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Beware the Second Wave

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  • Beware the Second Wave

    Volume 2 Issue 102 Jerusalem, Israel
    28 Elul, 5761 * * September 16, 2001

    Beware the Second Wave
    DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that Islamic
    militants under the command of Saudi multimillionaire terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the radical Egyptian Jihadi Islami, Iraqi military intelligence and other Middle East groups, stand poised for a second wave of horrendous attacks in America.

    An estimated 30 to 50 suicide-killers are waiting inside the US for their orders to strike.

    This time, while again aiming for the US President, the White House and Capitol Hill, they will also go for a broad spectrum of what they consider strategic targets, such as airports, oil fields and oil installations, sensitive military and intelligence facilities, warships and carriers. The last were indeed ordered out to sea shortly after the first assaults on Tuesday.

    Aware that flushing out the terrorists in waiting, many of whom may be US nationals, is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, US leaders quickly resorted to a short cut. Two days ago, they turned to a number of world leaders, including Europeans, the Russian president and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, to request a pooling of intelligence. They were asked to share every scrap of information they had on international terror movements, in support of the US effort to eradicate the blight. Quick crosschecking between the services strongly confirmed the second wave thesis. It has kept US security services at the highest level of suspense they have ever known.

    Therefore the FBI's dragnet on the trail of the conspiracy behind he deadly airliner suicide attacks on America are moving fast, so that the country is not caught off guard again. US security authorities are concerned to strengthen the two lines of defense against terrorist attack: the first-line barrier, advance intelligence, and the second-line defense, security. Both broke down when New York's landmark the World Trade Center, and America's military nerve center, the Pentagon in Washington, were crushingly assaulted by suicidal terrorists last Tuesday.

  • #2
    Bin Laden's Scattered Legions
    Al Qaeda ('the Base'), the militant Islamic movement the Saudi terrorist tycoon Osama Bin Laden founded in 1990, is estimated by DEBKAfile's terror experts to number no more than 12,000 fighting men in all. They are scattered round the world, mainly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Chechenya, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan, Tadjikistan and Lebanon. Some 2,500 live in the United States, many of them US nationals, counting also members of Al Qaeda's fraternal terrorist group, the fundamentalist Egyptian Jihad Islami. Many are 'Afghan Arabs' who fought with Bin Laden against the Russians in Afghanistan in the eighties.

    Either involved in local conflicts, like the Balkans, or organized as a sort of international rapid strike force for terror, Bin Laden moves his troops from site to site as needed, usually by chartered commercial flights. Together with reserves, he can field some 17,000 Islamic militants to pursue what he conceives as his mission: to defeat the United States and its dominant influence as a world superpower. Most Bin Laden operations are large scale yet precisely pinpointed to achieve that end.

    His annual operational budget is estimated as $125 million, which comes out of revenues from family-owned companies. His relatives are close to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. So as to save them and the Saudi ruler embarrassment, he has invested his stock in front companies registered in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Most of his investments are in satellite networks and cell phone companies.

    Bin Laden is the first terrorist chief to operate in global strategic terms. All his operations ' and there have been no more than a dozen - are meticulously prepared and executed and always aim at damaging US superpower standing. His only regional or local targets are Saudi relations with the United States and the American infidel presence in the kingdom, which for him is anathema and profane. Bin Laden differs substantially from Yasser Arafat in that his thinking and targeting are global and ideological. Al his associations are with radical Islamic groups and figures.

    Digging into his roots, DEBKAfile has discovered Bin Laden's first mentor to have been an obscure Palestinian sheikh who lived in Hableh near Tulkarm and Jenin, called Abdallah Azzam. Founder of an Islamic liberation movement called Haraketh al-Tahariyeh al Islami, this sheikh, for the first time in the 20th century, called for an Islamic struggle on a global, not merely a national, footing. He urged Moslems to fight for world domination and the eclipse of infidel rule. Although a Palestinian himself, Azzam mocked Yasser Arafat's PLO as inconsequential.

    This doctrine actuated Bin Laden in founding his Al Qaeda (The base) a decade ago. It is his guiding light to this day.