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CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack

CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

By Jennifer Griffin


Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources.

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi’s fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces.

Fox News has also learned that Stevens was in Benghazi that day to be present at the opening of an English-language school being started by the Libyan farmer who helped save an American pilot who had been shot down by pro-Qaddafi forces during the initial war to overthrow the regime. That farmer saved the life of the American pilot and the ambassador wanted to be present to launch the Libyan rescuer’s new school.

Read more: SOURCE

Dead blackbirds fall again in Arkansas town

Dead blackbirds fall again in Arkansas town

Thousands of dead blackbirds rained down on a town in central Arkansas last New Year’s Eve after revelers set off fireworks that spooked them from their roost, and officials were reporting a similar occurrence Saturday as 2012 approached.

Police in Beebe said dozens of blackbirds had fallen dead, prompting officers to ban residents from shooting fireworks Saturday night. It wasn’t immediately clear if fireworks were again to blame, but authorities weren’t taking a chance.

Officer John Weeks said the first reports of “birds on the streets” came around 7 p.m. as residents celebrated the year’s end with fireworks in their neighborhoods.

“We started shutting down fireworks,” he said. “We’re working on cleaning up the birds now.”

He said police were working with animal control workers and others to remove the birds and determine a death count.

“We’re not sure if they’re going to continue to fall throughout the night. I can’t tell you,” Weeks said.

Scientists say the loud cracks and booms from celebratory fireworks likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths last New Year’s Eve. The birds landed on roofs, sidewalks, streets and fields. One struck a woman walking her dog. Another hit a police cruiser.

The blackbird die-off, coupled with tens of thousands of dead drum fish that washed up on the shores of the Arkansas River, flung the state into the national headlines and drew conspiracy theorists and filmmakers to the town about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock that shares Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe’s last name.

Some people speculated that the birds had been poisoned; others said their deaths marked the beginning of the apocalypse.

“It’s just got to be a pain in my career,” Beebe Police Chief Wayne Ballew said.

Prior to this New Year’s Eve, Ballew said he wouldn’t be surprised if people sit out on their front porches in case the winged creatures fall from the sky again.

“I guess we could have an annual blackbird watch,” he said with a laugh. “People can just bring their umbrellas, open them up and walk through the neighborhood and hope they don’t get hit.”

Charles Moore didn’t plan to have an umbrella at the ready, but said he would have his camera out on New Year’s Eve. Last year, he drifted off to sleep before the ball — and birds — dropped.

“When we got up on New Year’s Day and walked out to get the paper, we saw all the carnage out there,” he said. “So we thought we would be on the watch for it this time.”

SOURCE

Child Killer Has His Victim’s Name Tattooed on His Forehead

Child Killer Has His Victim’s Name Tattooed on His Forehead

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The body of Katie Collman, a 10-year old southern Indiana girl, was found last year in a creek near Seymour, Indiana. The search for Katie had consumed the small town of Crothersville, her home town. Her body was found five days after her disappearance. Police initially believed she had been abducted and killed to keep her from telling anyone about the methamphetamine activity taking place in her neighborhood.

Officials arrested a suspect in the case, but the charges were later dropped when the investigation began pointing strongly toward Anthony Stockelman, the man who was eventually arrested and charged with Katie’s murder. When the evidence became strong enough for the case to warrant a request by the prosecution for the death penalty, Stockelman changed his plea to guilty in order to avoid trial and a possible sentence of execution.

“I think he knows all the evidence was against him, and he didn’t want to get the death penalty,”
said Katie’s father, John Neace. “In my opinion, he’s a coward.” Neace added, though, that he was happy to know Stockelman won’t be coming out of prison. “When he does, it will be on a gurney,” Neace said.

Prosecutor Stephen Pierson, during the sentencing, said that Stockelman molested Katie at her mother’s home, then tied her up and took her to Cypress Lake, where he killed her. Stockelman’s DNA matched evidence found on the child’s body.

Stockelman’s brother, Troy, said that his brother was remorseful for what he had done, and keeping him in prison would only hurt his brother’s children. “I don’t see the sense in keeping the kids from seeing their father,” Troy Stockelman said. But Stockelman’s wife, Tabitha, felt differently. “It’s really unfortunate to be married to someone for eight years and have no idea who he was,” Tabitha said. “He was a sick kid-toucher.”

While he was in court, Stockelman apologized to Katie’s family. He allegedly offered to give her father half of the money from a possible book deal. “That was a smack in the face,” Neace said. “A book deal….money…that’s not going to bring Katie back.”

Prison officials this week found Stockelman with the words “Katie’s Revenge” tattooed on his forehead. Corrections officials at the facility are investigating, because they suspect the tattoo may have been done by another inmate at the Wabash Correctional Facility where Stockelman is serving his life sentence.

Upon finding the tattoo, Stockelman was put into protective custody. State police were contacted to assist in the investigation.

Evidently someone posted the photo of Stockelman’s tattoo on a blog that focuses on news reports about crimes against children and women. The blogger said the photo was sent to her in an e-mail last Saturday, and the note claimed that a distant relative of Katie’s who is also an inmate at the prison had given Stockelman the tattoo. Although prison officials did not confirm the blogger’s story, they did say that an inmate has been identified as a suspect. Katie’s father said he believes the tattoo was a statement from the other inmates.

Two guards suspected of giving the photo of the tattoo to the crime blog have been fired. Prison spokesman Rich Larsen said the guards were fired for making “unauthorized copies of an evidence photo.”

Stockelman was separated from the general prison population after authorities discovered the tattoo last weekend.
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

SOURCE

Hangover 3?

Marine killed by Taliban leaves £100,000 in his will to send
32 of his mates on holiday

Kippa Matthews / Barcroft Media

By VIRGINIA WHEELER, Defence Editor

A ROYAL Marine killed by a Taliban bomb left £100,000 to send all his mates to Las Vegas.

David Hart, 23, took out life insurance before he went to Afghanistan.

And he wrote a letter saying a chunk of the £250,000 policy proceeds should pay for his pals and their girlfriends to go on a party trip in his memory if he died.

Now 32 friends are jetting to the US – a year after David died in the Helmand danger spot of Sangin.

Pal Andy Hare, 25, said: “He loved going away with his mates – it was always the best two weeks of the year. They were lads’ holidays and great times.”

Construction manager Andy added: “In his letter David said he had had a great life and had no regrets about anything. He always said he would do something like this if something bad happened.

He said, ‘Go and have a good time and spend all this money’. All the lads said, ‘What a guy’.”

David, of 40 Commando, also left a large sum to his family and £50,000 to his favourite charity for injured Marines. The keen footballer lived with parents Chris, 60, and Dilys, 54, in Poppleton, near York, before joining up in 2009.

Chris said: “Since his death, all of his friends have been round to see us. It’s nice they have been there to support us.” David’s sister Sarah, 27, said: “He was the best brother I could have wished for. He was caring, funny and had an infamous grin.

“He would always be there for you. I’m proud to have been his sister and of his career as a commando.”

David had qualified as a combat medic. After his death, Lt Col Paul James described him as “the perfect Marine – magnificent in personality and profession”.

Chris, Sarah and David’s pals will cycle 170 miles in September to raise cash for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. A JustGiving webpage has been set up. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/David-Hart.

Read more: SOURCE

Lies, Damn Lies And Bin Laden’s Death

Lies, Damn Lies And Bin Laden’s Death
By Stephen Lendman

Winston Churchill rightly explained that “(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” He said it perhaps before television. For sure before 24-hour cable TV and modern technology instantly communicating globally.

It applies to Obama’s latest lie, announced at 11:35PM EDT on bin Laden, saying:

Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

Highlighting 9/11, he painstakingly discussed everything but the truth. America’s media repeated it. Celebratory crowds in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at “ground zero” cheered it past midnight, mindlessly believing a lie. More on that below.

On May 1, New York Times writers Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti headlined, “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama says: continuing:

Calling him “the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world,” Obama announced his death Sunday night, declaring “justice has been done.”

Cheerleading, not reporting, Baker, Cooper and Mazzetti called his “demise….a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.”

New Year’s eve arrived early in America, celebrating a lie, the “bewildered herd” again seduced by presidential deception.

A USA Today editorial headlined, “At last, bin Laden is dead,” saying:

“Could there be any more satisfying words to hear?”

The Boston Globe highlighted “a moment of unity” after nearly a decade of war, calling Obama’s announcement a “vindication of a manhunt spanning presidential administrations, and involving numerous agencies and countless intelligence officers.”

AP quoted Bill Clinton saying:

“I congratulate the president, the national security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks.”

House speaker John Boehner (R. OH) said it was “great news…”

House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi called it “historic.”

Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid “reaffirm(ed) our resolve to defeat the terrorist forces that killed (9/11 victims) and thousands of others across the globe.”

Expect lots more cheerleading ahead, led by major media reports doing what they do best, providing sanitized, managed news, not truth.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Post-9/11, bin Laden became “Enemy Number One,” the nation’s top “security threat.” In fact, if he hadn’t existed, he’d have been invented for political advantage.

In March 1985, after Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 166 to arm Afghan Mujahideen fighters, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) recruited bin Laden to fight Soviet Afghan forces as a CIA asset. He likely remained one until his death, while simultaneously called “Enemy Number One,” using him advantageously both ways.

David Ray Griffin wrote seminal books on 9/11, including “The New Pearl Harbor,” “The 9/11 Commission Report,” “9/11 and American Empire,” “9/11 Contradictions,” “Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,” and “Osama Bin Laden: Dead of Alive?”

It was also the title of his October 9, 2009 Global Research article, covering two types of evidence:

(1) Objective evidence that he’s dead:

After December 13, 2001, his regularly intercepted messages stopped.

On December 26, 2001, according to “a leading Pakistani newspaper” story, a prominent Taliban official said he attended his funeral.

Bin Laden, in fact, was very ill with kidney disease. In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported that he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001, and France’s Le Figaro said:

“Dubai….was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001). A partner of the administration of the American Hospital….claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis. (During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”

Why not if he was a valued asset.

In July 2002, “CNN reported that (his) bodyguards had been captured in February of that year, adding: ‘Sources believe that if the bodyguards were captured away from bin Laden, it is likely the most wanted man in the world is dead.”

Finally, despite Washington offering a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture or killing, no one came forward.

(2) Testimonial evidence of his death:

In 2002, influential “people in a position to know” that he died included:

— Pakistan President Musharraf;

— FBI counterterrorism head Dale Watson;

— Oliver North saying, “I’m certain that Osama is dead….and so are all the other guys I stay in touch with;”

— Afghanistan President Karzai;

— Israeli intelligence saying supposed bin Laden messages were fake; and

— Pakistan’s ISI “confirm(ing) the death of….Osama bin Laden (and) attribut(ing) the reasons behind Washington’s hiding (the truth) to the desire of (America’s hawks) to use the issue of al Qaeda and international terrorism to invade Iraq.”

Other evidence includes former CIA case officer Robert Baer telling National Public Radio (NPR): “Of course he’s dead.”

Then in March 2009, “former Foreign Service officer Angelo Codevilla published an essay in the American Spectator entitled ‘Osama bin Elvis,’ ” saying:

“Seven years after (bin Laden’s) last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence of Elvis’s presence among us than for his.”

Griffin also explained fake messages and videos, saying today’s advanced technology can fool experts, but not all of them.

For years, bin Laden tapes surfaced at strategically-timed moments. Consider one on Friday, September 7, 2007 ahead the sixth 9/11 anniversary. Hector Factor’s Neal Krawetz, a digital image forensics expert, said it was full of low quality visual and audio splices, a likely fake.

Striking also was bin Laden’s beard that was gray in recent images. In this one, it was black. In addition, he was dressed in a white hat and shirt, as well as a yellow sweater, the same attire as on an October 29, 2004 video. Moreover, the background, lighting, desk and camera angle were identical.

Krawetz noted that “if you overlay the 2007 and 2004 videos, bin Laden’s face is the same (unaged).” Only his beard was darker, and the picture contrast was adjusted. Most important are the edits showing obvious splices, at least six video ones in all. Even more audio ones were used that appeared to be words and phrases spliced together, making Krawetz suspect a vocal imitator was used.

A Final Comment

Clear evidence showed bin Laden died years ago, likely in December 2001. However, reporting it was concealed to pursue America’s “war on terror.”

As a result, “Enemy Number One” was used to stoke fear as pretext for imperial wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, perhaps others now planned, and numerous proxy ones in Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, Central Africa, Colombia, and elsewhere.

Griffin wrote his bin Laden book, hoping to shorten America’s wars. He also wished to expose “fake bin Laden tapes (used as) one part of an extensive propaganda operation….furthering the militarization of America and its foreign policy” while popular needs go begging.

Obama’s latest lie left America’s imperial agenda unchanged. In fact, his announcement likely bolsters public support for what’s clearly become unpopular, saying:

“(T)hink back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” urging people to show it again despite how militarism harms their security, well-being and futures by draining funds badly needed for domestic needs.

Instead, expect increasing amounts used for corporate handouts and wars, Obama as uncaring about human needs as extremist Republicans. He’s also an inveterate liar.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Osama Bin Laden Assassinated by U.S. Strike

Osama bin Laden Killed by U.S. Strike


By DEAN SCHABNER
May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, sources told ABC News.

His death brings to an end a tumultuous life that saw bin Laden go from being the carefree son of a Saudi billionaire, to terrorist leader and the most wanted man in the world.

Bin Laden created and funded the al Qaeda terror network, which was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The Saudi exile had been a man on the run since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the ruling Taliban regime, which harbored bin Laden.

In a video filmed two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden gloated about the attack, saying it had exceeded even his “optimistic” calculations.

“Our terrorism is against America. Our terrorism is a blessed terrorism to prevent the unjust person from committing injustice and to stop American support for Israel, which kills our sons,” he said in the video.

Long before the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden was known as an enemy of the United States. He was suspected of playing large roles in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000.

In addition, authorities say bin Laden and his al Qaeda network were involved in previous attacks against U.S. interests — including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, failed plots to kill President Clinton and the pope, and attacks on U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

Bin Laden also used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in Sudan, the Philippines and Afghanistan, sending “holy warriors” to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Bosnia.

Until the capture of one of his top al Qaeda lieutenants in March 2003, there had been no confirmation of his whereabouts — or even that he was still alive — since late 2001, when he appeared in a series of videotapes later released to news organizations.

In recent years, several audio recordings of bin Laden have been authenticated by U.S. officials and made public. In an 18-minute videotape weeks before the 2004 U.S. presidential election, bin Laden threatened fresh attacks on the United States as well as his intent to push America into bankruptcy.

Young Man With a Privileged Life

Born in 1957, bin Laden was a son of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest construction magnate. Saudi sources remembered him as a typical young man whose intense religiosity began to emerge as he grew fascinated with the ancient mosques of Mecca and Medina, which his family’s company was involved in rebuilding.

Bin Laden attended schools in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, and was encouraged to marry early, at the age of 17, to a Syrian girl and family relation. She was to be the first of several wives. He attended King Abdul-Aziz University and was slated to join the family business. He soon chose a different path, however.

Former classmates of bin Laden recall him as a frequent patron of nightclubs, who drank and caroused with his Saudi royalty cohorts. Yet it was also at the university that bin Laden met the Muslim fundamentalist Sheik Abdullah Azzam, perhaps his first teacher of religious politics and his earliest radical influence.

Azzam spoke fervently of the need to liberate Islamic nations from foreign interests and interventions, and he indoctrinated his disciples in the strictest tenets of the Muslim faith. Bin Laden, however, would eventually cultivate a brand of militant religious extremism that exceeded his teacher’s.

He began his relationship with fundamental Islamic groups in the early 1970s. His religious passion exploded in 1979 when Russia invaded Afghanistan. Bin Laden left his comfortable Saudi home for Afghanistan to participate in the Afghan jihad, or holy war, against the Soviet Union — a cause that the United States funded, pouring $3 billion into the Afghan resistance via the CIA.

Turning Against the Saudi Elite

His active opposition to the Soviet Union and his monetary support in purchasing arms, establishing training camps, and building houses, roads and other infrastructure, cemented his position as a hero among many people.

In 1988, he and the Egyptians founded al Qaeda, (“The Base”), a network initially designed to build fighting power for the Afghan resistance.

Bin Laden’s politics became more radical during the war. Upon returning to his home in Saudi Arabia, he was widely honored as a hero. But he returned to a country that he perceived had stepped away from the fundamentals of Islam. He declared the Saudi ruling family “insufficiently Islamic” and increasingly advocated the use of violence to force movement toward extremism.

Bin Laden saw American influence in Saudi Arabia as counter to everything he believed. He fell into disfavor with the Saudi government and moved his family to Sudan where he established terrorist camps — training and equipping terrorists from a dozen countries.

Bin Laden would not compromise his religious beliefs and after three years of continued criticism of the Saudi royal family, his own family disowned him.

Saudi Arabia stripped bin Laden of his citizenship in the mid-’90s for his alleged activities against the royal family, after he had left the country for Sudan. He later was expelled from Sudan under U.S., Egyptian and Saudi pressure. In 1996, he took refuge in Afghanistan.

Back to Afghanistan

Former mujahideen commanders close to the Taliban said that, in Afghanistan, bin Laden bankrolled the hard-line Islamic militia’s capture of Kabul under the leadership of Mullah Mohammed Omar. He became one of Omar’s most trusted advisers.

One of bin Laden’s main strengths among the Muslim people was that followers saw him as a true believer in the faith. In their eyes he transcended other leaders who are viewed as dictators who care little for Islam or the people they lead. Bin Laden entered their lives with a message they can follow and he had the cash at his disposal to carry out that message.

Bin Laden was said to personally control about $300 million of his family’s $5 billion fortune. His role as a financier of terrorism is pivotal, experts said, because he revolutionized the financing of extremist movements by forming and funding his own private terror network.

In 1998, he issued an edict openly declared war on America: “We — with God’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.”

Bin Laden committed himself to expelling all Americans and Jews from Muslim holy lands. “Osama bin Laden may be the most dangerous non-state terrorist in the world,” Sandy Berger, President Clinton’s national security adviser, told ABC News.

Most Wanted Man on Earth

His place in American history is relatively new, but in a short time he left a violent mark.

In 1993, bin Laden was linked by U.S. officials to the bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six people. He is also believed to have orchestrated at least a dozen attacks, some successful, some not. Among the worst of these were two truck bombings, both on Aug. 7, 1998, of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Clinton responded with cruise missile attacks on suspected al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. In November 1998, the U.S. State Department promised $5 million to anyone with information leading to bin Laden’s arrest.

Despite attempts to apprehend him, bin Laden eluded the American government and continued plotting against it.

The same group, with bin Laden at the helm, is widely believed to be responsible for the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole.

Then came the stunning Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. On a clear, late-summer morning, two hijacked commercial jets flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. About an hour later, another hijacked airliner slammed into the Pentagon in the nation’s capital. A fourth hijacked jet did not reach its target, crashing in western Pennsylvania instead.

When the massive towers collapsed in flames, nearly 3,000 people perished. Among those lost in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania were the 19 hijackers, most of whom have been linked to al Qaeda operations. Bin Laden denied involvement in the attacks, but he praised the hijackers for their acts. The U.S. government nevertheless regarded the terrorist leader as its prime suspect and stepped up the manhunt.

In March 2005, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf admitted that bin Laden had been in Pakistan in the spring of 2004 and was almost captured. Intelligence officials said they believed he was hiding in the rugged mountains that straddle the border with Afghanistan. The U.S. government even launched a series of television and radio ads in Pakistan trumpeting the $25 million reward for his capture.

In January 2006, a purported Bin Laden audio tape was released where a male voice threatens the United States with more attacks on U.S. soil.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/osama-bin-laden-killed/story?id=13505703