long-term planning (a) Absence of warning.
Al-Qaeda retains the capability and the will to make further
attacks on the US and its allies, including the United Kingdom.
Al-Qaeda gives no warning of terrorist attack.
Bin Laden and al-Qaeda
In 1989 Osama Bin Laden, and others, founded an international
terrorist group known as "al-Qaeda" (the Base). At all times
he has been the leader of al-Qaeda.
From 1989 until 1991 Osama Bin Laden was based in Afghanistan
and Peshawar, Pakistan.
1991 he moved to Sudan, where he stayed until 1996. In that
year he returned to Afghanistan, where he remains.
The Taleban emerged from the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan
in the early 1990s.
1996 they had captured Kabul. They are still engaged in a
bloody civil war to control the whole of Afghanistan. They
are led by Mullah Omar.
In 1996 Osama Bin Laden moved back to Afghanistan. He established
a close relationship with Mullah Omar, and threw his support
behind the Taleban.
Bin Laden and the Taleban regime have a close alliance on
which both depend for their continued existence.
also share the same religious values and vision.
Osama Bin Laden has provided the Taleban regime with troops,
arms, and money to fight the Northern Alliance.
is closely involved with Taleban military training, planning
and operations. He has representatives in the Taleban military
has also given infrastructure assistance and humanitarian
aid. Forces under the control of Osama Bin Laden have fought
alongside the Taleban in the civil war in Afghanistan.
Omar has provided Bin Laden with a safe haven in which to
operate, and has allowed him to establish terrorist training
camps in Afghanistan.
jointly exploit the Afghan drugs trade. In return for active
al-Qaeda support, the Taleban allow al-Qaeda to operate freely,
including planning, training and preparing for terrorist activity.
addition the Taleban provide security for the stockpiles of
Since 1996, when the Taleban captured Kabul, the United States
government has consistently raised with them a whole range
of issues, including humanitarian aid and terrorism.
before 11 September 2001 they had provided evidence to the
Taleban of the responsibility of al-Qaeda for the terrorist
attacks in East Africa.
evidence had been provided to senior leaders of the Taleban
at their request.
The United States government had made it clear to the Taleban
regime that al-Qaeda had murdered US citizens, and planned
to murder more.
US offered to work with the Taleban to expel the terrorists
talks, which have been continuing since 1996, have failed
to produce any results.
In June 2001, in the face of mounting evidence of the al-Qaeda
threat, the United States warned the Taleban that it had the
right to defend itself and that it would hold the regime responsible
for attacks against US citizens by terrorists sheltered in
In this, the United States had the support of the United Nations.
Security Council, in Resolution 1267, condemned Osama Bin
Laden for sponsoring international terrorism and operating
a network of terrorist camps, and demanded that the Taleban
surrender Osama Bin Laden without further delay so that he
could be brought to justice.
Despite the evidence provided by the US of the responsibility
of Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda for the 1998 East Africa bombings,
despite the accurately perceived threats of further atrocities,
and despite the demands of the United Nations, the Taleban
regime responded by saying no evidence existed against Osama
Bin Laden, and that neither he nor his network would be expelled.
A former Government official in Afghanistan has described
the Taleban and Osama Bin Laden as "two sides of the same
coin: Osama cannot exist in Afghanistan without the Taleban
and the Taleban cannot exist without Osama".
Al-Qaeda is dedicated to opposing 'UN-Islamic' governments
in Muslim countries with force and violence.
Al-Qaeda virulently opposes the United States. Osama Bin Laden
has urged and incited his followers to kill American citizens,
in the most unequivocal terms.
On 12 October 1996 he issued a declaration of jihad as follows:
"The people of Islam have suffered from aggression, iniquity
and injustice imposed by the Zionist-Crusader alliance and
is the duty now on every tribe in the Arabian peninsula to
fight jihad and cleanse the land from these Crusader occupiers.
Their wealth is booty to those who kill them.
Muslim brothers: your brothers in Palestine and in the land
of the two Holy Places [i.e. Saudi Arabia] are calling upon
your help and asking you to take part in fighting against
the enemy - the Americans and the Israelis.
are asking you to do whatever you can to expel the enemies
out of the sanctities of Islam."
in the same year he said that "terrorising the American occupiers
[of Islamic Holy Places] is a religious and logical obligation".
February 1998 he issued and signed a 'fatwa' which included
a decree to all Muslims: "...the killing of Americans and
their civilian and military allies is a religious duty for
each and every Muslim to be carried out in whichever country
they are until Al Aqsa mosque has been liberated from their
grasp and until their armies have left Muslim lands".
the same 'fatwa' he called on Muslim scholars and their leaders
and their youths to "launch an attack on the American soldiers
he concluded: "We - with God's help - call on every Muslim
who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with
God's order to kill Americans and plunder their money whenever
and wherever they find it.
also call on Muslim...to launch the raid on Satan's US troops
and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace
those who are behind them."
asked, in 1998, about obtaining chemical or nuclear weapons
he said "acquiring such weapons for the defence of Muslims
[was] a religious duty".
an interview aired on Al Jazira (Doha, Qatar) television he
stated: "Our enemy is every American male, whether he is directly
fighting us or paying taxes."
two interviews broadcast on US television in 1997 and 1998
he referred to the terrorists who carried out the earlier
attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 as "role models".
went on to exhort his followers "to take the fighting to America."
From the early 1990s Osama Bin Laden has sought to obtain
nuclear and chemical materials for use as weapons of terror.
Although US targets are al-Qaeda's priority, it also explicitly
threatens the United States' allies.
to "Zionist-Crusader alliance and their collaborators," and
to "Satan's US troops and the devil's supporters allying with
them" are references which unquestionably include the United
There is a continuing threat. Based on our experience of the
way the network has operated in the past, other cells, like
those that carried out the terrorist attacks on 11 September,
must be assumed to exist.
Al-Qaeda functions both on its own and through a network of
other terrorist organisations.
include Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other north African Islamic
extremist terrorist groups, and a number of other jihadi groups
in other countries including the Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan
also maintains cells and personnel in a number of other countries
to facilitate its activities.
Osama Bin Laden heads the al-Qaeda network.
him is a body known as the Shura, which includes representatives
of other terrorist groups, such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad
leader Ayman Zawahiri and prominent lieutenants of Bin Laden
such as Abu Hafs Al-Masri. Egyptian Islamic Jihad has, in
effect, merged with al-Qaeda.
In addition to the Shura, al-Qaeda has several groups dealing
with military, media, financial and Islamic issues.
Mohamed Atef is a member of the group that deals with military
and terrorist operations.
duties include principal responsibility for training al-Qaeda
Members of al-Qaeda must make a pledge of allegiance to follow
the orders of Osama Bin Laden.
A great deal of evidence about Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda
has been made available in the US indictment for earlier crimes.
Since 1989, Osama Bin Laden has conducted substantial financial
and business transactions on behalf of al-Qaeda and in pursuit
of its goals.
include purchasing land for training camps, purchasing warehouses
for the storage of items, including explosives, purchasing
communications and electronics equipment, and transporting
currency and weapons to members of al-Qaeda and associated
terrorist groups in countries throughout the world.
Since 1989 Osama Bin Laden has provided training camps and
guest houses in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, Somalia
and Kenya for the use of al-Qaeda and associated terrorist
know from intelligence that there are currently at least a
dozen camps across Afghanistan, of which at least four are
used for training terrorists.
Since 1989, Osama Bin Laden has established a series of businesses
to provide income for al-Qaeda, and to provide cover for the
procurement of explosives, weapons and chemicals, and for
the travel of al-Qaeda operatives.
businesses have included a holding company known as 'Wadi
Al Aqiq', a construction business known as 'Al Hijra', an
agricultural business known as 'Al Themar Al Mubaraka', and
investment companies known as 'Ladin International' and 'Taba
Bin Laden and previous attacks
In 1992 and 1993 Mohamed Atef travelled to Somalia on several
occasions for the purpose of organising violence against United
States and United Nations troops then stationed in Somalia.
each occasion he reported back to Osama Bin Laden, at his
base in the Riyadh district of Khartoum.
In the spring of 1993 Atef, Saif al Adel, another senior member
of al-Qaeda, and other members began to provide military training
to Somali tribes for the purpose of fighting the United Nations
On 3 and 4 October 1993 operatives of al-Qaeda participated
in the attack on US military personnel serving in Somalia
as part of the operation 'Restore Hope'.
US military personnel were killed in the attack.
From 1993 members of al-Qaeda began to live in Nairobi and
set up businesses there, including Asma Ltd, and Tanzanite
were regularly visited there by senior members of al-Qaeda,
in particular by Atef and Abu Ubadiah al Banshiri.
Beginning in the latter part of 1993, members of al-Qaeda
in Kenya began to discuss the possibility of attacking the
US Embassy in Nairobi in retaliation for US participation
in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
Mohamed, a US citizen and admitted member of al-Qaeda, surveyed
the US Embassy as a possible target for a terrorist attack.
took photographs and made sketches, which he presented to
Osama Bin Laden while Bin Laden was in Sudan.
also admitted that he had trained terrorists for al-Qaeda
in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, and that those whom he
trained included many involved in the East African bombings
in August 1998.
In June or July 1998, two al-Qaeda operatives, Fahid Mohammed
Ali Msalam and Sheik Ahmed Salim Swedan, purchased a Toyota
truck and made various alterations to the back of the truck.
In early August 1998, operatives of al-Qaeda gathered in 43,
New Runda Estates, Nairobi to execute the bombing of the US
Embassy in Nairobi.
On 7 August 1998, Assam, a Saudi national and al-Qaeda operative,
drove the Toyota truck to the US embassy. There was a large
bomb in the back of the truck.
Also in the truck was Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al 'Owali, another
by his own confession, was an al-Qaeda operative, who from
about 1996 had been trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan
in explosives, hijacking, kidnapping, assassination and intelligence
Osama Bin Laden's express permission, he fought alongside
the Taleban in Afghanistan.
had met Osama Bin Laden personally in 1996 and asked for another
Bin Laden sent him to East Africa after extensive specialised
training at camps in Afghanistan.
As the truck approached the Embassy, Al 'Owali got out and
threw a stun grenade at a security guard.
drove the truck up to the rear of the embassy. He got out
and then detonated the bomb, which demolished a multi-storey
secretarial college and severely damaged the US embassy, and
the Co-operative bank building.
bomb killed 213 people and injured 4500. Assam was killed
in the explosion.
Al 'Owali expected the mission to end in his death. He had
been willing to die for al-Qaeda.
at the last minute he ran away from the bomb truck and survived.
He had no money, passport or plan to escape after the mission,
because he had expected to die.
After a few days, he called a telephone number in Yemen to
have money transferred to him in Kenya.
number he rang in Yemen was contacted by Osama Bin Laden's
phone on the same day as Al 'Owali was arranging to get the
Another person arrested in connection with the Nairobi bombing
was Mohamed Sadeek Odeh. He admitted to his involvement.
identified the principal participants in the bombing. He named
three other persons, all of whom were al-Qaeda or Egyptian
Islamic Jihad members.
In Dar es Salaam the same day, at about the same time, operatives
of al-Qaeda detonated a bomb at the US embassy, killing 11
al-Qaeda operatives involved included Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil
and Khaflan Khamis Mohamed.
bomb was carried in a Nissan Atlas truck, which Ahmed Khfaklan
Ghailani and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, two al-Qaeda operatives,
had purchased in July 1998, in Dar es Salaam.
Khaflan Khamis Mohamed was arrested for the bombing. He admitted
membership of al-Qaeda, and implicated other members of al-Qaeda
in the bombing.
On 7 and 8 August 1998, two other members of al-Qaeda disseminated
claims of responsibility for the two bombings by sending faxes
to media organisations in Paris, Doha in Qatar, and Dubai
in the United Arab Emirates.
Additional evidence of the involvement of al-Qaeda in the
East African bombings came from a search conducted in London
of several residences and businesses belonging to al-Qaeda
and Egyptian Islamic Jihad members.
those searches a number of documents were found including
claims of responsibility for the East African bombings in
the name of a fictitious group, 'the Islamic Army for the
liberation of the Holy Places.'
Al 'Owali, the would-be suicide bomber, admitted he was told
to make a videotape of himself using the name of the same
The faxed claims of responsibility were traced to a telephone
number, which had been in contact with Osama Bin Laden's cell
claims disseminated to the press were clearly written by someone
familiar with the conspiracy.
stated that the bombings had been carried out by two Saudis
in Kenya, and one Egyptian in Dar es Salaam.
were probably sent before the bombings had even taken place.
referred to two Saudis dying in the Nairobi attack. In fact,
because Al 'Owali fled at the last minute, only one Saudi
On 22 December 1998 Osama Bin Laden was asked by Time magazine
whether he was responsible for the August 1998 attacks.
replied: "The International Islamic Jihad Front for the jihad
against the US and Israel has, by the grace of God, issued
a crystal clear fatwa calling on the Islamic nation to carry
on Jihad aimed at liberating the holy sites.
nation of Mohammed has responded to this appeal. If instigation
for jihad against the Jews and the Americans... is considered
to be a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal.
job is to instigate and, by the grace of God, we did that,
and certain people responded to this instigation."
was asked if he knew the attackers: "...those who risked their
lives to earn the pleasure of God are real men. They managed
to rid the Islamic nation of disgrace. We hold them in the
what the US could expect of him: "...any thief or criminal
who enters another country to steal should expect to be exposed
to murder at any time...
US knows that I have attacked it, by the grace of God, for
more than ten years now...
knows that we have been pleased by the killing of American
soldiers [in Somalia in 1993].
was achieved by the grace of God and the efforts of the mujahideen...
Hostility towards America is a religious duty and we hope
to be rewarded for it by God.
am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of
the so-called superpower that is America."
In December 1999 a terrorist cell linked to al- Qaeda was
discovered trying to carry out attacks inside the United States.
Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, was stopped at the US-Canadian border
and over 100 lbs of bomb making material was found in his
admitted he was planning to set off a large bomb at Los Angeles
International airport on New Year's Day.
said that he had received terrorist training at al-Qaeda camps
in Afghanistan and then been instructed to go abroad and kill
US civilians and military personnel.
On 3 January 2000, a group of al-Qaeda members, and other
terrorists who had trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan,
attempted to attack a US destroyer with a small boat loaded
with explosives. Their boat sank, aborting the attack.
On 12 October 2000, however, the USS Cole was struck by an
explosive-laden boat while refuelling in Aden harbour. Seventeen
crew were killed, and 40 injured.
Several of the perpetrators of the Cole attack (mostly Yemenis
and Saudis) were trained at Osama Bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan.
'Owali has identified the two commanders of the attack on
the USS Cole as having participated in the planning and preparation
for the East African embassy bombings.
In the months before the September 11 attacks, propaganda
videos were distributed throughout the Middle East and Muslim
world by al-Qaeda, in which Osama Bin Laden and others were
shown encouraging Muslims to attack American and Jewish targets.
Similar videos, extolling violence against the United States
and other targets, were distributed before the East African
embassy attacks in August 1998.
Bin Laden and the 11 September attacks
Nineteen men have been identified as the hijackers from the
passenger lists of the four planes hijacked on 11 September
least three of them have already been positively identified
as associates of al-Qaeda.
has been identified as playing key roles in both the East
African embassy attacks and the USS Cole attack.
continue into the backgrounds of all the hijackers.
From intelligence sources, the following facts have been established
subsequent to 11 September; for intelligence reasons, the
names of associates, though known, are not given.