Observations on the world today.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Jane is a Terrorist. Terrorize, Jane, Terrorize. 

FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Raw Data: Text of Released PDB
Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997' has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service. An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted text] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa'ida members — including some who are US citizens — have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks
with explosives.
And still right-wingers are trying to say this was a vague and historical briefing.

Okay, so here's the thing, if the president is being briefed daily, what would even be the purpose of a "vague and historical" PDB? By it's nature, shouldn't a PDB be an update of current events? Although there does seem to be some of that vague history in this document. A little too much perhaps.

Admittedly, I've never seen a PDB before, so I have nothing to compare it against, but if this is indicative of how Bush was brought up to speed, I'd say it suggests that his PDB's were peppered with historical background as a sort of reminder for why the current intel is relevant. It's almost written as if to explain what led to the relevant events he is being told about for that given day.

I was talking about this with my brother, and I said it would be interesting to see the first briefing Bush got right after the inauguration. To which my brother quipped, "The government is made up of three branches; the executive, legislative and judicial. You are now the head of the executive branch."

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