Mar 25, 2003

Script of Al Qaeda 2.0, Discovery-Times documentary – Part 1

This documentary first aired o the Discovery/Times channel on March 25, 2003 SOT OSAMA BIN LADEN Targeting the Americans and the Jews by killing them in any corner of the earth is the greatest of obligations and the most excellent way of gaining nearness to Allah. SOT COFER BLACK We're after them from, you know, the north pole to the south pole, there's no place to go, no place to run Narration: The war on terror has scattered their ranks? Baer SOT , Qaeda is a beehive. It's just a smacked with a baseball bat and a bunch of the bees were killed, but most of them have dispersed. They don't need a centralized organization. They're everywhere ? and no where, we don't know where they are ? Narration Since 9-11, Al Qaeda is finding new places to hide? EEDLE: You could argue that Al Qaeda has moved it's whole leadership and organization into the virtual world. Narration: New recruits to its cause? PAUL BREMER SOT I am absolutely sure there are al Qaeda cells in the United States. I don't think there is any doubt about it. Narration: And new ways to wage its global campaign of terror?AL FAGIH SOT There is an impending attack coming, and this attack is immense, huge and either as big or even bigger than September 11th and this attack is full of surprise. AL QAEDA 2.0 December 2001-- the best chance yet to destroy al Qaeda came in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. Special Forces trying to locate Osama bin Laden found hundreds, perhaps thousands of al Qaeda fighters in a cave complex called Tora Bora. US commanders relied on Afghan troops on the ground to mop up retreating al Qaeda. But the high mountain passes allowed members of al Qaeda to slip away. SOT CHUCK SPINNEY It was an operation on the fly. We thought we had bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership cornered. They escaped. The battle of Tora Bora continued for two weeks.US investigators say that bin Laden was wounded during the furious assault. The forces of local Afghan warlords combed the mountains looking for al Qaeda. Bombs rained down from the air shaking the mountains like earthquakes, but the strategy ultimately failed. SOT OMAR SAMAD There was a lot of firepower that was used, but not enough attention was paid to the escape routes in the back of Tora Bora, that connected Tora Bora to Pakistan. Only 23 Al Qaeda fighters were taken prisoner. Although the exact number of al Qaeda fighters killed during the battle is unknown, many of bin Laden?s commanders and foot soldiers managed to escape. SOT OMAR SAMAD Tora Bora obviously that was a missed opportunity both the coalition could have done more, the local Afghan groups could have had better coordination with the others, and the Pakistani security forces could have also done a better job of preventing them from entering, or at least apprehending them. A setback for President Bush?s War on Terrorism. Three months before the Tora Bora battle the President had called for the capture of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants ?dead or alive?. Yet by the beginning of 2002 his personal check-list of most wanted terrorists was showing meager results. In all, 16 of the 22 were still at large, including bin Laden. The manhunt for Al Qaeda?s leaders would now have to be worldwide. In his first television interview the President?s Ambassador for Counterterrorism describes the campaign. SOT COFER BLACK We?re after them from, you know, the north pole to the south pole, there?s no place to go, no place to run, we?re gonna get ya. The question is, how long is it going to take? And that is the potential problem, we are gonna get ?em, but between now and then, they?ve go some life left in ?em. Since 9/11, as many as three thousand terrorist suspects have been rounded up from Europe to Asia. But counter terrorism experts worry that new leaders will emerge. SOT DALE WATSON So is there new leaders? Probably so, you have new leaders all the time coming in and out of most terrorist organizations The most spectacular catch so far?.Khalid Shaikh Mohammed: The man who planned the attacks on Washington and New York. Arrested in March, 2003 in this house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan? Yet even his capture does not put al Qaeda out of business. SOT BOB BAER Fine kill him. It?s just, you know, it?s going to be somebody else who is going to step up. As long as you have these underlying causes for terrorism, you?re going to find more and more of these people and they may be more and more adept than the previous generations. Al Qaeda -- which means ?the base? in Arabic -- has lost its base in Afghanistan, as well as its training camps. But today al Qaeda has morphed into something that is at once less centralized and more spread out. It has spawned franchise operations from Spain to Singapore. And al Qaeda itself is fast evolving from an organization into an ideology that is fanning anti-Western hatred across the Muslim world. SOT DALE WATSON Even if bin Laden is no longer with us or is captured or whatever, that?s not going to stop this problem. Searching for clues to how al Qaeda might be reforming itself since the battle of Tora Bora?we went from Afghanistan?to points all over the world. We started in London where we visited Saad al Fagih, a leading Saudi opposition figure. In December 2002 Al-Fagih set up a clandestine radio station that broadcasts into the Saudi kingdom. He also hosts a web site where Saudis---many of whom are admirers of Osama bin Laden---, can talk to each other in a ?virtual lecture room,? sometimes using voice modification technology to disguise their voices. It?s a unique window on the thinking of al Qaeda sympathizers. SOT FAGIH There is an impending attack coming, and this attack is immense, huge, either as big or even bigger than September 11th. This attack is full of surprise; it would come in a very unexpected manner. Around the globe intelligence agencies are listening for anything that might point to al Qaeda?s next attack.In the first few months of 2003 U.S. intelligence agencies picked up an increased level of "chatter"--- based on telephone and email intercepts. SOT DALE WATSON Generally speaking if you look across the board from all methods and sources, human, technical, whatever the method of reporting these threats add up and you get a preponderance of the feeling that America will be attacked again. I think that?s where we?re at right now This is software used by the FBI to analyze intelligence gathered about al Qaeda. The company that developed the software gave us a demonstration. SOT CHUCK IZZO & PETER BERGEN BERGEN: You talking about vast amount of data? IZZO: Absolutely BERGEN: Looking for the needle in the haystack? IZZO: Absolutely. Connecting the dots. And as we can see and have seen recently Investigators and counterterrorism investigators have volumes of information that they have to deal with from several different types of data sources. BERGEN: How exactly is that working?IZZO: Well I have some examples here that I would like to show you. The software is used to search for patterns that might move the investigation forward. BERGEN: Well I see an icon for OsamaIZZO: Yes, in this link chart we can start out looking at an icon for Osama bin Laden. And this is actually connected to his record right in the database. But more importantly, if you want to see who he is connected to, this shows all the relationships he has directly in this database. BERGEN: These are all people who actually know him. IZZO: Yes ? who know him or have some involvement with him or him or some type of events. BERGEN: Why specifically would law enforcement use this for al Qaeda?IZZO: Well, they would be using it, because they have a volume sources where they getting information from. Whether it is computer records, telephone records, photographs, video surveillance. Any type of information they want to enter into the application. Much of the information that investigators are looking at indicates that the Afghan-Pakistan border region is where al Qaeda is regrouping. In that remote area?on the Afghan side, more than a year and a half after the fall of the Taliban life has returned to a semblance of normality. But nobody knows how many members of the Taliban and al Qaeda have gone to ground in this rugged region? Outside the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar US forces mount search and destroy missions in mountains. SOT US SOLDIER 82nd AIRBORNE The war on Terror is far from over. Be it here or anywhere else in the world. There are still a lot of bad evil people out there that wanna do bad things. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne find a cave complex believed to be used by Al Qaeda. SOT US SOLDIERWe have three caves to the northwest of our location. We want to know if you can fly over and check out for any enemy activity. After identifying the cave complex, they set out to destroy it. Blowing up caves does little to actually catch al Qaeda?. since so many have slipped through the mountains into Pakistan.When you cross the Afghan border into Pakistan you get a sense of how remote and cut off this place is.It?s an area where Tribes govern themselves in the same way they have done for centuries. An area were the Pakistani government has no control. -- an ideal hiding place for al Qaeda. SOT TRIBAL LEADER This is a tribal area where the feudal system exists. There are tribal fighters here and the government can?t exercise its authority. There are quite a few Pakistani troops here but they don?t have direct control. In Washington we met with an American photographer Chris Turner, who has been visiting the tribes along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the past two decades. Turner used his tribal connections to visit the region twice since the 9/11 attacks. He claims that he met with al Qaeda members and even took pictures of them. INTERVIEW CHRIS TURNER & PETER BERGEN BERGEN: So, Who is this guy? TURNER: So he is an al Qaeda operative who was quick to tell me that this is what he was BERGEN: How did it come up TURNER As soon as I sat down he pointed an AK 47 on me and he said you have to leave now. Here is Chris Turner wearing the turban and long beard, typical of the tribal areas, accompanied by the man who identified himself as a member of Al Qaeda. Even more surprising, locals told Turner he was running a drug operation. INTERVIEW CHRIS TURNER & PETER BERGEN TURNER: He was there to supervise and organize the heroin trade, which has become a major line of revenue for these peopleBERGEN: And you are convinced he was Al Qaeda? TURNER: He said he was he made it very plain? and I never forget the word ? he pointed the finger and said al Qaeda #1 al Qaeda #1 INTERVIEW CHRIS TURNER & PETER BERGEN TURNER: Al Qaeda, unlike the image we have of them here they are highly thought of in this tribal territory. Bin Laden was Robin Hood. He stood up against the mighty American machine and brought it to its knees. And for these people he is a hero. When we come back: On the trail of al Qaeda?s leaders in one of the world?s most dangerous cities. Commercial With Al Qaeda?s ranks scattered from Afghanistan, law enforcement is using intercepted communications worldwide, to track the terrorists? moves and try to unravel al Qaeda?s structure. The trail leads to Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi is a new hub for al Qaeda. Its deep within this mega city of crumbling apartment blocks and non-stop traffic that key al Qaeda members have gone underground. US investigators say they have evidence that even Saad bin Laden, Osama?s 22 year old son is hiding here. SOT HAIDER Karachi is a mega-city of 12 million people, and I think 60 percent of these people live in slum areas which are not very well policed, which they?re difficult to go there. Like the caves of Afghanistan: the perfect place to hide. Karachi is an important base for Islamist militant organizations that cooperate with al Qaeda. It is probably the most dangerous city in the world today for westerners. Since 9/11 the city has been the scene of two separate attacks against the US consulate which killed fourteen Pakistanis; the murder of journalist Danny Pearl and the bombing of a bus outside a Sheraton hotel which killed eleven French defense contractors. Pakistani authorities have already arrested hundreds of militants. SOT HAIDER It?s only a matter of time that we reach these groups which have come to various cities of Pakistan, we have been rounding them up. And they have been handed over to the U.S. interrogators. An important breakthrough came one year after the 9/11 attack. After a three hour gun battle authorities secured a building and captured at least one big fish, Ramzi Bin al Shibh, former room mate of lead hijacker Mohammad Atta and a coordinator of the September 11 attacks on Washington and New York. SOT HAIDER And of course ? we were able to get a lot of computers, laptops, diskettes, lots of information. But the man believed to be the overall planner of the September 11th attacks narrowly avoided capture during the raid. SOT HAIDER We came to know about that man later on, that this particular -- living in such and such locality is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. We came to know later, but by the time we reached there he had vanished from there. Yet another escape for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al Qaeda?s operational commander. And the uncle of Ramzi Yousef who masterminded the first attack on the Trade Center in ?93. Mohammed was part of a ?94 plot to assassinate the Pope. And he is linked to an al Qaeda cell in Singapore that was planning to attack American targets in 2001. SOT WATSON Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was an individual that the US government was very much interested in after the Manila air plot to blow up 12 airliners over in the far east in the early ?90s He?s definitely a big time player for al-Qaeda Mohammed, who speaks four languages, traveled the world on al Qaeda business using more than three-dozen aliases. He studied mechanical engineering in the United States, in the mid-1980s. A man with good connections?even to certain governments, according to investigators. SOT BOB BAER I knew about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 1998 because it was an open secret this man had been protected in Qatar by the foreign minister and the emir. ?The FBI knew about it in 1996. They sent an FBI team out to arrest this guy, the emir said, oh, he?s not here. In fact, we found out that he was employee of the government of Qatar. In the past the Qatar government has not commented on the allegations that it helped Khalid Sheik Mohammed to escape.For nearly a decade Mohammed worked invisibly behind the scenes. But last year he came forward to give an interview with Ramzi Bin al Shibh to Yosri Fouda of Al Jazeera network telling him exactly how they planned 9/11.? SOT YOSRI FOUDA I received a phone call from someone who said that he was a good doer and he asked me if I was thinking of preparing something special within my program, Top Secret, for the first anniversary of September 11th. If so, he would be able to give me some exclusive stuff for the program. Fouda accepted the offer and traveled to Karachi, awaiting further instructions. A few days later Fouda was guided to an undisclosed location. SOT YOSRI FOUDA In one of the rooms inside there was another guy sitting on the floor surrounded by laptops and mobile phones. By then, I started to get the idea, but I was not absolutely sure. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed asked me, have you recognized us yet? I said, ?you look familiar?. Fouda would stay in the apartment for 48 hours and learn about the thinking of the men behind the September 11th attacks. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told Fouda that at one point Al Qaeda considered striking US nuclear plants. SOT YOSRI FOUDA It crossed their mind, striking at a couple of nuclear facilities according to him. So it?s there on the table ? Fouda is convinced that al Qaeda?s leaders are planning to pull off another attack in the near future. SOT YOSRI FOUDA They have no regrets. They have no remorse. They would do it again basically. The question is whether or not they are capable of doing it. To me it sounds like it?s just a matter of time. And indeed al Qaeda operatives have already carried out numerous attacks since 9/11. April 2002.(? Explosion ?)The moment they killed eleven German tourists in an historic synagogue in Tunisia is captured on an amateur videotape. ?October 2002: A French oil tanker attacked off the coast of Yemen?.November 2002: In Kenya the group carried out a bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel killing fifteen people. A pattern of attacks that suggests al Qaeda?s remarkable long-range planning. SOT DALE WATSONPrior to September 11th, I think that al-Qaeda organization in Afghanistan had contingency plans. I think certainly key planners and probably individuals left that country or scattered even further outside the local who may be who they were at one time so this is a very typical pattern. They did not sit there and wait and see what the reaction was before they in fact spread out. Al Qaeda?s agents have now spread out from Pakistan to points around the globe ?.Next, how al Qaeda has infiltrated Southeast Asia? Commercial September 11, 2001. The very day of the deadly attacks in the United States Al Qaeda is already planning its next spectacular attack. One of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?s recruits arrives in Hong Kong. The man checking into a hotel that night is a 20 year old Canadian of Kuwaiti decent. His name: Mansour Jabarah. His mission: finalizing al Qaeda?s next terror campaign, this time in South East Asia. Jabarah?s instructions were to unleash mayhem in the region, with a wave of bombings against Western targets. Next stop: the city-state of Singapore. Jabarah would arrive there in December 2001 to organize the terrorist plot and scope out targets.Not an easy task in a place that prides itself on its multicultural harmony.Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims live side by side.But even in this prosperous city state al Qaeda was able to recruit foot soldiers and build a local cell. A surprise to many. SOT TAN JUONG CHING: The Muslims in the region in Southeast Asia are by and large a peace loving people, and they still are. And the speed at which the foreign militant agenda could be introduced into the region surprised us. This is video Jabarrah shot as he scouted his targets. It was later found in the possession of one of the local cell members. And it clearly shows one of the targets: the US Embassy. The terrorist carefully scoped out where the bombs would be placed. The plan would involve seven truck bombs using ten times the amount of explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, The attack never happened, because the Singaporean Government was tipped-off. SOT TAN JUONG CHING As a result of this, we were able to gather enough information to mount an operation. Singaporean authorities moved quickly. They found ordinary people in ordinary places.Few of the cell members were known to be Muslim radicals. They held down unexceptional jobs. They were businessmen, cab drivers. SOT ANANDAN The strange thing is, a lot of these people, even their own family didn?t know what they were doing. It was such a closely guarded secret. A lot of their friends were taken by surprise. These are the mug shots of the Singapore cell members arrested in December 2001; altogether 31 suspected operatives. Jabarah himself, al Qaeda?s point man for the operation would be arrested in March 2002 Zachary Abuza has written a book about the terror network in Southeast Asia. Documents reveal other targets of the Singapore plot ? pipelines, other embassies and US warships. SOT ZACH ABUZA & PETER BERGEN ABUZA: These are sketches that they took when targets they were. This is the most interesting of the documents this shows what all of that sub groups were responsible for targeting and the times that they were operating when they were going out on reconnaissance missions, different instructions they were given. The locations, the different places. They were looking for targets, indeed the target list they came up with BERGEN: What does it say about how Al Qaeda is reorganizing itself? SOT ZACH ABUZA I think since September 11, and especially since the fall of Afghanistan there are a more formidable adversary, they?ll never have a single state like Afghanistan to operate out of therefore they are relying much more on groups and alliances with individuals, that many of which go back in the 1980s in Afghanistan These alliances have helped Al Qaeda build terror partnerships all over the world. Perhaps the best example is found in another part of Southeast Asia: Indonesia, where al Qaeda has linked up with a militant Islamist group, Jemaah Islamiyah ? led by radical cleric Abu Bashir, and a longtime bin Laden associate known as Hambali. A country of more than 200 million people, with the world?s largest Muslim population, Indonesia has long prided itself on being a moderate Muslim country, tolerating it religious minorities Christians and Hindus. The nation prospered during the 80s and 90s. But when the economy collapsed in the late 90s, Islamic extremist organizations found new recruits. SOT ZACH ABUZA Indonesia, alone, has some 40 million unemployed people right now. Even if a fraction of those people become radicalized, that?s a very sizable pool for them to draw on.We drove out into the countryside to check out one of Indonesia?s thousands of Islamic religious schools.Often the only form of education for Indonesians.At this school, education does not extend much past rote learning of the Koran. The school itself teaches a tolerant form of Islam. But even here bin Laden?s ideas resonate. SOT Supriyadi: They look up to Osama because of his dedication to Islam, that?s the first reason. Secondly, because of the actions of Osama bin Laden. The Imam teaches his pupils that jihad is not about fighting wars, but is rather about struggling to make oneself a better person. However, a small minority of such schools teach a violent jihadist form of Islam.And in the far corners of this nation of 13-thousand islands, government officials say it is difficult to monitor budding Islamic radicals. SOT MUCHYAR YARA We have a very big territory / We have a very wide/tropical jungle, and meanwhile our police, our army and lack of equipment, we cannot control the whole territory effectively. To make matters worse tensions between Muslim and Christians have flared up into violence in recent years. And until recently, according to the former US. ambassador to Indonesia, the government has been reluctant to crack down on the militant groups behind the violence. SOT ROBERT GELBARD It was quite clear that some senior military officials and politicians were very sympathetic to some of the extremist Islamic organizations. There were elements in the military who clearly were providing protection, support, even material support to some of these organizations, not necessarily al Qaeda, but to some of the indigenous Indonesian extremist organizations. These extremist organizations meant opportunity for al Qaeda. One of the loudest radical voices: Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah. His organization would become al Qaeda?s partner in the region. SOT ZACH ABUZA They spent 5 or 6 years putting together a regional network of supporters, of training camps, financial networks, they?ve recruited, set up madrasas in all the countries as bases for their recruiting. This is a Jemaah Islamiyah recruitment tape showing one of it?s military training camps. SOT JONES People were given 4 month training, often involving religious indoctrination as well as combat training, how to make bombs, how to put weapons together, how to undertake guerilla attacks, these people have now come home from military experience with no place to go. And they are primed to be ready to undertake attacks; they?ve got the connections the cell structure and so on, to do this. In the late 1990s Jemaah Islamiyah?s terror apparatus spread rapidly throughout Southeast Asia. To Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. SOT ZACH ABUZA And so by 2000 they were technologically capable of putting together operations against targets. And by 2001 they were able to put together major operations that would target the United States and the symbols of American power. Coming up next: ?soft targets? ? al Qaeda?s new strategy to attack westerners.And a new hiding place: Bangladesh Commercial After the failure of the Singapore plots, Al Qaeda set its sights on Indonesia? but the trail would lead first to an unexpected place - Thailand. The jungles of Southern Thailand -- a remote area where Thai authorities occasionally search for Muslim guerrillas. It is here that the network?s regional terrorist leaders meet in January 2002 to regroup. Southern Thailand has a large Muslim population making it easy for al Qaeda members to blend in. Mansour Jabarah, al Qaeda?s point-man for the failed Singapore operation later told his FBI interrogators that it was in Thailand that al Qaeda hatched a new strategy.Jabarah confessed that the group decided to attack ?soft? targets frequented by westerners --- bars, cafes and nightclubs, .The code word they used for target Americans?.. ?White Meat.? ?. Nine months later?. the planning paid off. On October 10th 2002 at a packed nightclub on the Indonesian vacation island of Bali, two bombs went off creating a massive fireball killing more than 180 people. It was the worst terror attack since 9/11. SOT SYDNEY JONES Up until the Bali bombs, most Indonesians did not take the terrorist threat seriously. And even with some of the bombings that had taken place here before, there really wasn?t a readiness to accept that they were indeed attributable to some kind of a homegrown network, let alone anything that had connections to al-Qaeda. Within weeks after the Bali blast, investigators solved the case and arrested the bomb plotters. But the suspected mastermind of the Bali blast, Hambali remains at large. As Bali mourned the victims of the attack, it was clear that al Qaeda had an escape plan for certain operatives. The question is where did they go? >>>to be continued in a part 2<<<