and the CIA.(11) Woolsey focused on the allegations that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta had met with Iraqi Intelligence in Prague, and he also looked into Yousef’s alleged Iraqi connection:

"Another bit of intrigue that Woolsey has been exploring while in Britain involves a convicted Kuwaiti terrorist known as Ramzi Youssef, whose real name is Abdul Basit. Woolsey claims that Youssef is an Iraqi agent who kidnapped Basit and stole his identity. Woolsey’s sleuthing has made him something of a laughingstock among British police and intelligence, who are "bemused" by his activities, according to one British official. But Woolsey’s own lack of credibility hasn’t stopped the mainstream media from quoting him extensively to whip up anti-Iraq hysteria." (12)

Woolsey met with British Intelligence who, to Woolsey’s dismay, agreed with the long-standing conclusion of the American investigators in Yousef’s trial and confirmed that Ramzi Yousef really was Abdul Basit Karim, and not an Iraqi impostor. The matter has since been dropped, although Laurie Mylroie continues to believe that the British are going out of their way to cover for Saddam, (12a) even while Tony Blair scrambles for reasons to support Bush’s plans to invade Iraq.

Abdul Basit Karim, a.k.a. Ramzi Yousef, fled the United States immediately after the February 26, 1993 bombing to Karachi, Pakistan. In 1994 he appeared back in the Philippines where he joined up with the Muslim Brotherhood cell that had been established to support the new Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in Mindanao. Karim met up with Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, who had helped to finance the initial creation of the Abu Sayyaf group that is named after militant Islamist Dr. Abdurrab Rasul Sayyaf.(13)


Dr. Sayyaf received his doctorate from Cairo’s Al Azhar University and became one of the most important theologians in Afghanistan. He founded the University of Sawal al-Jihad in Peshawar around 1990 and is today an outspoken militant critic of the new Karzai government in Afghanistan and an enemy of the United States. Abu Sayyaf is seen by many as an Al Qaeda front group, but in reality it is a Muslim Brotherhood group that was planned long before Osama bin Laden emerged as the "international terrorist mastermind."

In the Philippines Abdul Basit Karim, a.k.a. Yousef, also interacted closely with his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is now understood to be the operational mastermind of the attacks of September 11, and suspected as the mastermind of WTC 1993. Like Karim, Mohammed was born in Kuwait, but moved to Pakistan.(14) Kuwaiti records show that Karim’s entire family moved from Kuwait to Pakistan on August 26, 1990 during the Iraqi occupation.(15) Indian Intelligence believes that the entire family is originally from the Balochistan province of Pakistan and that Karim was only raised in Kuwait.(16) In any case, Karim and his uncle Khalid, who once attended a North Carolina college,(17) are the terrorists who originally conceived of the operation that was finally pulled off on September 11.


Philippine Police uncovered the plot, known as Operation Bojinka, after raiding Karim’s apartment due to an alarm raised from a bomb-making accident. A computer was recovered which contained plans to place bombs on eleven U.S. jetliners timed to go off simultaneously. One of the captured members of the cell, Abdul Hakim Murad, later admitted under interrogation that phase two of the plan was to hijack jetliners and fly them into targets such as the CIA headquarters, the White House, the Pentagon and possibly some skyscrapers. Murad was sure of this because he had attended several American flight schools, in Texas, New York and North Carolina, and he was to be one of the suicide pilots. (18)

Uncovering the plot and disrupting the terrorist cell was a triumph for Philippine Intelligence, and the CIA awarded Senior Inspector Aida D. Fariscal a certificate of merit "In recognition of your personal outstanding efforts and co-operation." (19a) The CIA then promptly forgot all about Operation Bojinka.

Karim, a.k.a. Ramzi Yousef, was able to barely escape from the Philippines and avoid arrest, but he did leave behind several technical reference books that he had stolen from the Swansea library (further confirming his identity as Karim) (19b). He made his way back to Pakistan where he easily went underground in the extensive Islamist network. He would have continued to have been a key figure in the global terror network, but he was betrayed by one of his closest associates.


A South African Muslim recruited by Karim offered information on Karim’s whereabouts in return for the $2 million reward offered by the American government for his arrest. Karim was apprehended in his apartment by U.S. and Pakistani security officials on February 7, 1995. The informant collected the $2 million reward and now lives in the United States under a new identity with his family, sheltered by the Witness Protection Program.(20) Karim was subsequently deported to the United States and tried and convicted for the WTC bombing. "Ramzi Yousef" now serves a life sentence of 240 years.

Karim’s uncle escaped out of the Philippines as well. However, in 1996 while he was in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar a deal was struck between the Qatar government and the FBI to detain Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and turn him over to the United States. The FBI dispatched a team to Qatar who waited for their prize in a hotel, but at the last minute the deal fell through. Apparently a "higher power" had intervened at the last moment and Mohammed was spirited away. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed escaped to Prague, of all places, where he set up a new headquarters under the name Mustaf Nasir. Who could have possibly intervened to disrupt an important deal that was at the final stage between two sovereign governments?


The person who intervened in the deal was reportedly the government minister in charge of religious affairs.(21) The other factor that must be considered is that Qatar is the home of one of the most prominent and outspoken Muslim Brotherhood theologians, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Qatar, who also works out of London as head of the Islamic Council of Europe.(22) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s stay in Qatar had to have been hosted by the Muslim Brotherhood, and only the Muslim Brotherhood possessed the influence and power necessary to disrupt the deal to deport Mohammed to American authorities.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the key to uncovering the entire conspiracy surrounding September 11, yet investigative journalists around the world are unable to uncover hardly anything about the man’s life. Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and brutally murdered for pursuing his investigation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into Pakistan, and the dramatically edited high-tech video of his execution by beheading was disseminated worldwide via the internet as a warning.


When the US Congress began its inquiry into the events of September 11 they found that CIA chief George Tenet prevented the declassification of all information regarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mohammed’s name was not even allowed to be mentioned in the inquiry’s report. Tenet knows that a critical examination of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will reveal Mohammed’s close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and subsequently the Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to the elite intelligence organizations of the West. Mohammed was a CIA asset, as was "Ramzi Yousef."


They were a part of the Muslim Brotherhood organization but they were Muslims in name only. The Philippine investigation revealed that Mohammed and his nephew "Yousef" both enjoyed drinking, partying, visiting strip bars and pursuing the local women.(23) It was the same thing with many of the hijackers of 9-11 as they passed the time in Florida up to their operation. This stands in stark contrast to Osama bin Laden, who would put his fingers to his ears when music played while out in public in Sudan.(24)


Osama bin Laden was loosely connected to the events of September 11, but only because the international Islamist movement is so small, and he played little if any part in planning and executing the operation. The truth may only be found through Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and too many powerful interests are determined to hide that truth.

Section Notes and Sources


Back to Contents

VII. Bin Laden’s Money Problems

By the end of 1993, after serving al-Turabi and the Muslim Brotherhood dutifully for two years, bin Laden began to feel a cash crunch. He was not allowed to withdraw funds at will from the ’Brotherhood Group’ financial network that he had helped set up after the fall of the BCCI because it was not his network. He was dependent on his masters do disperse these funds to him and at this time the Brotherhood did not see any cause for which bin Laden needed funding.

The primary reason for bin Laden going broke was that the Saudi government had blocked all of his assets and bank accounts. This fact is related by a number of sources, including Robinson, and the unnamed author (I have reasons to believe he is Dr. Saad al-Fagih) of a biography of bin Laden posted at PBS.

To remedy this situation Osama bin Laden did what many other Saudi dissidents have done over the past several decades: he moved to London and established an organization to publicize his group and to accept donations from the millions of affluent Muslims living in Britain. This was done by the aforementioned Dr. Saad al-Fagih, who fled Saudi Arabia and set up his Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, and also by Dr. Muhammed al-Massari who fled Saudi Arabia and set up the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights (CDLR).

The fact that bin Laden lived in London for a short period of time received a great deal of publicity in 1999 with the publication of Yossef Bodansky’s book, Bin Laden - the Man Who Declared War on America. Bodansky’s claim was challenged by several London journalists, and most notably by CNN’s resident terrorist "expert" Peter Bergen, the author of Holy War, Inc., who ridiculed the possibility. However, bin Laden’s time in London has since been confirmed by Saudi-based journalist Adam Robinson in his book Bin Laden - Behind the Mask of the Terrorist. His biography, published late in 2001, draws from interviews with Osama’s immediate family and gives a detailed account of bin Laden’s three months in England at the beginning of 1994.

Upon arriving Bin Laden bought a house "on, or near, Harrow Road in the Wembley area of London. He paid cash, and used an intermediary as the named owner."(1) Bin Laden’s most important task was setting up his organization, the Advice and Reformation Committee, to disperse his press releases and to receive donations. After bin Laden left a fellow Saudi dissident, Khaled al-Fawwaz ran the ARC from London, keeping in touch with bin Laden via satellite phone, and distributing his statements to the many Arab-language newspapers based in London.


As mentioned in Part One, bin Laden also established relations with two London residents that were crucial to crafting his image as an international spokesman for, and mastermind of, the militant Islamist movement over the years. The first was Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor of the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, and the other was radical cleric, and Muslim Brother, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, who called himself "the voice of Osama bin Laden" and directed the extremist Islamic Liberation Party and the al-Muhajiroun organization out of his London mosque.

Robinson also relates that bin Laden found the time to do some sightseeing. He writes,

"Osama was given to sending postcards. This paper trail shows that he toured the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum. He also left the south of England on at least one occasion and was one of the million people every year who visit Edinburgh Castle in the Scottish capital." (2)

Robinson also describes bin Laden’s reaction upon attending two important Arsenal football games, including a March 15 match that saw Arsenal defeat Torino and advance into the semifinals of a European tournament. Bin Laden commented on the excitement and passion of the fans, and later told his friends and family that it was like nothing he had ever seen. When he returned to Sudan he brought back with him Arsenal Club memorabilia, including a jersey for his fifteen-year-old son Abdullah.(3)

Bin Laden’s London excursion was cut short by interference from Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden was not a terrorist "mastermind," but he was a high-level militant operative of the Muslim Brotherhood, and he was the most highly-connected Saudi to ever publicly turn against his government. According to Robinson further pressure was placed on the Saudi regime by Yemen, and also in early 1994 by President Mubarak of Egypt.(4) Both governments were receiving intelligence that Sudan was aiding terrorists trying to destabilize their regimes. Robinson describes Saudi Arabia’s response to the bin Laden problem,

"In April 1994, his Saudi citizenship was revoked for ’irresponsible behaviour,’ and he was informed that he was no longer welcome in his land of birth because he had ’committed acts that adversely affected the brotherly relations of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries.’ " (5)

In England the Saudi government demanded that Britain turn him over to be extradited. Instead he was allowed to quietly leave the UK and return to Sudan. Bin Laden’s first move after coming home was to issue a statement denouncing the Saudi decision revoking his citizenship. His response was that he was not dependent upon his Saudi Arabian nationality to define himself as a Muslim. Several weeks later his ARC sprang to life in London, describing itself in press releases as "a political group that aimed to be an effective opposition inside and outside of the one-party system in Saudi Arabia." (6) Robinson p. 173

For the next several years in Sudan bin Laden continued to be wary of his finances. His own enterprises commanded a very high overhead and so he needed a continual cash flow. In a 1996 interview with Abdel Bari Atwan’s Al-Quds Al-Arabi he claimed that he had lost over "$150 million on farming and construction projects" during his time in Sudan.(7) He never ran out of money but he began to be more careful of his spending. The ’Brotherhood Group’ may have been a financial network that never lacked for funds, but bin Laden’s personal accounts were not endless. This fact became clear through the testimony of several Al Qaeda operatives who were arrested in the aftermath of the African embassy bombings of 1998, and from the testimony of Al Qaeda defectors.

One defector, Jamal al-Fadl, who at one time ran bin Laden’s payroll, complained of his $500 a month salary and compared it with the $1200 salary some of the Egyptian employees were making. Bin Laden explained that they were paid more because they could command higher salaries back in Egypt and he wanted to keep them in the group. Al-Fadl later defected after stealing $110,000 from bin Laden. (8)

Another defector, L’Houssaine Kerchtou, became upset with bin Laden after he refused to pay for an emergency caesarian operation needed for his pregnant wife. He testified that,

"Since the end of ’94 - ’95 we have a crisis in Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden himself, he was talking to us and saying that there is no money and he lost all his money, and he shouldn’t extend a lot of things and he reduced the salary of people."

Kerchtou also testified that bin Laden refused to pay to have his pilot’s license renewed. One would think that licensed pilots would be considered a tremendous asset for the infamous Al Qaeda terrorist organization. (9)

In late 2001 Al-Quds Al-Arabi published a series of reports on Bin Laden’s life in Sudan. The reports characterized his stay as "negative," and described the terrible financial cost to him,

"The Sudan era was important despite its negative impact on Bin Ladin. The Sudanese viewed him as an investor who came to support the Islamic project declared by Dr. Hasan al-Turabi, the spiritual leader of the Sudanese Islamic revolution... On one side, it was a bitter experience for Bin Ladin that cost him huge amounts of money but on the other side, it was a time when many of the subsequent ideas and acts were fermented." (10)

Other problems arose within Al Qaeda while bin Laden was based in Sudan. When Sheikh Rahman was taken into American custody following the 1993 WTC bombing a number of bin Laden’s Egyptian employees demanded that plans be made to strike back at America, but bin Laden refused. Because of this a number of them left Al Qaeda in disgust. Later on, due to Libyan pressure on Sudan, bin Laden attempted to send his Libyan operatives home. He explained the situation to them and offered plane tickets for themselves and their families, but they were so disgusted to see bin Laden cave in to the political pressure that they refused the offer and walked out. (11)

The embassy bombings trial did a great deal to undermine the notion that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization was a tremendously wealthy, invincible, seamless, secretive terror machine capable of striking anywhere in the world. Up until the middle of 2001 the New York Times was publishing articles such as the one on May 31 by Benjamin Weiser entitled "Trial Poked Holes in Image of bin Laden’s Terrorist Group," but these reports were not enough to shatter the illusion, and September 11 brought it back with a vengeance.

Bin Laden’s money woes and other internal problems may be one explanation for the apparent betrayal of bin Laden by Hassan al-Turabi and the Sudanese government. According to American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who met with Turabi in July of 1996, Sudan made several offers to hand bin Laden over to the United States in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.(12) The first offer were was made in February of 1996, but it was ignored by the Clinton Administration, even though a State Department report, Patterns of Global Terrorism was calling bin Laden,

"one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world today."

The offer was repeated in May of 1996 as bin Laden was preparing to move his organization to Afghanistan, but likewise ignored. Even after bin Laden left Sudan the government made offers to supply the Clinton Administration with information. According to a Newsday.com article Ijaz relayed these offers, but the White House remained uninterested,

"On a subsequent visit to Sudan, he said, he met with the Sudanese intelligence chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi. ’If you can persuade your government to come here, this is what can be made available to them,’ said al-Mahdi, as reported by Ijaz, gesturing at three stacks of files before him. ’We have the entire network, not just bin Laden or Hezbollah. We understand everything going on in the Islamic world.’ " (13)

According to a January 6, 2002 article in The Sunday Times of London, in a post-9/11 dinner party in Manhattan, Clinton admitted that letting Osama bin Laden go was probably "the biggest mistake of my presidency."

But the question arises, was the offer genuine? Was Sudan willing to betray "the entire network" of militant Islam? Ijaz had met with National Security Council deputy Sandy Berger and Susan Rice, the senior advisor on African affairs to relay the offers. Rice subsequently explained that the offers were ignored because of Sudan’s proven track record of duplicity,

"The Sudanese are one of the most slippery, dishonest governments in the world. The only thing that matters is what they do, not what they say they’re going to do. They’re very good at saying one thing and doing another." (14)

Perhaps Sudan was willing to turn over bin Laden, but turning over bin Laden would have been but a small blow to the Islamist Movement. The International Muslim Brotherhood would have retained control over the financial network set up in part by bin Laden and it would have continued its war against the Middle East’s moderate regimes, and against the West, without hardly missing a beat. Osama bin Laden was expendable.

Section Notes and Sources


Back to Contents

VIII. The Brotherhood Revolution Continues

After bin Laden returned from his visit to England in 1994 things began to heat up in the Muslim world. After publicly revoking bin Laden’s citizenship the Saudi regime faced increasing fundamentalist unrest at home. The House of Saud was walking a fine line - it supported jihad and the expansion of Islam around the world, and capitalized on its role as guardians of the holy places, but at the same time the family’s decadence, corruption and personal immoralities were becoming more and more evident at home. It was only a matter of time before this hypocrisy became a problem and the jihad turned back on its maker.

One of the loudest dissident voices within Saudi Arabia was a militant sheik named Salman bin Fahd al-Udah. He was well known to bin Laden and to the thousands of Saudi "Afghans" who lived restlessly in the kingdom after returning from the battlefield. The Saudi regime began to view Sheikh Udah with greater and greater worry, and in September of 1994 they arrested him. Only a few days later an organization of anonymous origin called the Battalions of Faith made the headlines when it issued an ultimatum to the Saudi government that demanded the release of Sheikh Udah within five days, or else face a campaign of terrorism against the Saudi and American governments.

The Saudi government ignored the warnings and nothing came of the threat, but Bodansky writes that it was notable because it was the "first initiative taken by the Saudi Islamist system... the first threat of violence against the House of al-Saud." This ultimatum was the first "overt communiqué of an Islamist terrorist organization inside Saudi Arabia." (1)

In April of 1995 the Saudi Islamists received a boost in the form of a recorded message given by Sheikh Udah that had been smuggled out and distributed to his supporters. Bodansky describes how important this message was,

"The lecture, titled ’Death Workmanship,’ covered the whole logic of the relationship between Islamist and Western civilization and amounted to a declaration of an armed jihad against the House of al-Saud. It provided justification for perpetual confrontation...


’Death Workmanship’ amounted to a fatwa, that is, a religious decree, ordering the launch of jihad against the Saudi royal family. Sheikh Udah decreed that any rejection of jihad in favor of another form of resistance was apostasy, a capital offence according to Muslim law, which left the believer with no alternative but to fight..." (2) Bodansky pp.117-118

This message from Sheikh Udah fired up the resistance to the Saudi regime at home and around the world. According to Bodansky the London-based CDLR (mentioned above) is "the largest and best-organized Saudi Islamic opposition group," and with the issuance of Sheikh Udah’s message the organization changed from being moderate and diplomatic to becoming a supporter of armed resistance to the Saudi regime, a change reflected in their own statements and press releases.

The Saudi Islamist network struck for real on November 13, 1995, when a car bomb exploded in Riyadh destroying an American-leased building and killing six people including five Americans. Robinson writes that the bomb was made out of 200 lbs. of Semtex military-grade explosives, and that it shattered windows in a one-mile radius. Immediately a number of underground Islamists groups claimed responsibility for the attack.

Bodansky writes that the Armed Islamic Movement, the Muslim Brotherhood’s loose-knit unofficial jihad organization, claimed credit,

"by disseminating through AIM-affiliated venues a communiqué in the name of a previously unknown group calling itself The Militant Partisans of God Organization. The AIM communiqué also stressed that the Riyadh operation was ’the first of our jihad operations.’ " (3)

The Muslim Brotherhood was taking advantage of the Saudi political climate and had joined in the movement to topple the House of Saud. This was only a secondary operation, however. The primary goal for the Muslim Brotherhood in 1995 was to destroy its historical enemy, the secular government of Egypt.

In March of 1995 Hassan al-Turabi convened a meeting in Khartoum with three of the leading Egyptian Islamists: Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, along with Mustafa Hamza and Rifai Ahmed Taha, both of al-Jamaah al-Islamiyah (the Islamic Group). Zawahiri was based in Geneva where his organization was directed from a Muslim Brotherhood mosque(p.125). Mustafa Hamza was based in London and Khartoum, while Rifai Ahmed Taha was based in London and Peshawar, Pakistan. It was at this meeting that the plan to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was agreed upon. The attack would be made during Mubarak’s scheduled diplomatic visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late June. (4) p. 123

Weeks later the plan was presented at a larger Islamist meeting in Khartoum. It was thought that Mubarak’s assassination would create the diversion for an Islamist coup in Egypt, followed quickly by the fall of the House of Saud and the overthrow of the Persian Gulf states. Mustafa Hamza was chosen to coordinate the uprising within Egypt and Ayman al-Zawahiri was picked as the operational director of the actual attack on Mubarak. (5)

In late May Turabi traveled to Paris for "medical treatment," from where he made a quick secret visit to Geneva to meet again with Zawahiri. Two weeks later Zawahiri made an "inspection visit" to Khartoum, and he was also able to travel to Ethiopia using a forged passport to go over the plan on the ground. He then returned to Geneva where the final meeting of the top-level operational leaders took place in safety on June 23. (6)

The plan was to use three teams to attack Mubarak’s convoy of vehicles as it left the airport and traveled to the convention center half a mile away. The first team would attack the convoy with machine guns from a number of rooftop locations near the airport. This was supposed to slow the convoy allowing the second team, armed with RPGs, to come in and blast the president’s car and/or any other official Egyptian vehicles in range. If Mubarak’s vehicle managed to escape it would face the third team, which was simply a single massively-armed car bomb driven by a suicide bomber. Zawahiri’s intelligence contacts had related that Mubarak’s driver was instructed to travel full speed ahead to their destination if anything happened, and the car bomb was the last chance to take him out.

The plan failed for a number of reasons. First, Mubarak’s entourage was delayed in coordinating the convoy, and because Ethiopian police had extra time to secure the route the RPG squad was told to repackage their rockets for security reasons. Then without notice Mubarak announced that whoever was ready should join his convoy to journey to the convention center.


He was not willing to wait around for the entire convoy to assemble, and for this reason the hit teams had no advance notice and were caught with their RPGs packaged away. The final decision that saved Mubarak’s life was the choice made once the small arms fire erupted and the convoy jammed together and stopped. The driver simply turned the car around and sped back to the safety of the airport. The car bomber never even had the chance to get near Mubarak’s limousine, which happened to be his special Mercedes brought from Egypt that was bulletproof as well as RPG-proof. (7)

Bodansky describes the ramifications of this failed plot,

"The attempt on President Hosni Mubarak’s life in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 26, 1995, was a milestone in the evolution of the Islamist struggle for control over the Arab world and the Hub of Islam. Operations of such magnitude, even if ultimately claimed by or attributed to obscure terrorist organizations, are actually instruments of state policy and are carried out on behalf of the highest echelons of the terrorism-sponsoring states. The assassination attempt, a strategic gambit sponsored by Sudan and Iran, had regional and long-term effects. Although President Mubarak survived and the Islamist popular uprising envisaged by the conspirators failed to materialize in Egypt, the mere attempt gave a major boost to the Islamist surge throughout the region." (8) p. 121

On July 4 responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamic Group (al-Jamaah al-Islamiyah), the terrorist organization of the imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. It was claimed that the attack was made in honor of an Islamist commander killed by Egyptian police in 1994.

Egypt was quick to blame Sudan for sponsoring the attack, and Ethiopia and the United States, followed by the UN, blamed Sudan as well. The evidence was overwhelming that Sudan had housed, trained and financed the terrorists, and Sudan’s guilt was confirmed by their refusal to turn over three of the terrorists accused of conducting the operation. Because of this the UN imposed diplomatic sanctions, and the United States evacuated its Khartoum embassy, expelled a Sudanese diplomat and imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions. Sudan’s time as an effective haven for the militant Islamic movement was up. Turabi had to quickly change his policies to avoid any serious actions against against Sudan and to preserve his Islamist regime. One of his conciliatory gestures, however empty, was to offer Osama bin Laden over to the United States. The Clinton Administration didn’t buy it.

The next assault on the the government of Egypt occurred on November 19, 1995, just six days after the Riyadh bombing of American servicemen. A small car rammed its way through the gate of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan and seconds later a small explosion occurred in an area where visitors were standing in line for visas. The explosion, reportedly a suicide bomber who had jumped out of the car, created a diversion and in the commotion a van loaded with 900 lbs. of explosives rammed into the front of the embassy. This huge explosion created a crater twenty feet wide and ten feet deep. Nineteen people were killed and scores more were wounded.

Soon afterward three main Egyptian terror groups claimed responsibility. The Islamic Group of Sheikh Rahman, led by Mustafa Hamza and Rifai Ahmed Taha, claimed that the bombing was done in opposition to President Mubarak. The Islamic Group later withdrew its claim of responsibility. The next claim was from Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Islamic Jihad, which stated the names of the attackers, the "martyrs" who perpetrated the attack. The last claim came from the Zawahiri-affiliated International Justice Group, and the attack was said to have been made by "the squad of the martyr Khalid Islambouli," referring to the executed assassin of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. (9)

Bodansky offers his conclusion as to who was responsible for this attack on the Egyptian government,

"Like the assassination attempt on President Mubarak, the Islamabad bombing operation was conducted under the tight control of and financed by the higher Islamist headquarters in Western Europe - Ayman al-Zawahiri in Geneva and his new second-in-command, Yassir Tawfiq Sirri in London." (10) p. 144

By the end of 1995 Sudan was feeling the full effects of its sponsorship of the militant Islamist movement. The economy was in terrible shape and sanctions were prohibiting any sort of substantive economic investment or aid from the outside, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia were on the verge of taking direct military action. Because of these pressures General Bashir began to lessen his support for Hassan Turabi’s Islamist experiment and leaned on him to cool things down for a while. Sudan’s time as a Muslim Brotherhood base was near its end.


This was foreseen by the MB and even as the Mubarak assassination plot was being planned their assets were being relocated to the camps of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Afghanistan. A year later Osama bin Laden followed suit. He touched down in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on May 18, 1996.


Section Notes and Sources

For further information read the following important articles by the CRG’s Chaim Kupferberg:

Back to Contents

Notes and Sources

I. The Roots of Islamic Terrorism

Holy War, Wilhelm Dietl, 1983
Hostage To Khomeini, Robert Dreyfuss, 1980 (available here online in .pdf format)

1. Biography of Hasan al-Banna
2. Freemasonry In Egypt, Insight Magazine, March 1, 1999
3. Biography of Jamal al-Afghani
4. Biography of Mohammed Abduh
5. Commentary from Shaykh Abdul Hadi of the Italian Muslim Association
6. Excerpt from "The Return of the Khalifate" by Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi
7. Biography of Hasan al-Banna; Dietl, p. 26; Dreyfuss, p. 139-140
8. Commentary from Shaykh Abdul Hadi of the Italian Muslim Association
8a. Dreyfuss, p. 143
9. Biography of Hasan al-Banna
10. Dietl, p. 56
11. Dietl, p. 32
12. Excerpt from "The Right To Judge," by Sayed Qutb
13. Excerpt from "The Right To Judge," by Sayed Qutb
14. Dietl, pp.37-39
15. Dietl, p. 38
16. Dietl, p. 42
17. Dietl, p. 43
18. Dreyfuss, pp. 106-108 (excerpt); What Really Happened In Iran, Dr. John Coleman, 1984, p. 24 (1-800-942-0821)
19. Dreyfuss, pp. 106-108
20. Dietl, p. 45

II. Creating the ’Arc of Crisis’

"What the Malthusians Say," from The American Almanac, 1994
Where On Earth Are We Going? Maurice Strong, 2000
Holy War, Wilhelm Dietl, 1983
Hostage To Khomeini, Robert Dreyfuss, 1980

1. Russell quotes from "Malthusians" above
2. "Nobel winner supported biological warfare as form of population control," from The Interim, April ’02
3. "Malthusians"
4. Julian Huxley, "Essays of a Humanist," 1964
5. Strong, p. 119
6. "Malthusians"
7. "Malthusians"
8. "Malthusians"
9. Biography of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
10. Dietl, p. 72
11. Islam in the British Isles, a timeline
12. Dreyfuss, excerpt
12a. Dreyfuss, pp. 72-83
12b. Dreyfuss, pp. 92-95
13. 1979 in Pakistan history (see April 3)
14. Interview with Brzezinski

III. The Muslim Brotherhood Branches Out

Holy War, Wilhelm Dietl, 1983
Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, Yossef Bodansky, 1999
Hostage To Khomeini, Robert Dreyfuss, 1980

1. Dreyfuss, p. 133
2. Libya: history, internet article
3. Biography of Ayman al-Zawahri
4. Dreyfuss, pp. 174-175
5. Dreyfuss, p. 160
6. Dreyfuss, p. 164
7. Dietl, pp. 64-66
8. Dietl, p. 66
9. Dietl, p. 67
10. Dietl, p. 67
11. Dietl, p. 68, also see Zawahiri biography
12. Dietl, p. 68
13. Dietl, p. 61
14. Dietl, p. 87
15. Bodansky, p. 101, p. 125
16. Bodansky, p. 298, Balkans report
17. Bodansky, p. 13, p. 405
18. Hamas background, profile
19. Dreyfuss, pp. 164-165

IV. Osama bin Laden: The Early Years

Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, Yossef Bodansky, 1999
Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, Adam Robinson, 2001
In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Roland Jacquard, 2001
Holy War, Wilhelm Dietl, 1983
Islam in Central Asia: Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ahmed Rashid, (online .pdf article)

1. Jacquard, pp.12-13
2. Dietl, pp. 211-227
3. Jacquard, pp.13-14
4. Jacquard, pp.13-14
5. Qutb- personal correspondence with the Italian Muslim Association, Omar and Abdullah - article
6. The Guardian article by Greg Palast
7. The Guardian article by Malise Ruthven
8. Bodansky, p. 11
9. Bodansky, p. 11
10. Bodansky p. 12
11. Al-Fagih interview
12. Jacquard, p. 57
13. Al Kifah article
14. Rashid, pp. 213-214
15. Rashid, p. 214
16. Robinson, p. 112
17. Abdullah Azzam biography
18. Abdullah Azzam article
19. Radical Islam in the UK, report

V. Bin Laden In Exile

Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, Yossef Bodansky, 1999
Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, Adam Robinson, 2001
In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Roland Jacquard, 2001
Forbidden Truth, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, 2002

1. Robinson, p. 130
2. "Questions About the Supposed Iraqi Threat to Saudi Arabia in 1990," article
3. Bodansky, p. 130
4. Robinson, p. 131
5. Robinson, p. 132
6. Bodansky, p. 32
7. Bodansky, p. 36
8. Brisard and Dasquie, p. 117
9. "UK is money launderers’ paradise," BBC News article
10. Brisard and Dasquie, pp. 184-185
11. Robinson, p. 139 also see Bodansky, p. 43
12. Bodansky, p. 46, Robinson, pp. 139-140
13. Jacquard, p. 32
14. Bodansky, p. 43
15. Bodansky, p. 71
16. Bodansky, p. 74
17. Bodansky, pp. 76-78
18. Robinson, p. 153

VI. WTC 1993

"Blowback," Mary Ann Weaver, 05-1996, The Atlantic online
"Enemies and ’Assets’," William Norman Grigg, 03-1997, The New American
The New Jackals, Simon Reeve, 1999
Breakdown: How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11, Bill Gertz, 2002

1. Weaver
2. Grigg
3. Grigg
4. "Osama bin Laden - the Past," Steve Emerson, IASCP.com
5. "The Past As Prologue," Russ Baker, 10-2001, salon.com
6. "Who is Ramzi Yousef? And Why It Matters," Laurie Mylroie, Winter 95/96, National Interest
7. "Terrorists’ trade in stolen identities," Daniel McGrory, 9-22-01, The Times UK
8. "Of Passports and Fingerprints," internet article
9. "Terrorists’ trade in stolen identities," Daniel McGrory, 9-22-01, The Times UK
10. "The Past As Prologue," Russ Baker, 10-2001, salon.com
10b. Reeve, p.251
11. "Hawks try to implicate Iraq by hunting for evidence in UK,"10-2001, DAWN.com
12. "Hawks try to implicate Iraq by hunting for evidence in UK,"10-2001, DAWN.com
12a. PBS Frontline, interview with Laurie Mylroie
13. "The Terror Lurking Within Asia," John Moy, 10-11-02, SCMP.com
14. "Terrorist Plot Years in the Making, " Daniel Rubin and Michael Dorgan, Knight Ridder Newspapers
15. "Of Passports and Fingerprints," internet article
16. "Antecedents of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef," 10-1996 , SAPRA INDIA
17. "The Left’s Acrobatic Logic on Terror," David Harsanyi, 6-11-02, Capitalism Magazine.com
18. "Dropping the Ball," Reed Irvine, World Net Daily .com
19a. "Operation Bojinka’s Bombshell," Matthew Brzezinski (Zbigniew’s nephew), 1-2-02, The Toronto Star
19b. Reeve, p. 89
20. "The Past As Prologue," Russ Baker, 10-2001, salon.com
21. Gertz, pp. 55-56
22. Qaradawi: London, Qatar
23. Non-Muslim lifestyle: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef
24. Biography of bin Laden in Sudan

VII. Bin Laden’s Money Problems

Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, Adam Robinson, 2001

1. Robinson, p. 168
2. Robinson, p. 169
3. Robinson, p. 169
4. Robinson, p. 172
5. Robinson, p. 172
6. Robinson, p. 173
7. "Tracing Bin Laden’s Money," ICT
8. "Trial Poked Holes," New York Times, "Cross Examination..."
9. "Trial Reveals a Conspiracy..." CNN.com,
10. "Bin Ladin’s Life in Sudan," Al Quds Al Arabi
11. "Trial Poked Holes," New York Times
12. "Missed Chance," Newsday.com
13. "Missed Chance," Newsday.com
14. "Missed Chance," Newsday.com

VIII. The Brotherhood Revolution Continues

Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, Yossef Bodansky, 1999

1. p. 117
2. pp. 117-118
3. p. 141
4. pp. 123, 125
5. p. 124
6. p. 125
7. pp. 130-131
8. p. 121
9. p. 144
10. p. 144

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