Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Clinton could have stopped Osama's flight to Afghanistan:- - India News -

Clinton could have stopped Osama's flight to Afghanistan:-

U.S.State Department analysts had warned the Clinton Administration as far back as July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would be more dangerous, as he would use that opportunity to promote his brand of radical Islam. But, Washington chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show.

According to the New York Times, the declassified documents obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, sheds considerable light on bin Laden's plans to relocate from Sudan to Afghanistan.

The documents said that before 1996, bin Laden was regarded more as a financier of terrorism than a mastermind. But the State Department assessment, which came a year before he publicly urged Muslims to attack the United States, indicated that officials suspected he was taking a more active role, including in the bombings in June 1996 that killed 19 members American soldiers at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Two years after the State Department's warning, bin Laden was firmly entrenched in Afghanistan and overseeing terrorist training and financing operations.

His Al Qaeda struck two American embassies in East Africa and on September 11, 2001, it struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington with devastating consequences.

The documents, however, do not directly address the question of whether Sudan ever offered to turn bin Laden over to Washington.

Former senior officials of the Clinton Administration have also remained tight-lipped on the issue. (ANI)

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