WORLDWIDE TERROR CAMPAIGN DECEMBER 12 TO MID-JANUARY?
- BIN LADEN MOVES FAMILY TO SECURE LOCATION - POSSIBLY SIGNALLING UPCOMING
MASSIVE WORLDWIDE TERROR CAMPAIGN DECEMBER 12 TO MID-JANUARY
by DEBKAfile, 8 December
Osama bin Laden has packed his entire family out of Afghanistan - wives, sons
and daughters - and their wives, husbands and offspring. Roughly 10 days ago,
DEBKAfile's intelligence sources reveal, he transferred them to a prepared,
well-guarded location in West Pakistan, leaving himself unencumbered in his
Afghan hideout. Those sources interpret this step as supporting the volume of
credible evidence of a major terrorist strike in the offing, which has
prompted heightened terror alerts in the United States, Israel and the United
Kingdom in the last three days.
Target dates range variously from December 12 and the Christmas period
(December 23-26) to the first half of January.
The US government Saturday morning advised American citizens to postpone
traveling to Israel and Palestinian-ruled areas, including parts of
Jerusalem. The earlier White House maximum alert announcement, the third
since September 11, warned against attacks on American soil and against US
interests around the world. Until Tuesday, November 27, the bin Laden family
were still together in Afghanistan. US reconnaissance photos taken in the
Tora Bora mountain cave area gave rise to the US intelligence assumption that
the Saudi-born terrorist was holed up there. Other intelligence bodies
operating in the country did not share this theory. In the light of the fresh
intelligence, the bin Laden kinfolk may have photographed during their
eastward move to the Pakistani frontier, in which case a rare opportunity of
capturing them was missed.
Bin Laden's move has more than one key implication for the ongoing war
1. US and British intelligence and special forces, though present on the
ground, came short of thwarting the crossing of the large bin Laden clan into
Pakistan, although its capture would have been the biggest psychological coup
of the war and a priceless intelligence resource.
2. Bin Laden's motives. The obvious one was that American military pressure
has got him cornered and he wanted his family out of harm's way.
But he may have unloaded them to keep himself free and untrammeled for
launching the biggest terrorist attack of his life. Some intelligence
authorities, including those of the United States, Britain and Israel, are
warning against a strike of a nuclear, chemical or biological nature. A
senior Israeli military source spoke this week about a world-scale assault,
hinting at a multiple-targeted assault.
American intelligence sources postulate simultaneous strikes in New York
and/or a second big US city, plus London and/or Tel Aviv and another Israeli
Saturday, December 8, British Interior Minister David Blankett issued a
caution against a terror attack on London or another major city in the
kingdom on the scale of the September 11 World Trade Center suicide atrocity
in New York. British intelligence advises especial vigilance on the 12th and
27th days of Ramadan, which covers the Christmas period.
If they are all right, bin Laden will expect his family to be discovered and
its movements and communications subjected to the glaring spotlight of
hostile intelligence. He will therefore have resigned himself to a long, and
possibly final, separation.
C. If the wanted terrorist can still mount the sort of monstrous terror
offensive predicted, then the American-led war on terror still has a long way
to go, as US leaders keep on saying - even in Afghanistan, where the United
States has chalked up signal successes.
But even without that strike capability, one man is effectively keeping much
of the world gritting its teeth in fear and dread, helpless against an
unspeakable though undefined peril. This may be the ultimate goal of his
brand of terrorism.
In dislodging the Taliban regime in Kabul, America has taken only the first
step, although that too may not be absolute. The Afghan way is to fall back
in the face of superior strength and wait for the chance of a comeback. The
main body of the Taliban army - 40-50,000 strong - has survived, whether by
removing their black turbans and melting into the population or retreating to
the mountains and next-door Pakistan. There they can spend the harsh winter
months, making guerrilla sorties against US and interim government forces,
emerging again in the spring for a second round of warfare.
This the pattern recurred in one battlefield after another and again in
Kandahar on Friday. Taliban and al Qaeda fighters crept out of the
beleaguered city, heading for the mountains and the Pakistani frontier,
others "surrendered" and a third group fought on. It was still not clear
Saturday December 8 whether the town had fallen and who would eventually take
The situation at the US Marines Rhino base south of Kandahar is equally
undecided. The Taliban and al Qaeda, though under attack, are fighting back
and the exchanges are fierce. In Afghanistan at large, therefore, the Taliban
and al Qaeda retain active control of five extensive pockets of resistance:
areas north of Mazar-e-Sharif and around Herat, at least one point 120km east
of Kabul on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway; Kandahar and its province - which
will fall if the town is captured; and the vast mountain ranges enclosing
Jalalabad - Tora Bora in the south and Hindu Kush in the north. US forces and
anti-Taliban tribesmen may have reached some cave systems in Tora Bora, but
they have not plumbed the entire warren.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In wtcattack@y..., worksntv@a... wrote:
> BIN LADEN MOVES FAMILY TO SECURE LOCATION - POSSIBLY SIGNALLINGUPCOMING
> MASSIVE WORLDWIDE TERROR CAMPAIGN DECEMBER 12 TO MID-JANUARYDebka seems like a pretty dubious source of information, considering
> by DEBKAfile, 8 December
some of the things they have reported or predicted since the war
1. "In order to tackle its objectives of overturning the Taliban
regime and rooting out Osama bin Laden's terrorist apparatus, the
United States needs to field a ground army of some 400,000 trained
combat troops in Afghanistan alone."
2. "Russian troops will be going in on a huge scale to fight shoulder
to shoulder with their erstwhile foes, the Americans. The Afghanistan
intervention force will be made up of roughly quarter of a million
combat troops and an equal number of rest air force, intelligence,
logistical and services personnel."