1995–1998 – Escalation to Disaster
See Chris Cobar Article List at bottom of page.
Why We Should Expect Another 9/11
Article #12 –
As previously mentioned, 9/11 was not a single, isolated, stand-alone, one-off event. On the contrary, 9/11 was over 8 years in the making, having been first conceived in 1992. It was a part, albeit a momentous part, of a long string of attacks, patiently prepared, practiced and perfected.
To help better understand when, where, why and how this happened, I will list below a quick recap of salient events:
1992 Aden, Yemen Bombing
Goal: Kill over 100 Marines who were billeted in Aden in support of the UN peacekeeping mission – Operation ‘Restore Hope’ in Somalia.
Plan: Set off 2 bombs, at the Gold Mohur Hotel and the Aden Move-n-Pick parking lot where the Marines were billeted.
Timeframe: 29 December 1992
Operatives: Tariq al-Fadhi, leader, and several Afghani-trained Yemenis who we later captured.
Outcome: One Austrian tourist and a hotel worker were killed. The wife of the Austrian tourist was injured, as were 2 of the bombers.
Comments: No Marine was killed. They had already shipped out for Somalia two weeks earlier. 2 killed, 1 wounded and 2 bombers wounded is not a good batting average.
This should have been Uncle Sam’s first wakeup call; it wasn’t.
1993 Somalia Attack
Goal: Kill American soldiers on duty in Mogadishu, Somalia as part of the UN Peacekeeping force, Operation ‘Restore Hope’ and force the US out of Somalia.
Plan: Train members of Al-Ittihad al-Islamiyya of Somalia and with Al-Qaeda operatives attack American Soldiers.
Timeframe: 3-4 October 1993
Operatives: Ali A. Mohamed, Egyptian born, American citizen, Mohamed Atef, Al-Qaeda Military Chief, Saif al-Abel and numerous members of Al-Ittihad al-Islamiyya.
Chronology: In mid-1991, bin Laden moved to the Sudan, where he was already operating several training camps.
In 1992 - 1993 Mohamed Atef made repeated trips to Somalia to train Al-Ittihad al-Islamiyya operatives.
In January 1993, bin Laden sent weapons and additional trainers to Somalia.
In October, 1993, Ali Mohamed returned to Somalia to ‘witness’ the October attacks.
On 3-4 October, 15 hour gun battles ensued in Mogadishu. The first helicopter was downed by a Soviet ZSU-23 anti-aircraft gun. The second helicopter followed 10 minutes later. Help arrived 9 hours later.
Outcome: 18 American Rangers were killed, 3 after having their throats slit, having crashed alive. Some of their naked bodies were later dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.
Comments: Obviously, something happened! It would take over 5 years before American intelligence finally understood that bin Laden had been behind the attacks
Since I have already covered the 1st World Trade Center Bombing, Operation ‘Bojinka’ and the Oklahoma City Bombing, I will not rehash them here. Please refer to articles #6, #7, #8 and #9. Accordingly, we will continue from there:
1995 Riyadh Bombing
Goal: Kill American soldiers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, while they were having lunch in a snack bar in downtown Riyadh for the crime of sullying sacred soil with infidel feet.
Plan: Ahead of time, drive a van loaded with explosives and park it outside the snack bar.
Timeframe: 11:40AM, November 13th, 1995
Operatives: Abdul al-Aziz Naser al-Mothem, Riyad Sulieman Is’haq al-Hajeri, Musih bin Ayeydh al-Shamrani and Khalid Ahmad al-Sa-eed.
(The operatives were captured and publicly beheaded on 30-31 May 1996.)
Outcome: 7 people killed – 5 American and 2 Saudis. 6o people were injured; the majority being Americans attached to a military training center of the Saudi National Guard.
1996 Al-Khobar Bombing
Goal: Kill American soldiers stationed at King Abdul Aziz Base in Al-Khobar near Dhahran.
Plan: Back up a 5,000 gallon diesel truck, filled with 4,000 lbs. of TNT to the rear of the dormitory, housing US troops. Set timing device and flee the area.
Timeframe: 25 June 1996
Operatives: Hani al-Sayegh and others not identified. “Saudi Hizballah” claimed responsibility. (It was later determined that “Saudi Hizballah” was a smoke screen for Al-Qaeda.)
Outcome: 19 American soldiers killed, 386 wounded.
Comments: Saudi Arabia arrested over 2,000 ‘suspected’ terrorists. They investigated them. No visitors allowed. They interrogated them. No visitors allowed. They tried and convicted them. Not open to the Public. It was strictly a Saudi affair. No one, nowhere received any information.
1998 East African Embassies Bombings
Goal: Blow up 2 East African American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Plan: Using imported al-Qaeda operatives and members of the al-Qaeda Nairobi cell, place explosive – filled trucks by or near the American embassies and detonate them.
Timeframe: Almost simultaneous attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on August 7th, 1998, the 8th anniversary of the arrival of the first American troops on sacred Saudi soil.
Operatives: In Kenya: Mustafa Elmore from Jersey City, New Jersey, Wadih el-Hage, bin Laden’s personal secretary, Assam, Saudi suicide bomber, unidentified operative in Orlando, Mohamed Rashid Daoud al’Owali, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Ali A. Mohamed, a U.S. citizen.
In Tanzania: Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil, Khaflan Khamis Mohamed, Ahmed Khaklan Ghailani, Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, Fahid Mohammed and Ali Msalam.
Chronology: Bin Laden sent Ali A. Mohamed to Nairobi to canvass potential embassies. Using his US passport, Mohamed cased the American compound.
In late, 1993 el-Hage moved to Nairobi to establish an Al-Qaeda cell.
June-July, 1998, bombers of the US Embassy in Tanzania, Fahid Mohammed, Ali Msalam and Sheikh Swedan purchased a Toyota truck and altered its back end.
On 7 August 1998, Assam and Al-Owali drove the truck to the US Embassy in Nairobi, jumped out and stunned the security guards with a grenade. Assam detonated the truck
The bomb outside the embassy in Dar es Salaam exploded shortly thereafter.
Outcome: In Nairobi: 213 killed and & approximately 4,500 injured
Comments: Two weeks later, on August 20th, 1998, Slick Willie ineffectually retaliated by bombing a ‘milk’ factory in the Sudan and al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. The bombing probably would have been more effective if he hadn’t giving them an hour’s prior warning.
I will let the mathematics speak for themselves. In the first outing in Aden, Al-Qaeda totally missed the American troops, killed one Austrian tourist and a hotel worker and injured the wife of the Austrian tourist at the cost of two injured bombers. They did not exactly smother themselves in success.
But as the number of bombings escalated, so did the damage they caused. Al-Qaeda was patiently and persistently perfecting their trade. They had now been at it for six years. 9/11 was still three years off.
Until next time.