Released August 19, 1998
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

U.S. Prepares Panama Style Assault On Bin Laden?

WASHINGTON, DC -- Is the U.S. preparing for a Panama style assault on Osama bin Laden for the August 7 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania?

Just yesterday, based on FBI statements, Reuters and Associated Press reported that Howaida, the bombing suspect picked up in Pakistan, denied his and bin Laden's involvement in the bombing. AP reported: "After three days of questioning, a suspect [Howaida] in the twin U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa has not admitted any role in the crimes or implicated anyone else,the FBI said Monday."

Today, based on statements by "Pakistani intelligence officials who spent a week questioning the man," the Washington Post and British media are trumpeting bin Laden's involvement in the Kenya/Tanzania bombings, and terrorism around the globe. The Washington Post, in a front page headline reported "Suspect Details Anti-U.S. Terror Force." Does the Post know something the FBI doesn't?

How is it that Pakistani intelligence, seemingly so effective in apprehending suspects wanted by the U.S., can't seem to find bombers in its own back yard?

The Reuters story denying Howaida's involvement in the bombing seems to have disappeared from the Internet. And, apparently, U.S. and British media, and Pakistani intelligence, are ahead of the FBI in identifying the perpetrators.

What is the evidence that bin Laden, 1 of 25 children we're told, has assets valued at $300 million which are being used to finance terrorism worldwide? How is it that the U.S. has not found and frozen bin Laden's assets? Is bin Laden's wealth greatly exagerrated, as were Iraq's defenses during the Gulf War?

Is the U.S., frustrated in the investigation of the Khobar barracks bombing, about to resort to an assault on bin Laden so as to send a message to other would be terrrorists?

The timing, and circumstances, seem right. Pakistan could use an easing of sanctions imposed following their nuclear test. The Taliban, in Afghanistan where bin Laden is residing, seeks United Nations recognition. The reward offered following the Kenya/Tanzania bombing may loosen tongues. And President Clinton could use a break.

A Panama style assault by the U.S., which resulted in the capture of President Noriega, and the death of about 3000 others, seems imminent. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait resulted in about 300 deaths.

[Aug 20, 1998, 2:00 PM, President Clinton: "Today, I ordered our armed forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan because of the threat they present to our national security."]

[Aug 20, 1998, 2:18 PM, AP reported: "Sudan's Interior Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein . . . angrily denied that the target was a chemical weapons plant, calling it a factory for medical drugs."]

[Sep 4, 1998, Washington Post, in story titled "Bombing Suspect Alleges He Was Bullied Into Confession," Page A08, reported Mohammad Sadiq Howaida, also known as Abdull Bast Awadh and Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, "says Pakistani investigators refused to let him eat, drink or sleep for three days until he was pressured into a false confession."]

[Sep 21, 1998, New York Times, in story "Decision to Strike Factory in Sudan Based on Surmise" states "But now some State Department and C.I.A. officials argue that the government cannot justify its actions.]

[Oct 5, 1998, Associated Press, in story "Reno Questioned U.S. Raids," states "The White House ignored Attorney General Janet Reno when she questioned whether evidence linking Islamic extremist Osama bin Laden to the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa was strong enough to justify retaliatory attacks, The New Yorker magazine reported."]

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