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20 years

December 21, 2001
The Lord of Martyrs

By Jon Christian Ryter
Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

Osama bin Laden was born to a wealthy Yemen-born naturalized Saudi building contractor, Mohammed bin Laden in 1957. A close friend of the late Saudi King Faisal, the elder bin Laden earned much of his vast wealth as the contractor hired by King Hussein of Jordan to renovate the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina. In 1979, the Pakistani intelligence service, working with the CIA and British M16, approached Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal, the head of Saudi intelligence to provide a Royal Prince to lead a Saudi contingent to Afghanistan. No Saudi prince was willing to give up the luxury life as a Saud royal to live, even temporarily, in the barren, war-torn mountains of Afghanistan.
     Because of the closeness of the bin Ladens to the royal family, the “opportunity” to become a martyr was offered to Osama, the son of the King’s best friend. The theological fanatic, 22-year old Muslim devotee and revoluntary-minded bin Laden jumped at the chance. Because of his ties to the Saudi royal family, bin Laden began functioning as a key fund-raiser for the Mujaheddin. It was through his fund-raising efforts that bin Laden was introduced to the Egyptian-based Islamic Jihad, and later to the Hamas and the Hezbollah. His radical, extremist hatred not only of westerners but of all non-Muslims was formulated and quickly matured during that period. Bin Laden saw his “divine” role as that of driving all “infidels”—particularly the western infidels who controlled the economic life of the modern world—out of the Miuslims nations of the Middle East as he drove the Soviet military from Afghanistan. Bin Laden was convinced that the Americans, more than any other nation, were responsible for the downfall of the Muslim influence in the world. America’s continued presence in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 1991 after the Gulf War only served to prove that contention in bin Laden’s mind.
     Bin Laden proved to be a political embarrassment to his family since his father needed to remain in the good graces of the Sauds to maintain the financial integrity of his business. Likewise, the Sauds needed the good graces of the political, economic and military might of the United States of America to hold power.
     In 1986 bin Laden was still training recruits when the CIA found him. The CIA saw a natural leader in bin Laden and immediately set about recruiting him as a primary asset. To the American intelligence community, bin Laden had a charismatic quality rarely seen in the tribal cultures of the Mideast. Many of the Islamic extremists who swarmed to Afghanistan to serve under him saw bin Laden as a modern day Saladin—the Islamic warrior who drove the Crusaders out of the Mideast a thousand years ago. What the CIA saw in bin Laden was the “ultimate” asset. Bin Laden had no throne or “position” of State. He had no armies under his command and, more important, he possessed no “territory” of his own except the disputed, desolate rocky terrain of Afghanistan that was a virtual no-man’s land where death came easily and life came hard. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan as the guest of the Pakistani-created Taliban to attract and train “freedom fighters” who would be used to defeat the agnostic infidels from the Soviet Union. Islamic fundamentalists, many of them fervently suicidal, flocked to the barren war torn land known as Afghanistan to die for Allah under the mistaken belief that Osama bin Laden, the Lord of Martyrs, could grant them admittance into a virgin-filled Heaven. Edward Girardet, writing in the Dec. 2001 issue of National Geographic noted with a degree of amusement in an article entitled Eyewitness: Afghanistan that the Afghan people often ridiculed the Islamic militants who flocked to Afghanistan in droves seeking martyrdom. The Afghans thought that the Arabs, who were usually armed with family cash that would be surrendered to bin Laden when they arrived in Afghanistan, appeared eager to pay for the right to die. The Arab militants were known to the locals—Afghans who wanted desperately to survive the 28-year old civil war—as diwanas (a Persian word for crazy) because the extremists from the oil rich Mideast nations seemed to be paying bin Laden for the privilege of getting killed.
     That in itself should have told the CIA that bin Laden was not a person they could successfully manage. But, of course the CIA, which was singularly focused at the time with dealing with a Soviet presence in Afghanistan was not looking beyond the next current situation. If blowback occurred, they were very likely confident they could, and would, deal with it when it came. Blowback is an event that transpires when a CIA operation backfires, or when a CIA asset does something to embarrass the CIA and the spooks are forced to protect their asset in order to keep their covert operations from being exposed to the glare of public scrutiny
     Once he set up operations in Sudan, bin Laden attracted many of the former Afghan freedom fighters he had recruited in Afghanistan. They now sought out the Lord of Martyrs and pledged their loyalty to the al Qaeda. Like bin Laden himself, the extremists he attracted were angered by America’s defeat of Iraq, and they were also disgusted with both the Saudi and Kuwaiti royal families for allowing the infidels to desecrate Muslim land with their presence.
     Asked to do so by the Saudi and Kuwaiti royal families, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker pressured Sudan to get rid of bin Laden by threatening the Sudanese government with either economic sanctions or a possible military excursion into Sudan by the United States to capture bin Laden, who was now officially labeled a terrorist.
     In May, 1996 bin Laden reappeared in Afghanistan. In a video tape made from one of his many hideouts, bin Laden issued his own fatwa against the American military everywhere in the world. It was the duty, bin Laden told Muslims worldwide, of every Islamic to kill Americans soldiers wherever and whenever they were found. In 1998 bin Laden expanded the fatwa to include American civilians, women and children included.
     In September, 1996, bin Laden joined forces with Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and declared that a Jihad existed between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. “The walls of oppression and humiliation,” he declared, “cannot be demolished except in a rain of bullets.” Osama bin Laden, the Lord of Martyrs, a leader without a nation or an army, had just declared war on the western world.

Blowback, CIA Style
     The CIA has historically dealt with blowback by silently eliminating those who caused it, and then concealing the victim’s role in the CIA and the CIA’s complicity with the victim. However, with the Council on Foreign Relations-inspired Church Committee investigations of the assassination tactics of the CIA in 1975, Congress was pressured to pull the CIA’s teeth, forcing the agency to rid themselves of their James Bond-type agents (or burrow them much deeper in their foreign posts). To assure that the agency could not assassinate heads of states (something every President from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton has attempted to do), Congress enacted legislation that would expose any CIA operative caught killing a political target to criminal murder charges—and the operational heads of the CIA of possible charges of accessory-to-murder. Continued investigations of the CIA by the Democratically-controlled Congress in the 1980s and early 1990s (during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush years) sapped The Agency. To many of the CIA operatives—particularly those who may have exercised “terminal options” on the direction of their superiors in Langley, Virginia during the Carter years or before left the agency in droves. To the new agents coming in, the CIA was hazardous duty since even if they acted in self-defense and killed their opposites in a foreign post, there was a chance they could be charged in the death of that individual. Over the past two decades The Agency has evolved into a bureaucracy not unlike the State Department, albeit a covert one. Instead of hiring their own “in-house” James Bonds, The Agency was forced to recruit dissidents within the nations in which they operated (out of the purview of Congress). Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush would be caught engaging in this type of practice and were chastised by Congress and the media for their “unconstitutional” tactics. Reagan operative Lt. Col. Oliver North ran afoul of one CIA asset who was deeply involved with recruiting terrorists for Saddam Hussein when North, CIA Director William Casey and National Security Director Admiral John Poindexter decided to supply Iran, who was at war with Iraq—with weapons systems and jet plane parts. The CIA asset, Osama bin Laden, recruited Islamic extremists in the United States to hit North—who was the covert CIA asset funneling illegal Iranian funds to the Contras in Nicauraga.
     In the 1980s, the CIA enlisted the help of an Islamic extremist in Brooklyn, New York, El Sayyid Nosair, to recruit young Muslims to go to Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan. Nosair, a New York City engineer, operated the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn. The Center was, of course, both a CIA-front and an Islamic terrorist cell. Nosair was a CIA asset who would prove to be an embarrassment to his handlers. Nosair’s assistant in this venture was an Afghan freedom fighter named Mahmud Abouhalima who had recently immigrated to the United States (at the urging of the CIA).
     Nosair and Abouhalima were double agents. Their first loyalty was to Allah. Their second loyalty was to Osama bin Laden who was busy, at that moment, raking in $3 billion in covert CIA funds and high tech weapons systems. The money would be used to establish and maintain the training camps, and the weapons—including Stinger missiles—that would ultimately be used by the Taliban against the United States.
     On November 5, 1990 the CIA got a full dose of blowback from Nosair and Abouhalima. Late in the evening on the 5th, Nosair calmly walked into a crowded ballroom at the New York Marriott on 49th Street and shot and killed Jewish Rabbi Meir Kahane. In the confusion, he walked out of the hotel where Abouhalima (who stole a taxi as their getaway vehicle) was waiting for him. Abouhalima was waiting, but Nosair accidentally jumped into the wrong taxi and, as a result, was caught.
     The CIA had a major dilemma. They could not afford to have two key assets sitting in a courtroom spilling their guts about their roles in a recent CIA-inspired Afghan recruitment program that helped defeat Russia in Afghanistan. Nosair and Abouhalima demanded a free pass on the Kahame shooting. Even a recent law school graduate—from the bottom of his class—should have be able to get a first degree murder conviction against Nosair. A roomful of witnesses positively identified him. The police had his gun. The gun had Nosair’s fingerprints on it. The bullets retrieved from Kahane’s body came from that gun. A paraffin test verified there was gun powder on Nosair’s hand. However, somehow, the New York police department bungled the chain of evidence and the New York Prosecuting Attorney decided he could not get a conviction. Nosair and Abouhalima walked. Nosair was retried on a lesser charge and was found guilty. He served no jail time. The CIA escorted him to Kennedy International and Nosair boarded a plane for Egypt.
     Justice was sacrificed for the Kahane family in order to prevent blowback from embarrassing The Agency. Found in Nosair’s apartment by the New York City police were instructions for building bombs—and photos of potential targets that included both the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. The New York police did nothing with the “evidence.” They boxed it and without even bothering to inventory what they found (since they knew Nosair and Abouhalima were CIA assets who would never be required to pay for their crime), they simply stored it in an evidence locker until 1993 when someone remembered the photos of the World Trade Center—and a link to another CIA asset.
     That CIA asset, the “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel-Rahman, was one of the architects who planned the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981. Sadat was the target of a fatwa issued by Rahman for negotiating a peace treaty with Menachem Begin at Camp David. The treaty became known as the Camp David Accord. With the Egyptian government looking for Rahman, the CIA smuggled him into the United States after Rahman agreed to recruit American Muslims for the Afghan Mujaheddin from a rundown mosque in Jersey City—the al Salam Mosque. Adequately shielded by the CIA, Rahman planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing from the mosque. When federal and State investigators began running down leads that ultimately led to Rahman and the al Salam Mosque, not only did the intelligence community not cooperate with them, the CIA actually threw up roadblocks and fed police investigators false leads in an effort to short circuit the investigation not so much to protect a CIA asset, but to keep the American people from learning that they had brought such a dangerous, hate-filled man to America.
     From 1989 to 1993 Rahman used his mosque as a bully-pulpit to preach hate not only against the Jews in the United States and Israel, but against the infidels in general as he attempted to incite Muslims in America to rise up against their infidel “captors.” (El Sayyid Nosair, who killed Rabbi Meir Kahane, was a Rahman pupil.) Interestingly, on September 11 when New York and New Jersey police were ordered to protect Islamic property from anti-Muslim backlash, most Jersey City police officers [according to Jersey City Police Detective Ed Dolan in published reports] refused to protect the al Salam Mosque. The mosque was protected by the Jersey City Police, but only a small contingent of officers would participate.

Blowback, Bin Laden-Style
     Bin Laden’s popularity with the Islamic extremists, as well as his own contemptuous opinion of the western infidels could not have been concealed so deeply that bin Laden’s CIA handlers did not know that they were cultivating a potential “blowback” situation. Bin Laden, who threatened to kill National Geographic writer Edward Girardet in 1989 simply because he was an American (when it was the American CIA that was supplying him with money, munitions, supplies and martyrs) made no attempt to conceal his hatred for anything American. It is hard to believe that the CIA did not know they had a blowback situation in bin Laden, and that they did not “take him out” after his usefulness to the CIA ended with the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan in1989. Instead, bin Laden ultimately evolved into a blowback that would embarrass The Agency. The CIA realized, in 1991, that Osama bin Laden was going to be the worst case of blowback in the CIA’s 50-year history. Buit, then it was too late. Blowback began when Saddam Hussein entered Kuwait and challenged the United States to throw him out, promising America the “mother of all battles” if they tried.
     When King Fahd invited the Americans—540 thousand strong—to set up military bases on Saudi soil in order to rescue Kuwait from the Iraqi dictator, bin Laden (who had become a militant icon in Afghanistan thanks to the CIA) openly criticized the Saud royal family for allowing the infidel to set foot on holy ground. When the Sauds ignored him, bin Laden lobbied the Saudi ulemas (the religious clerics) to issue fatwas against the Royal Family and also against any non-Muslims, American or otherwise, on Saudi soil.
     In 1992 bin Laden moved to Sudan to aid the Islamic revolutionist Hassan Turbai (ultimately leading to Bill Clinton’s “wag-the-dog” missile attack on the Sudanese aspirin factory in1998).
     Although he was no longer in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden’s relentless criticism of the Royal Family resulted, in 1994, in their revoking his citizenship and seizing all of his personal assets. At the end of the Gulf War bin Laden—thanks entirely to the CIA’s $3 billion and their covert public relations campaign to unwittingly help bin Laden recruit a global army of terrorists—had become a world reknown “Mooj” warlord. The CIA-created legends about bin Laden’s prowness as a warrior became reality without the test of the battlefield. Bin Laden became larger than life. He was the hero the Muslim militants have sought since the days of Saladin.
     Where the followers of Saddam Hussein grudgingly gave their allegiance to the Iraqi dictator either for pay or out of fear of mortal retaliation if they did not serve the master of the State, Islamic militants from all over the world flocked to Afghanistan to serve the Lord of Martyrs, bin Laden—and many times brought their family’s meager savings with them to support bin Laden’s struggle against the infidels.
     Bin Laden had out-grown his CIA handlers. He had become larger than life. Blowback, bin Laden-style was about to happen. Since they knew bin Laden’s hatred and open contempt of anything non-Islamic, the CIA and the FBI began to prepare for what they knew would ultimately come from America’s number #1 CIA-asset against the Soviet Union: Osama bin Laden.

Jihad, Bin Laden-Style
     Bin Laden had already formed a terrorist alliance not only with Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi, and Hafiz Assad—and a “terror-sharing” financial arrangement with the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Liberation Front and the Hezbollah long before the Gulf War was even a glimmer in Hussein’s eye. Bin Laden reportedly went ballistic when, at the end of the Gulf War, the American military kept a presence in the Mideast. Aside from the fact that bin Laden wanted Iraq to prevail against Kuwait, bin Laden was embittered because the Sauds rebuffed his offer to “protect” Saudi Arabia against Saddam Hussein when Iraq invaded Kuwait in order to keep America off the Arabian peninsula. Of course, having bin Laden protect Saudi Arabia was like having the fox protect the hen house. But to bin Laden, allowing the infidel (the United States) access to Muslim territory violated the Koran. In his mind, the Saudi royal family had committed a crime against Islam for allowing the American military to set up temporary military bases in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and eventually, Kuwait. Fatwas were orchestrated against the Sauds. And, because America had “invaded” Muslim territory, a jihad against the United States was mandated.
     Long before anyone in the United States (except Lt. Colonel Oliver North and the CIA) knew who Osama bin Laden was—or even that the 6’5” Islamic millionaire terrorist existed—bin Laden declared war on America. Had they known, most Americans would have shook their heads and shrugged off bin Laden’s threats. This would be like waking up tomorrow and learning that Alex Baldwin, who pledged to move to England if George W. Bush was elected, decided to declare war on America. The threat—largely viewed as empty rhetoric—might raise a few eyebrows, but it would otherwise be ignored. After all, what could one person—any one person—do? How can one individual declare war on a nation? And who, within that nation, would take such a threat serious?
     In this case, the United States did. They created a “bin Laden room” deep in the bowels of the CIA headquarters in Langley to keep track of their former star asset. While a good many terrorist experts and Congressional pundits with the clearance to know what goes on in the dark, windowless sub-basements of the CIA building thought the spooks were expending too much energy on bin Laden, the spooks knew from experience that bin Laden, using the Koran as a devise to do so, had turned every Muslim asset the CIA had ever recruited. The CIA was now waiting for the other shoe to drop.
     Bin Laden’s name surfaced in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing taking the FBI to the New York City police evidence locker. And, for the first time since the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the cops—both city and federal—took a closer look at the “evidence” that was never properly sorted and logged in on Nov. 6, 1990, the day after Kahane was murdered by Nosair and Abouhalima. It seemed that every name that popped up in connection with the World Trade Center was either a CIA asset or was closely tied to one. The second shoe dropped.
     The ringleader of the plot was the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, but the mastermind behind it was none other than Osama bin Laden who had funded Rahman’s terrorist activities from the al Salam mosque in Jersey City from his CIA days—with CIA money.
     On February 26, 1993 in a terrorist act that would be reminiscent of Timothy McVeigh’s driving a Ryder Rental truck up to the Alfred Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, Islamic extremists drove a van containing a 1,500 pound bomb up to the World Trade Center. Six Americans died and over a thousand were injured when the truck bomb exploded in front of the first tower. Once the New York police and the FBI got through the CIA smoke screen it didn’t take them long to follow the terrorists back to the al Salam mosque in Jersey City. The evidence—much of which had been in the possession of the New York City police two and a half years before the crime was committed—led them to Rahman and also mentioned bin Laden who was never charged. But unlike the Oklahoma City bombing, the first World Trade Center bombing had a different twist that most Americans are either completely unaware of, or have forgotten over the years. The crude 1,500 pound bomb used in that terrorist attack contained a chemical devise: cylinders of cyanide gas. It was Rahman’s belief that the cyanide canisters would explode when the bomb exploded, killing even more victims on the ground by poisoning them with cyanide. What the terrorists did not count on, and what happened was that the cyanide burned up in the blast, rendering it harmless. The fact that there was cyanide in the bomb was not discovered until the FBI lab examined the exploded canisters and found residue of cyanide in them.
     According to recent testimony offered by Oliver Revell, a former FBI associate director before Congress, “...many of the Afghan Arabs [in bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization] and the people they have recruited and trained [and] dispersed around the globe [are now engaged] in a new ‘holy war’ directed against the secular governments of Muslim countries and the nation viewed as their sponsor: the United States. Islamic extremism,” Revell noted to Congress, “has spread to the point where it now has a global infrastructure, including a substantial network in the United States.” The FBI admitted that it suspects that bin Laden and the al Qaeda network were either responsible for, or in some way connected with, every major foreign terrorist attack against the United States since 1990. Bin Laden, like Saladin before him, now intends to wage war in every moderate Arab nation before spreading out into the Mediterranean nations—including Israel.

Whose money was it, anyway?
     The media has painted bin Laden as a self-financed terrorist who inherited between $250 and $300 million from his father’s very successful construction business in Saudi Arabia. It was this money the media has insisted, together with millions of dollars donated from likeminded Islamics around the world that fueled al Qadea and allowed bin Laden used to establish his global terrorist network. Not true—or at least, not wholly true.
     When bin Laden denounced the Saud princes and declared war on America, the Sauds revoked his Saudi citizenship expelled him from Saudi Arabia. At the same time they seized all of the assets bin Laden had on deposit in Saudi banks. It was reported that Bin Laden had wisely deposited several million dollars in Sudanese banks, which he used when he was expelled from Saudi Arabia. The question remains as to precisely whose money it was in the Sudanese banks: bin Laden “family” money; contributions to al Qaeda from anti-Jewish Muslims around the world; or was it the residue of the CIA’s $3 billion that was skimmed off by bin Laden for his use in his personal war against America?
     In 1986 CIA Director William Casey (who would recruit Ollie North to divert Iranian funds the Contras), working closely with Britain’s M16 and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI], convinced Congress of a plan devised by ISI to recruit radical Muslims around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin to defeat the Soviets by launching guerrilla attacks into the Soviet Union through its soft Muslim underbelly—the “Stans.” The CIA and M16 believed that concerted guerrilla attacks in Tajikistan, Uzebekistan, and Afghanistan could fracture the fragile Soviet supply lines and weaken the Soviet will to continue for decades a war they could not win without paying a heavy toll not only in terms of lives but in a further erosion of the Soviet economy.
     Between 1982 (when bin Laden began recruiting terrorists for the Pakistanis in Afghanistan) and 1992, over 35 thousand Islamic militants from 43 Muslim nations filtered through bin Laden’s training camps and became members of the Afghan Mujaheddin.
     While it did not take a genius to realize the ultimate consequences of bringing thousands of Islamic militants and other Muslim extremists together in a unified manner to destroy a common enemy, the intelligence communities of the United States and England had to contemplate it. The CIA had to realize that the ideological and tactical structure the CIA and M16 carefully handcrafted to defeat the Soviets would not simply be disbanded and never used by the Islamic militants they were training and is very likely the reason for the Bin Laden Room in the sub-basement of CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It can be said that the CIA actually created the means by which bin Laden’s al Qaeda was able to plan and carry out their attack against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
     However, if you had to single out one American to blame for September 11 taking place, Americans would not have to look beyond former president William Jefferson Clinton who, of course, had been out of office for almost nine months when the 9-11 event took place.
     In 1996 the CIA, now pretty much consumed with their former asset, set up a special cell to monitor bin Laden’s activities and whereabouts. In April of that year after reading a CIA assessment of bin Laden’s “training activities,” the Clinton Administration seized bin Laden’s remaining legitimate family assets as it labeled bin Laden “...one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activity in the world.” The CIA report that triggered Clinton’s action noted that bin Laden was operating terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. In August, 1998 bin Laden cell groups in Kenya and Tanzania bombed the U.S. Embassies in those nations killing 231 innocent people (including 12 Americans). Clinton retaliated by firing 70 Cruise missiles against suspected bin Laden terrorist camps in Khost and Jalalabad as well as training camps at al Badr, Muawia, and Khalid bin Walid—and a pharmaceutical company in Sudan. According to former Clinton National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, soil samples secured by the CIA from around the pharmaceutical factory indicated to them that the firm was making biological or chemical warfare agents. In reality, the plant manufactured aspirin. Public opinion in the United States suggested that Clinton’s ‘wag-the-dog’ response was due not from his concern about the terrorist attacks on American assets in Africa but rather his need to divert attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal that was percolating to a politically-sensitive but nevertheless explosive boiling point.
     Seven terrorists were killed in the attacks: 3 Yemenis, 2 Egyptians, 1 Saud and 1 Turk. On the average, it took 10 cruise missiles per terrorist. Based on a cost-per-kill ratio, Bill Clinton waged the most expensive battle in the history of mankind. Each enemy casualty cost the United States $10 million. The Lord of Martyrs had created seven of the most expensive inductees to martyrdom in history. One wonders how many willing virgins each of these new martyrs found in the fiery hinterland where they would be doomed to spend eternity.
     In November of that same year bin Laden announced that it was his “...Islamic duty to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons to use against the United States.” He continued that “...[i]t would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent infidels from inflicting harm on Muslims. Hostility toward America is a religious duty and we hope to be rewarded for it by God.” In the aftermath of the bin Laden pronouncement the Clinton Administration posted a $5 million reward for the capture of the CIA’s former star asset, Osama bin Laden.
     And, it still hadn’t dawned on anyone (or else they just didn’t want to raise the spector that it might be true), that Osama bin Laden might still be using both CIA money and new Saudi money that was being funneled to the al Qaeda through several Saudi charities rather than bin Laden family money (which theoretically had been seized either by the Saudi government or the United States).
     After the U.S. Embassy bombings, Clinton ratcheted up the heat on bin Laden—but, strangely, it seemed that he did not want to ratchet it up enough to actually catch him...only make him more vindictive. It was almost as though Clinton hoped that bin Laden would do something dramatic enough in the United States—like blow up the World Trade Center in New York, or crash a jet liner into the Pentagon—that would allow Clinton to exercise extraordinary emergency powers and declare martial law in the United States. Whether or not Bill Clinton actually contemplated such thoughts is something the average American will never know. Thousands of Americans, however, believed Clinton had just that thought in mind. The election of 2000 was, after all, just around the corner. And, the 22nd Amendment forbade him from running another race.
     The Clinton Administration quietly began rounding up Islamic militants all over the world. More than 80 Islamic terrorists or suspected terrorists were arrested in a dozen countries. In December, 1998 Malaysian authorities arrested 7 Afghan nationals with counterfeit Italian passports who were on their way to Calcutta, India to bomb the U.S. Embassy. That same month Islamic militants in Yemen kidnapped 16 Western tourists. Two months later bin Laden attempted to finance the overthrow of the government of Bangladesh with $1 million. About the same time, bin Laden “graduates” were arrested in Nouakchott, Mauritania (in West Africa) as they plotted to bomb government buildings. And at the same time, Egypt began a crack-down on a terrorist group determined to overthrow the government of Hosni Mubarak. One hundred seven al-Jihad members were arrested after the Egyptian government uncovered a plot to assassinate Mubarak. They were tried and found guilty. Justice, in Egypt, is swift.
     After Clinton Administration launched its “wag the dog” response to bin Laden, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went to Washington to personally protest the cruise missile attack on Jalalabad in December, 1998 as bin Laden activity reached record levels all over the world. Clinton, who was not in an apologetic mood (believing any signs of repentence would be viewed by the “vast right wing conspiracy” as evidence that his missile attack was, indeed a case of “wag the dog”). Instead, Clinton demanded that Pakistan surrender Osama bin Laden, blaming Sharif’s government, and specifically, the ISI, for creating the Taliban and with it, bin Laden.
     Sharif, more than a little afraid of the American president, pussyfooted around Clinton. Other Pakistani officials, however, were more blunt, reminding Clinton that the CIA and M16 created—and financed—bin Laden. If bin Laden was anyone’s problem it was the George Tenet’s and, as such, Clinton’s.
     Even though the Sauds would have preferred that bin Laden remain safely sequestered in Afghanistan where Americans could not question him, the Taliban agreed to surrender bin Laden to the Saudi government in July, 1998—a month before the U.S. Embassy bombings. Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal cut a deal with the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, to turn bin Laden over to the Royal Family for trial in Saudi Arabia for 400 new Toyota pick-up trucks. A few weeks later the trucks arrived, each still bearing their Dubai, Saudi Arabia license plates. The Sauds announced the agreement that the Taliban would surrender bin Laden to them over the Saudi-owned satellite TV channel MBC (but failed to mention the 400 Toyotas).
     A week or so later bin Laden launched his attack on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. When Clinton responded with missile attacks against the Afghan training camps, Mullah Omar refused to turn bin Laden over to the Sauds, blaming Clinton’s eagerness to shoot rockets at anyone in order to cover his own sins, as the reason. If Mullah Omar was honest in his remarks (even though he likely planned all along to renege on his agreement) then Clinton’s zeal to deflect attention from the Lewinsky scandal may have aided bin Laden remain free, and allowing the tragedy of September 11 to proceed as planned.
     In an angry encounter with Mullah Omar, Prince Turki warned the rebel leader that he would “...regret it. The Afghan people,” Turki added, “[would] pay a high price for [his decision].” Prince Turki, who headed the Saudi Secret Service until a few weeks before the September 11 tragedy, was instrumental in securing Saudi financing for the Taliban in 1982. CIA files indicate that Prince Turki and Osama bin Laden were close personal friends, suggesting to this writer that if Omar had turned bin Laden over to the Sauds his “trial” would have been a sham. The last thing the Saudi royal family could afford was an open trial in which their continued financing of anti-Jewish Islamic terrorists around the world became “openly” known to Israel’s most fervent ally—the United States. (Detrimental information that is privately known does not affect the diplomatic relationships between “friendly” nations. Detrimental information that becomes “public” must then be addressed in the public arena—something neither the United States nor the Sauds want to happen.)
     However, in this particular instance, Omar was able to successfully blame Bill Clinton since the “public persona” was that Clinton had engaged in a “wag-the-dog” sham in order to knock the Monica Lewinsky scandal from the headlines of the mainstream newspapers and to erase it from the teleprompters that recorded the lead story on the evening news.
     Bin Laden, not quite sure whether or not 400 brand new Toyotas equated to “30-pieces of silver” in the mind of Mullah Omar, headed back to Sudan. By this time many of bin Laden’s old friends were getting leary of having him “come to visit” since Cruise missiles now had a way of following him wherever he went. To Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, bin Laden had worn out his welcome for two reasons. First, the ruins of the Sudan aspirin factory was a reminder of the midnight visitors that followed bin Laden. On top of that, bin Laden’s bank accounts had been seized by the American government. After first attempting to get Saudi Arabia to take bin Laden back—providing that no legal action be taken against him—al-Bashir offered bin Laden to Bill Clinton in exchange for the American government removing Sudan from their list of terrorist nations. The Clinton Administration declined and Osama bin Laden returned to Afghanistan and the time bomb known as September 11 slowly ticked off its remaining minutes to its 757 airline trip to infamy.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved