World NewsPathway to 9/11: How bin Laden came to mastermind the devastating terror...

Pathway to 9/11: How bin Laden came to mastermind the devastating terror attacks

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Usama bin Laden cultivated his status as a terror mastermind within the many years earlier than Sept. 11, leaving our bodies strewn throughout continents and repeatedly touchdown on the CIA’s radar. The devastating assaults on New York Metropolis’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon would propel america into its longest struggle in historical past and solidify bin Laden’s grisly legacy.

“As a former Marine Corps officer, my profession of eight years was very a lot outlined by the Sept. 11 assaults,” creator and former CIA paramilitary officer Elliot Ackerman informed Fox Information.

Bin Laden’s journey to changing into one of the vital notorious jihadist leaders of all time started to take form in 1979. On the urging of his mentor Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, bin Laden dropped out off school and left Saudi Arabia to hitch the jihad in opposition to the Soviets who had invaded Afghanistan, Ackerman stated. The son of a rich development magnate and shut good friend of the Saudi royal household, bin Laden’s function was primarily to fund coaching of latest mujahideen, a time period describing guerillas who struggle on behalf of Islam.

Azzam and bin Laden went on to assist discovered al Qaeda — which interprets to “The Base” — in 1989. The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan the identical yr and bin Laden returned to his house nation a hero, Ackerman stated. However bin Laden and his former mentor quickly ended up on opposing sides of a violent debate about the way forward for jihad.

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“We begin to see the definition of what al Qaeda and lots of jihadists time period because the ‘close to enemy’ versus the ‘far enemy,’” Ackerman stated. “The ‘close to enemy’ have been the authoritarian regimes within the Center East, just like the regime of Saddam Hussein, and even the Saudi royal household, which many jihadists felt have been corrupt and wanted to be toppled. The ‘far enemy’ was considered because the Western democracies, foremost amongst them america, that propped up these despotic regimes within the Center East.”

Azzam needed to deal with the “close to enemy,” however bin Laden had his sights set on the West. On Nov. 24, 1989, a automobile bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan, killed Azzam, successfully ending the controversy. Authorities by no means recognized a definitive wrongdoer.

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On Aug. 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Fearing Saddam Hussein would push his troops into Saudi Arabia subsequent, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud accepted army help from america.

“This results in a profound schism between bin Laden and the Saudi royal household,” Ackerman stated. “What bin Laden needs is to make use of his jihadists, his holy warriors, to liberate Kuwait. And he’s staunchly in opposition to any kind of exterior intervention by america and the West.”

Because the Gulf Warfare was being waged, al Qaeda continued to actively work on a world scale. On Nov. 8, 1990, the FBI raided the New Jersey house of El Sayyid Nosair days after the slaying of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founding father of the Jewish Protection League. The FBI stated Nosair “assassinated” Kahane, though Nosair was acquitted of homicide and as a substitute convicted of lesser associated prices. Nosair was an affiliate of al Qaeda member Ali Mohamed.

“[The FBI found] intensive proof of terrorist plots, together with plans that echo the 9/11 assaults, that are to explode New York Metropolis skyscrapers,” Ackerman stated.

Saudi Arabia expelled bin Laden in 1991 for his repeated criticism of the U.S.-Saudi alliance. The Saudi authorities would ultimately revoke his citizenship and persuade his household to chop him off.

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Usama bin Laden speaks to the journalists in Khost, Afghanistan, in 1998
(Photograph by Mazhar Ali Khan/AP)

Bin Laden and his followers moved first to Afghanistan, then to Sudan in a deal orchestrated by Mohamed, the identical man with ties to Nosair. Bin Laden established a base for mujahedeen fighters and commenced planning his first main assault.

On Dec. 29, 1992, al Qaeda operatives detonated a bomb at a lodge in Aden, Yemen. U.S. troops had been staying on the lodge en path to a humanitarian mission in Somalia and have been the goal of the assault, however that they had already left by the point the bomb went off. Two civilians have been killed.

Two months later, on Feb. 26, 1993, a truck bomb detonated beneath the north tower of the World Commerce Heart in New York Metropolis. Whereas the bombing badly broken each buildings, killing six folks and injuring greater than 1,000, it was meant to topple each towers, which may have killed tens of hundreds of individuals.

Nosair helped plan the assault whereas nonetheless in jail, working along side Ramzi Yousef, Ackerman stated. Each males are believed to have been financially linked to bin Laden.

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At truck bomb exploded at a U.S. military complex in Saudi Arabia, destroying Khobar Towers June 25, 1996.

At truck bomb exploded at a U.S. army complicated in Saudi Arabia, destroying Khobar Towers June 25, 1996.
(AP Photograph/Saleh Rifai)

The subsequent main assault got here on June 25, 1996, when a truck bomb detonated close to barracks in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, that have been housing U.S. Air Drive personnel. The blast killed 19 airmen and wounded 498 others, together with some Saudi nationals and international guests. The assault was formally pinned on Hezbollah and Iran, Ackerman stated, however bin Laden and al Qaeda claimed duty.

On Aug. 7, 1998, al Qaeda struck two U.S. embassies with simultaneous explosions. In Nairobi, Kenya, 213 folks died and greater than 4,500 have been injured. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 11 died and 85 have been harm.

“Al Qaeda continues to focus on U.S. pursuits overseas, culminating in October of 2000 when members of al Qaeda attacked the united statesCole,” Ackerman stated.

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The ship was ported in Aden, Yemen, when al Qaeda operatives approached it in a smaller boat, filled with explosives. The blast killed 17 sailors and injured dozens extra.

“By the point bin Laden and his associates attacked the Cole, CIA already had in place plans to kill bin Laden,” Ackerman stated. “Nevertheless, the Clinton administration by no means greenlit these plans, and within the days earlier than Sept. 11, they remained on the cabinets.”

Firefighters make their way over the ruins of the World Trade Center through clouds of smoke Oct. 11, 2001, in New York City. Nearly 3,000 people were killed when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes on Sept. 11, 2001.

Firefighters make their approach over the ruins of the World Commerce Heart via clouds of smoke Oct. 11, 2001, in New York Metropolis. Almost 3,000 folks have been killed when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked 4 planes on Sept. 11, 2001.
(AP Photograph/Stan Honda)

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Afghan politician and longtime mujahedeen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud tried to warn the U.S. about bin Laden in early 2001, based on partially-redacted authorities data. Massoud had “restricted information” about bin Laden and al Qaeda’s plans to assault america and tried to warn the American authorities concerning the terrorist chief throughout a speech in Europe.

Massoud would not survive to see bin Laden’s plans come to fruition. For years, he had opposed each the Taliban and al Qaeda as the fear teams gained traction in Afghanistan. On Sept. 9, 2001, two al Qaeda operatives disguised themselves as journalists and killed Massoud in a suicide bombing ordered by bin Laden.

“The desk is ready for Usama bin Laden,” Ackerman stated. “Ahmad Shah Massoud is lifeless. He has a secure perch from inside Afghanistan and virtually 10 years of planning is in place, going all the way in which again to his failed try and destroy the World Commerce Heart earlier within the ‘90s. It is two days earlier than Sept. 11 and thru bin Laden’s planning and financing, these assaults are imminent … and can go on to spur a 20-year struggle, the longest in America’s historical past.”

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Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked 4 planes on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, flying two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Commerce Heart in New York Metropolis. Hijackers flew a 3rd aircraft into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The passengers and crew members of the fourth aircraft fought again and crashed the aircraft right into a discipline in Pennsylvania earlier than it may attain Washington, D.C. The assaults killed 2,977 folks within the largest lack of life from a international strike on American soil.

A U.S.-led army coalition started its invasion of Afghanistan inside a month, with the aim of driving out bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban. American troops stayed within the nation for the following 20 years earlier than the calamitous withdrawal in August 2021.

A crowd celebrates news that Usama Bin Laden is dead May 2, 2011, in New York City.

A crowd celebrates information that Usama Bin Laden is lifeless Might 2, 2011, in New York Metropolis.
(Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald through Getty Pictures)

Bin Laden, in the meantime, eluded seize for practically 10 years. Lastly, U.S. intelligence tracked the 54-year-old terror mastermind to a compound in Pakistan. Within the early hours of Might 1, 2011, a group of Navy SEALs raided the compound, killing bin Laden and 4 others, prompting worldwide celebrations.

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