NOVEMBER 16, 2004
Newly Released, Declassified 1998 Report Identifies Targets, Contacts, Methods, Financing, & Training Sites
Northern Caucasus & Chechnya Favored for Operating Bases – Regarded as “Unreachable By Strikes from the West”
(Washington, D.C.) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Intelligence Information Report (IIR) declassified and released to Judicial Watch on October 30,2004, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) open records request filed by Judicial Watch in January 2000, concerning the decision of the Clinton administration to bomb the al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and suspected al Qaeda terrorist training camps in the vicinity of Khost, Afghanistan on August 20, 1998. The dual-site bombing operation was codenamed “Infinite Reach.” The bombing was reportedly in retaliation for the August 7, 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The DIA IIR (see below) is derived from handwritten documents obtained through a classified intelligence project with the unclassified nickname “Swift Knight.” According to the report, the documents were written during the first two weeks of October 1998. The spellings, references and phrases in the report are verbatim transcriptions from the original handwritten document (e.g. Osama bin Laden [OBL] is referred to as “Usam ben Laden”). The IIR provides basic biographical information concerning OBL and traces key points in his public, militant activities, resulting in the formation of al Qaeda.
The IIR includes language from the document that describes how al Qaeda envisions achieving their goals including “ethnic cleansing” and “control over nuclear and biological weapons.” An additional reference is made to “latent penetration,” a reference to so-called “sleeper cells.”
A good deal of information concerning OBL’s and al Qaeda’s efforts in Chechnya, the Caucuses, Crimea, and the Central Asian Republics is covered in the IIR. The confirmed existence of a [secure, reliable, terrorist-sponsored] “direct route to Chechnya from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Turkey and Azerbaijan” is a stunning “information point” within this IIR – especially in light of the date of the
“This report provides a deeply disturbing `snapshot’ of what the US intelligence community knew about the activities of bin Laden and his associates back in 1998. The global scope and rabid fanaticism of these Islamist terrorists is spelled out in no uncertain terms, including their intense interest in WMDs. Documents such as these give the American people some idea of the terror threat facing the West,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Below is the report: