Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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     Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu Afghanistan, "Terrorism," and Blowback
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Afghanistan, "Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by
Janette Rainwater, Ph.D.

                                p16

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21

were reminiscent of the throat-cutting and disemboweling that took place in the Afghan war and were unlike tactics previously used in Egyptian uprisings by the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood. In the previous two years the Islamic Group had bombed cinemas and killed many policemen and at least 150 unarmed civilians, including tourists. They were demanding a return to Sharia (Islamic law) that had been outlawed by Nasser in 1952 and the release of blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman from his prison cell in Missouri. They hoped to achieve their goals by the destruction of tourism, Egypt's #1 industry worth $3 billion a year. Cooley, pp. 183-185. ]

February 1998    Usama bin Laden meets with senior fundamental Muslim leaders from Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Arab North Africa. They set up an "Islamic Struggle Front" dedicated to fighting "the Jews" (meaning Israel and its friends and allies.) They issue a fatwa declaring it to be legitimate to kill any American, military or civilian. Cooley, p. 224.

April 7, 1998    Blowback in East Africa: Truck bombs almost simultaneously destroy American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. [In Nairobi 247 people died, in Dar-es-Salaam, 20. Over 5000 people were severely wounded, some blinded, some with severed arms or legs. The al-Qaida organization of Usama bin Laden was immediately blamed. (A warning had been issued the day before.) Washington got reports that other embassies were threatened, especially the ones in Kampala, Bangkok and Tirana. These and other US missions were evacuated. Two suspects were arrested within days who admitted membership in bin Laden's group.] Cooley, pp. 7, 215-216.

May 28, 1998    ABC interviews Usama bin Laden, "Talking with Terrors Banker." He calls for the murder of all Jews and all Americans, wherever they may be. Americans, he says, are the biggest thieves and worst terrorists in the world. He vows to destroy the Saudi family and drive them from the "land of the two holy mosques" in retaliation for their desecration of the land by admitting the American military into the country and allowing them the use of bases from which to bomb Muslims. He praises and halfway admits responsibility for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the uprising against the American forces in Somalia in 1993-1994. Cooley, p. 116.

May 30, 1998    An earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale devastates an area of northern Afghanistan near the border with Tajikistan. Over 4000 are killed and many thousands more injured and made homeless. An earlier 6.1 quake in the same area (February 4) had killed 2500, injured nearly a thousand and left over 8000 homeless. This only adds to the misery of the two decades of warfare and the year-old drought.

August 20, 1998:    Retribution in Afghanistan and Sudan: In "Operation Infinite Reach" President Bill Clinton orders 20 Tomahawk missiles fired from US Navy ships onto three of Usama bin Laden's training camps located near Khost, Afghanistan. (One of the "smart" missiles strays 400 miles and lands in Pakistan!) He also orders the demolition of Al-Shifa in Khartoum, Sudan's major pharmaceutical factory, on the mistaken assumption that the plant is owned by bin Laden and is manufacturing nerve gas. When pressed, the administration cannot offer credible evidence that the factory was indeed making chemicals for biological warfare. And we now wonder that the Islamic world is demanding proof of bin Laden's culpability for the 9-11-2001 attacks? [In this period Clinton was under fire for his affair with Monica Lewinsky and skeptics believed these bombings were as much for "Wag the Dog" as for retribution against bin Laden. Curious note: The CIA had intelligence that bin Laden was not present in the Khost area at the time of the missile attacks.]

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This site was last changed November 28, 2001. It was created on March 20, 1997.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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