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Who Is Osama bin Laden, and Does He Have Anything to Do With the Sept. 11 Attack?

Monday, 04 February 2002 12:00 AM

Hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans could be killed in four months by really up-to-date large-scale bioterrorists stealing a five-pound bag of that same antiquated anthrax, to say nothing of later and far more potent and effective "biopreparations."

A far easier way was to personify the terrorism as Osama bin Laden, with his al-Qaeda, and rush in hot pursuit of the villain who "planned and carried out" (as Prime Minister Tony Blair put it) the terrorist attack on the United States of Sept. 11, 2001.

But who is bin Laden? Why did the CIA choose this feeble-minded nonentity in the 1980s to create the Services Office for the recruitment of guerrilla soldiers in 50 countries for the war against the secular pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan?

He had inherited $300 million, and hence the CIA was able to funnel $5 billion through him, which he could pass off as his own money and thus leave the CIA behind the scenes. Officially, the United States did not participate in the war.

In 1978, the per capita income in Afghanistan was $168 a

A guerrilla soldier learned in a training camp how to ambush Soviet and pro-Soviet soldiers, fire a Kalashnikov at them, and flee to his "base" in the mountains or caves. Most of the 30,000 guerrilla soldiers survived the war and were far better off materially in Islamic countries like Afghanistan than the average-income person, to say nothing of those who were starving.

The CIA no longer needed guerrilla soldiers, so bin Laden inherited them.

In print and on Barry Farber's radio talk show in the late 1980s, I explained that Soviet Russia securely held Afghanistan. Not because of "tactical nuclear weapons," discussed by the U.S. government following Sept. 11, 2001, but by creating a single infrastructure so that finally the guerrillas would starve and die out in their mountains and caves, a strategy by which Russia had conquered the Islamic Caucasus in the 19th century.

Why,then, did Gorbachev withdraw from Afghanistan? For the same reason he withdrew from East Germany and many other territories, for which he was made a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Until 1992, the Western public did not know that Gorbachev was developing Superweapon No. 3. He withdrew from Afghanistan and East Germany because he believed in world domination via Superweapon No. 3, not via old-fashioned territorial expansion.

But Gorbachev's geostrategic withdrawal from Afghanistan was perceived by the West (and the Islamic world) as a Soviet rout. This imaginary Soviet debacle transformed the nonentity bin Laden, the CIA's financial screen, into a megalomaniac – a new Muhammad who had rallied Moslems in 50 countries and defeated Soviet Russia with the help of his (the CIA's) Services Office.

Now, if he had defeated Soviet Russia, he could certainly defeat the United States, too. He had hated the secular pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan because it had introduced universal school education that included girls. He hated the United States even more: The American permissiveness with respect to females was even worse than the Soviet indulgence, and American troops were on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia!

So, in the late 1980s, he renamed the Services Office, created by the CIA in 50 countries, as The Base (al-Qaeda) to fight "the Jews and the Crusaders" (that is, Christians). But the feeble-minded megalomaniac did not take into account the cardinal difference between a guerrilla soldier and a terrorist.

Millions, or dozens of millions, of Moslems would find it quite attractive to be guerrilla soldiers in a war for $1,000 a year and live happily after the war. But all terrorism is mortally dangerous, for a terrorist in New York or Washington cannot flee into the mountains or caves of Afghanistan. He is in the position of the most dangerous and most wanted criminal in a foreign country.

Besides, the most effective terrorism is suicidal, and there is a psychological chasm between a guerrilla soldier surviving a guerrilla war and a "martyr" who sacrifices his life. Bin Laden could, in October and November of 2001, have attacked his enemies in Afghanistan and died in a terrorist act. But so far he has been good at fleeing and hiding, not at sacrificing his life.

Was there a single terrorist in al-Qaeda? The U.S. war on the Taliban's Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001. Any

But these were bin Laden's megalomaniacal theatricals. Where was his al-Qaeda in 50 or 68 countries when the war in Afghanistan was on? As for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, its members seemed to be bad even as guerrilla fighters recruited by the CIA in the 1980s, but they behaved just as bureaucrats do when their office is attacked: running away or even surrendering. There was not a single case of terrorism or of any bold counterattack.

Considering the poverty in the Islamic world, the CIA and, later, bin Laden could have hired millions or dozens of millions of Moslems, but what were they good for besides wearing 10-cent badges saying "Beware! I am bin Laden's suicidal terrorist" and then fleeing, with bin Laden fleeing faster than any of them.

Bin Laden actually redefined the definition of who is a terrorist: "A terrorist, and especially a suicidal terrorist, is a man who runs away for his dear life from his enemies faster than anyone else."

Arabs often look like Jews, since both are Semitic. Much as bin Laden hates Jews and imagines himself to be an Arab holy war daredevil, who defeated Soviet Russia and will defeat the West, he looks like a 19th century Russian Jew, terrified by pogroms. His premature senility and grave ailments do not add to his heroic holy war self-image either.

Before 1999, even those terrorist acts that were ascribed (falsely?) to bin Laden and his al-Qaeda had been so few and insignificant that the U.S. State Department had not included al-Qaeda on its list of 30 (as of 1997) Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

Before me is the State Department's 16-page document of Oct. 31, 2001, entitled "Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961-2001: Chronology."

In 2000, there were nine such "incidents," and in only one of them, in Yemen, "supporters [?] of Usama bin Laden were suspected [!]." It is not clear why two terrorists could not carry out this terrorist act on their own without the support of al-Qaeda. A "small dinghy carrying explosives rammed the destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 sailors." This is a humdrum terrorist act of the 19th century.

The money to buy the explosives? An American taxi driver "without a medallion" nets $100 a day. Characteristic is the word "supporters" above. The United States has made bin Laden an evil world celebrity for the West and hence a heroic world celebrity for terrorists. Quite recently, a born-and-bred 15-year-old WASP American, Charles Bishop, rammed a stolen plane into the Bank of America building in Tampa and expressed in his suicide note his support for bin Laden. What does this mean? Nothing, except that bin Laden is now a household name, due to the U.S. media.

Had we not known the story from the police in detail, the U.S. media would have been likely to use that magic word "link" and say that Bishop was "linked" to bin Laden and al-Qaeda, from which the public would conclude that Bishop was an al-Qaeda "operative" and that al-Qaeda had actually "planned and carried out" Bishop's terrorist act, while Bishop was just a cog in its wheel.

In its report of Jan. 17, 2002, from Washington on the Philippine Islamic Abu Sayyaf, which has "up to 2,000 members," the World reporter notes that "some of them" (how many? Two percent, one percent, 0.1 percent?) "trained in Afghanistan."

This is quite possible. Way back in the 1980s, the CIA set up camps to train 30,000 recruits in the use of automatic weapons for the guerrilla war. Possibly, two percent, one percent, 0.1 percent of the 2,000 terrorists of Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines are former guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan. This is enough for the report to conclude that Abu Sayyaf is "linked to al-Qaeda" and conjure up once again the obsessively reiterated image of al-Qaeda "planning and carrying out" terrorist acts in the Philippines as well.

In this way, it is easy to further aggravate the American obsession with bin Laden by assuring the public that his al-Qaeda has been "planning and carrying out" all terrorist acts in the world, from the Sept. 11, 2001, attack to Bishop's ramming of the Bank of America, since someone or something in each terrorist act is "linked" to bin Laden, a world celebrity.

To finish the State Department's list of "significant terrorist incidents": In 2001, before Sept. 11, there were six "incidents," and none has ever been "linked" by anyone in any way with al-Qaeda.

A bomb in a Jerusalem restaurant killed 15 Jews and wounded 90, but as usual it was claimed by Hamas, as was a bomb in a Tel Aviv nightclub that "caused over 140 casualties." Bin Laden had put Jews before Christians as enemies in his verbal holy war theatricals, but not a single terrorist act in Israel has ever been ascribed to al-Qaeda.

A huge, inept bureaucracy, al-Qaeda is not only useless for terrorism but also harmful and dangerous for it. For example, its bureaucrats scribbled a list of those who were assigned to bomb U.S. military ships in Singapore. The plan was megalomaniacal, a megalomaniac's dream.

As the al-Qaeda bureaucrats were fleeing and surrendering in Afghanistan, they dropped the records and videotapes, because he who flees the lightest, flees the fastest.

The U.S. military picked up the records and videotapes, and on Jan. 11, 2002, those listed by the al-Qaeda pen-pushers were duly arrested in Singapore and can now be sentenced to death on the strength of al-Qaeda bureaucrats' scribblings.

That is, the irresponsible al-Qaeda bureaucracy has been acting not out of malice, but out of sheer bureaucratic indifference – as a collective

Useless and destructive for terrorism, the al-Qaeda bureaucracy has nonetheless been serving bin Laden as his giant PR exhibit, with the United States as his PR agency, sensationalizing the PR exhibit as the last word in global terrorism – the global terrorist mastermind, "planning and carrying out" terrorist acts all over the world, and in particular, in the United States.

The American publicity, representing the feeble-minded megalomaniac as the most dangerous villain in recorded history, has been reflected upside down in the anti-American Islamic media, which represents bin Laden as the new Muhammad who has conquered the United States spiritually. The Americans have been able to think of nothing and no one except him as their most dangerous foe they have been determined to kill or capture at the price of a war in Afghanistan and no matter what.

But sadly lacking in his global Islamic glory (created by the United States) were great deeds – military victories in that holy war bin Laden had been talking about for more than a decade. And here came, on Sept. 11, 2001, an event that the United States represented as equivalent to the Second World War on American territory.

Never mind that the act took place and caused more casualties than in 1993 because of the American unpreparedness for any hostile military activity on American soil. Surely no one nationally visible and audible in the United States said

Yet the new Muhammad did not claim credit for this grandiose Islamic victory. Nay, in his interview of Sept. 12, he expressly denied any involvement in it. Of course, he hailed it. He also said that "the majority of the dead were innocent people," but so also were those killed, for example, by Western aviation. He then spoke of "hundreds of Osamas," to suggest modestly (modesty is the best ornament of a great leader) that the United States was obsessed with him and refused to think of hundreds of other Osamas.

No nationally visible and audible American was surprised: A criminal always lies to conceal his or her crime. No nationally visible American seemed to understand that for most Moslems the event, magnified by the United States to infinity, was not the most heinous crime in recorded history, but the greatest (glorious and divine) military victory for the new Muhammad to be proud of. Certainly he had no fear of the United States at that time.

Because of his megalomania (created by the United States) he could not imagine the forthcoming debacle of the Taliban and the flight (or surrender) of his al-Qaeda in November and December. In September, the megalomaniac refused to leave Afghanistan, and the Taliban refused to extradite him and thus avoid the war.

Yes, in September, the megalomaniac still challenged the West, the U.S. armed forces, as well as the 42 tribes hostile to the Taliban of the Pushtun tribe. Certainly it was not fear of the United States at that time that prompted bin Laden to expressly declare publicly that he had nothing to do with what was to most Moslems the greatest (glorious and divine) victory of Sept. 11, 2002, in that holy war that he had declared on the United States. What prompted him to make such a public statement?

There had been a lesson for him in the past. When President Clinton automatically accused him of a 1995 assassination attempt in Addis Ababa against Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, he did not deny the charge. Actually, this terrorist act had been planned for more than a year and carried out by Gama al-Islamija of Egypt, as its members explained to Western correspondents.

So bin Laden looked like a braggart, stealing the bona fide holy warriors' deed. If he had "planned and carried out" the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, the greatest victorious battle in the holy war, then, as soon as the fourth airliner crashed, he, and most of more than 1 billion Moslems as well as the anti-American Islamic media would have screamed that the new Muhammad had at last achieved a grandiose military victory worthy of Muhammad's victories in the 7th century.

But he had

Hence, he expressly stated publicly that he had

To justify the attack on the Taliban's Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, Prime Minster Tony Blair of England had addressed, on Oct. 4, the House of Commons (as was shown by the American commercial mainstream television) with a 16-page "intelligence report," according to which bin Laden, at the head of al-Qaeda, harbored by the Taliban, had "planned and carried out" the epoch-making terrorist attack.

If Blair had presented any evidence showing that bin Laden financed the attack, that might have been an impudent lie, based on fabrications, but at least it would have been a

Blair's 16-page "intelligence report" must have seemed implausible even to the British prime minister himself, for more than a month later, on Nov. 14, 2001, he released a 23-page "intelligence dossier," according to which bin Laden was the perpetrator of the epoch-making terrorist attack of more than two months earlier because he praised it to the skies as the "battle" that "has been moved inside America."

Blair thus postulated that if bin Laden had not "planned and carried out" the attack, he would have condemned it as a crime. The American commercial mainstream television showed Blair addressing the British Parliament, which, instead of shouting "Idiot!" shouted "Yea!" after every other sentence Blair uttered in triumph.

To think that this was the Parliament of the nation that produced Swift, Dickens, John Stuart Mill and Orwell.

Finally, on Dec. 11, 2001, the U.S. government released a privately-made videotape (made in mid-November) on which bin Laden lied with unrestrained megalomaniacal abandon to his several worshippers about how he had "planned and carried out" (as Tony Blair had put it) that terrorist act that the United States had sensationalized into what most Moslems perceived as the greatest (divine and glorious) victory in the holy war.

Bin Laden's motivation was obvious. He still did not want to take credit publicly for the greatest victory in the holy war lest those really responsible for it and yet alive call him, the new Muhammad, a liar, a fraud and a scoundrel, to be heard by his foes, as numerous as his worshippers.

A privately-made videotape was something quite different. Of course, the Americans would get hold of a copy, and the American television would give it world publicity. Well, if those really responsible for the greatest victory in the holy war and alive challenged his claim, he and his worshippers would say that the videotape was an American fabrication. But if no one challenged his claim on the videotape, most Moslems would know, owing to both American and Islamic television, that the new Muhammad had won that greatest victory in the holy war.

The videotape was hailed as the "smoking gun" by those nationally visible and audible Americans who were obsessed with bin Laden: The criminal told the gospel truth (what a truthful man!) and made a clean breast of his heinous crime in the belief that never, ever would a copy of the videotape stray beyond his trusted circle.

Actually, the videotape proved beyond reasonable doubt that bin Laden was a liar, a fraud and, in terms of the terrorist code of honor, a scoundrel.

Again, if he had said that he had financed the terrorist act, by paying all the terrorists' expenses, that might have been a lie, but at least it would have been a plausible lie. But in mid-November nothing had been said publicly, as yet, in the United States about the terrorists' United Arab Emirates account or about the training in American flight schools and sports gyms, for which they paid by drawing on that UAE account.

Hence, bin Laden did not know that either, and said nothing about the finances and the UAE account. He obviously believed that the terrorists had not been financed from any outside source at all, since they had not needed the money to pay for their training in the United States: according to the videotape, there was no such training – bin Laden did not say a word about it.

On the other hand, he had certainly heard the British prime minister's idiotic declaration that he, bin Laden, had "planned and carried out" – in Afghanistan! – the terrorist hijacking and ramming of three buildings in the United States, and in his feeble-minded megalomania, bin Laden explained that this was precisely what he had been doing in Afghanistan. Thus, "we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the [World Trade Center] towers."

Well, the "number of casualties" depended on the general capacity of the two towers, on which floors the airliners rammed, on whether the two towers would collapse, on the time when they would collapse, on the number of the people still there at the time, and on details like the flight of the elevator operators.

Hence, the "number of casualties" in the two towers could be anywhere from 300 to 50,000. After mid-November, when the videotape was made, the number of casualties was revised repeatedly. But bin Laden and his experts in Afghanistan had "calculated in advance the number of casualties" by "the position [!] of the towers."

At the same time, bin Laden said that they were not sure that the towers would collapse. How did they "calculate" the "number of casualties" if they were not even sure that the towers would collapse? Only bin Laden himself foresaw it (and made a separate calculation of the "number of casualties"?) because he knew that the gasoline in the airliners would melt their steel structure.

That is, bin Laden parroted what the American "television experts" were saying in mid-November. Now, in December, the American experts began to say in the media that the cause of the collapse was "faulty fireproofing": on Dec. 13, the New York Times even published (page B8) photographs of 1993 and 1994, showing faulty fireproofing or the total absence of fireproofing already in those years.

Had bin Laden spoken in December, he would have lied about how he foresaw faulty fireproofing as the cause of the collapse. But he spoke in mid-November, and parroted what the American "television experts" were saying at that time.

The fact that the terrorist act of Sept. 11 germinated from a cell of college buddies at a major technological institute in Hamburg became known only on Nov. 28, 2001, and hence bin Laden had known nothing about it. As a result, he represented the terrorists as strangers to one another, who "didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter."

Bin Laden was unaware of the fact they had been learning in the United States how to pilot airliners without taking off or landing them, that is, to ram them, and how to hijack them by knife-fighting and kick-boxing. His absurd megalomaniac lie was meant to represent the 19 suicidal terrorists as 19 cogs of his bureaucratic machine that he (that is, the CIA) had created.

Bin Laden explained to his worshippers that he knew the time when each airliner would ram its target:

Planning! Calculation! Science and technology in the 21st century! From Afghanistan, the scientific-technological genius of bin Laden "planned and carried out" the operation in the United States, as Tony Blair's "intelligence report" had put it on Oct. 4, 2001. Bin Laden had seen him on the Islamic television, with captions in Arabic, and out-Blaired Tony Blair!

Curiously, bin Laden said nothing about the fourth airliner. What was its target? The American media (and the FBI) did not know, and hence he did not even mention the fourth airliner.

By his videotape the feeble-minded megalomaniac proved beyond reasonable doubt not only that he had nothing to do with the hijacking and ramming of Sept. 11, 2001, but also that he was mentally unfit to mastermind

The 19 suicidal terrorists were 19

In his bureaucratic perception, reflected by the videotape, suicidal terrorists were just like, for example, bricklayers, except that their trade was not to lay bricks, but to sacrifice their lives, without him remembering even the names of all of them as listed by the FBI on the Internet.

He did not explain why at least eight, if not 15, of them were Saudis, and not one of them was from Afghanistan. Who cared where the bricklayers were from? Theirs was to die as unknown bricklayers, and bin Laden's was to be a world celebrity, better known than anyone else alive, owing to the United States, and seated in his high office, "planning and carrying out" global Islamic terrorism via expendable cogs of his bureaucratic machine (built by the CIA).

If bin Laden and his al-Qaeda bureaucrats had been personally present in the United States in 2000 and 2001 to "plan and carry out" the terrorist act of Sept. 11, there would have been no such act. The bureaucrats, headed by a feeble-minded megalomaniac, dealing with suicidal terrorists as with bricklayers hired by a construction corporation in Saudi Arabia, would have ruined the spirit of joint self-sacrifice, would have brought the suicidal idealism down to the level of their own earthly and cowardly selves, and would have replaced the exalted martyrdom with megalomaniac administrative orders, inevitable grudges against them, wrangling, rivalries, cowardice and other awakenings of earthly egoism, leading the would-be terrorists into the FBI's custody.

Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda bureaucrats ran away in the war in Afghanistan and dropped behind their records incriminating would-be terrorists. How could they be in charge of unanimous suicide in whatever transcendental cause? Quite likely, the 19 suicidal terrorists would have first assassinated bin Laden and his entourage as insolent frauds, cowards and

It is not for nothing that Dostoyevsky argued that the freest (and most dangerous) person is someone ready to commit suicide. On Jan. 16, 2002, it was reported that John Walker, an American who had fought for the Taliban, said that he had seen bin Laden before Sept. 11, 2001, and the man told him about the forthcoming terrorist act. So, bin Laden blabbed about a terrorist act involving 19 terrorist lives to an American as to a friend so close and trustworthy as to be absolutely sure that the information would never reach the CIA.

For many years the media will keep publishing such lies, allegedly showing bin Laden's ubiquitous masterminding of global Islamic terrorism. But no lies can disprove bin Laden's videotape in which he demonstrated, owing to his stupidity and megalomania, that he had nothing to do with the hijacking and ramming of Sept. 11, 2001, much as he and all those obsessed with him have wanted to prove the opposite.

This is an excerpt from Lev Navrozov's book in progress, "Out of Moscow and Into New York: A Life in the Geostrategically Lobotomized West in the Age of Terrorism and Post-nuclear Superweapons.

PUBLISHERS: Should you consider publishing this book (please bear in mind that a substantial advance is expected), the 27-page Proposal and the first 106-page section of the book can be mailed to you if you apply to me (

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Hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans could be killed in four months by really up-to-date large-scale bioterrorists stealing a five-pound bag of that same antiquated anthrax, to say nothing of later and far more potent and effective "biopreparations." A far...
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