early 1996-October, 1998: In early 1996, a friend gives bin Laden a satellite phone, and uses it until two months after a US missile strike against his camps, deciding the US can track his movements through his phone. The phone is used by bin Laden and his military commander Muhammad Atef to direct al-Qaeda's operations. Records show "Britain was at the heart of the terrorist's planning for his worldwide campaign of murder and destruction," since 260 calls were made to 27 phone numbers in Britain. The other countries called were Yemen (over 200 calls), Sudan (131), Iran (106), Azerbaijan (67), Pakistan (59) and Saudi Arabia (57), a ship in the Indian Ocean (13), US (6), Italy (6), Malaysia (4), and Senegal (2). "The most surprising omission is Iraq, with not a single call recorded." [Sunday Times, 3/24/02] Why weren't these calls used more aggressively to target bin Laden and the people he called?
From the Complete 9-11 Timeline by Paul Thompson. A vital online resource for anyone wanting to investigate 911 and the war on terror.
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