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[Reprinted from the September, 1998 issue of From The Wilderness]

[© 1998, 2001 - From The Wilderness Publications. All Rights Reserved. May Be Reprinted for Non-Profit Purposes Only]


Michael C. Ruppert


On August 20 [1998] the United States launched a series of cruise missile attacks against alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, both of which were said to be under the control of a rabid Islamic fundamentalist leader and arch terrorist named Osama bin-Laden. I did some checking on bin-Laden and what I found out leads me to suspect that the CIA and the U.S. government would rather have this evil terrorist hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan than answering questions which might embarrass them.

Shortly after the Russians invaded Afghanistan, the young and wealthy Saudi Arabian named bin-Laden rushed to Afghani mountains to fight a Muslim holy war against Godless Communism. Having inherited more than thirty million dollars from his father's construction business he was in a position to lend immediate help to the struggling Afghani freedom fighters. He formed quick alliances among the half dozen or so major factions of the Mujahedeen led by Afghani Sheik Hekmatyar.

US records indicate that we spent nearly $3 billion dollars over the next eight years to train and equip the Afghan rebels. We even supplied them with Stinger missiles, which caused great concern in later years as we began to fear they would be turned against us. The U.S. Congress appropriated ransom money to buy them back in the early 90s. Few were recovered. In addition the CIA, under Bill Casey, sponsored an explosion in the heroin trade to finance the war. This was nothing new.

In 1979, when the Soviet invasion occurred, virtually none of the heroin entering the US came from the so-called Golden Crescent in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time it was coming from Mexico and Southeast Asia. By 1982 the region was producing exportable opium base equivalent to 20-30 tons of heroin a year. Of that, at least 4.5 tons reached the U.S. By 1988 those numbers had increased to 70 to 80 tons of heroin of which 15 to 20 tons reached the US.

According to Alfred McCoy, in his outstanding book The Politics of Heroin (Lawrence Hill Books, 1972, 1991), Hekmatyar controlled no less than six heroin refineries in the Khyber District of Pakistan alone. At his side was Osama bin-Laden.

Around the time that Osama bin-Laden moved to Afghanistan in 1980 he was also curiously able to found a series of investment companies under the umbrella SICO which he headquartered in Geneva. Sources formerly in the intelligence community have confirmed to me that, as bin-Laden established branches in the Cayman islands and the Bahamas, he employed law firms and consultants connected to Langley, Virginia and the CIA.

Throughout the Afghan war bin-Laden grew in reputation as a fearless leader and devout Muslim. His wealth also increased rapidly. I wonder why? By the end of the war and the Soviet withdrawal he was known throughout Africa and the Middle East as a radical fundamentalist leader who had turned his sights against the U.S. But this was not without creating enemies both in Afghanistan and his home country of Saudi Arabia, which drew ever more securely into the U.S. sphere - especially during and after the Gulf War.

In the early 1990s bin-Laden took up sanctuary in the Sudan and was afforded a kind of safe haven. He threw himself into massive construction projects including road building. The Sudanese government has admitted that it had an agreement with the U.S. to monitor bin-Laden and to curtail his terrorist activities. In exchange for this Sudan received unspecified rewards. It is, therefore, mystifying as to why, with bin-Laden under scrutiny in the reasonably accessible and penetrable Sudan, the U.S. government forced the Sudanese government to expel him in 1995. This drove him back into the arms of the increasingly hostile Taliban militia in Afghanistan. There, he re-established relations with Afghani drug lords in the towns of Jhost and Jalalabad.

When the U.S. cruise missiles struck the El-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, a host of conflicting stories appeared as to who owned the plant and when it was built. The British turned up a man named Tom Carnaffin who claimed to have helped build the plant and manage it from 1992 through 1996. Other records and sources indicated, however, that the plant was not built until 1996. Carnaffin claimed that he was intimately familiar with the plant and that it could not have produced nerve agents as the U.S. claimed. Later the U.S. backed down and said that it didnŐt have proof that bin-Laden owned the plant. In the meantime about four other people were named who reportedly did. Some of them didnŐt know each other.

What really got my attention was the fact that the French Internet publication, Indigo, reported that bin-Laden had been a London guest of British Intelligence as recently as 1996 and his treasurer, last year, defected to the Saudis as different factions shifted alliances for new campaigns in the Middle East. If the guy travels to London and has businesses in the Caymans and Geneva, how difficult can he be to find? Why did the British stand so resolutely behind the American attacks?

Murky? You bet. Fishy? Absolutely. It may be entirely possible that the plant in the Sudan was storing databases for Iraqi chem and biowar agents. It may well be that the plant even had silent investors connected to Saddam Hussein and thence, back here in the States.

Maybe when I have a couple of thousand subscribers and a staff I'll be able to spend the time digging into stories like this one. But one thing's for sure, Osama bin-Laden is in a place where CIA can't reach him right now and I bet they want it that way. Like so many other terrorists, from the World Trade Center, to Pan Am 103, he is one of their own creations.

As my good friend, Producer Marc Levin, points out, the CIA has a term for it when one of their operations goes awry and turns ugly, "It's called 'Blowback'." Levin produced an outstanding 1997 six hour documentary on CIA for PBS entitled, "CIA - America's Secret Warriors " If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it as not only basic reference but great entertainment.

[Special thanks to Ralph McGehee's CIA BASE Program, Alfred McCoy's, The Politics of Heroin and various unnamed sources who prefer it that-a-way.]

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Truth And Lies About 9-11