Bin Laden feared to be planning terrorist attack 6-16-99
<b><font size=5>Bin Laden feared to be planning terrorist attack</b></font>
<IMG SRC="http://www.cnn.com/US/9906/16/bin.laden.plot/bin.laden.jpg" align="right" alt="U.S. officials say bin Laden 'may be in the final stages' of plotting an anti-American attack.">
<font size=2><i><b>June 16, 1999</b><br>
Web posted at: 9:47 p.m. EDT (0147 GMT)<p></font></i>
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S.
officials fear that suspected terrorist
Osama bin Laden "may be in the final
stages" of planning an attack against
the United States.
Bin Laden, son of a Saudi Arabian
billionaire, is accused of masterminding
the almost simultaneous bombings of
the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania last August that left 224 people dead.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday, told CNN
that current targets would most likely be somewhere in the Middle East or
However, they refused to rule out the possibility of an attack on U.S. soil --
including Washington, D.C.
The officials expressed specific concern about U.S. embassies in
Mozambique, Senegal and Ghana -- all believed to have been under recent
surveillance by possible terrorists.
Individuals possibly associated with bin Laden's organization are suspected
of videotaping the outside of the embassy in Mozambique.
The officials believe planning for an attack is in the "advanced" or "final
They said the information was a result of intercepted communication and
other intelligence gathering methods they would not elaborate on.
After the embassy bombings, the United States launched cruise missile
attacks against camps allegedly used by bin Laden in Afghanistan and
bombed a suspected munitions plant in Sudan.
Since then, law enforcement officials have been looking into "credible
threats" involving bin Laden's terrorist organization, the officials said.
Bin Laden allegedly is trying to obtain <b>chemical and biological weapons</b> from
a number of sources -- including former Soviet-bloc nations -- for possible
use in such attacks, they added.
"We have always operated on the assumption that he is continuing his
interest in both obtaining weapons of mass destruction and having his
network attack targets of interest to the United States," said one official.
<i><font size=1>CNN's Carl Rochelle, Chris Plante, Pierre Thomas and Peter Bergen contributed to this
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