Life and Culture Eating With Doña Lita By Lita Ruiz
Controversial memo: A warning or
Full text of the
intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, prepared for President Bush, concerning
the al-Qaeda threat to the United States. It was declassified on April 10. Some
sections were deleted, according to the White House, to “protect the names of
foreign governments that provided information to CIA.” Clarifications [in
brackets] were inserted by Progreso Weekly.
before Congress on April 9, Presidential aide Condoleezza Rice described this as
simply “a historical memo. .... It did not warn of attacks inside the United
States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new
threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside
the United States.”
“I am satisfied
that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack
on America – at a time and a place,” Bush said April 12, after the memo below
was made public. Had he received a specific warning of an attack, he would “have
moved mountains” to prevent it, the president said.
Determined To Strike in US
government, and media reports indicate [Osama] Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted
to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in US television
interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of
bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to
After US missile strikes
on his base in
Afghanistan in 1998,
Bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in
according to a [TEXT DELETED] service.
An Egyptian Islamic
Jihad (EIJ) operative told a [TEXT DELETED] service at the same time that Bin
Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a
The millennium plotting
in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a
terrorist strike in the
Convicted plotter Ahmed
Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles
International Airport himself, but that Bin Laden 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 Laden
was aware of the Los Angeles operation.
Although Bin Laden 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 Laden associates
surveilled our embassies in
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-Qaeda 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
Two al-Qaeda members
found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US
citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in
in the mid-1990s.
A clandestine source
said in 1998 that a Bin Laden 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 [TEXT
DELETED] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft to
gain the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman and other US-held
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
The CIA and the FBI are
investigating a call to our embassy in the United Arab Emirates in May saying
that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with