1999 - Pre-2001 – Assaults on America & Americans
See Chris Cobar Article List at bottom of page.
Why We Should Expect Another 9/11
Article #14 –
Under one set of rules, America had safely slid into the 3rd Christian Millennium; under a different set of rules we hadn’t quite done so yet. However anyone cared to define it, we were now in the year 2000. This was not because bin Laden and his boys hadn’t tried to ring in the new Christian Millennium with a big bang; they just hadn’t been successful. It wasn’t for lack of trying.
We had barely scraped through the New Year, when, on January 3rd, terrorists tried to blow up the American naval ship, the U. S. S. Sullivans, anchored in Aden, Yemen, (The ship had been appropriately named after the seven Sullivan brothers who were blown up on a troop ship during World War II.) It was only the ineptitude of the terrorists that saved our bacon. We didn’t even see it coming.
Pretty much from start to finish, 2000 was heating up. The ASG and Al-Qaeda had been very busy. And we weren’t getting it.
For myself, two items immediately stood out:
With the attempted bombing the U.S.S. Sullivans on January 3rd, one would have thought that we, i.e. our government, might have put our naval ships in the region on high alert. Apparently, that was not the case.
As usual, have two different reports:
From a U.S. Counterterrorism Official and Persian Gulf Specialist we get:
“We didn’t do diddley [U.S.S. Cole]. We didn’t even blow up a “baby-milk” factory [referencing our retaliation against the Sudan after the 1998 East African Embassy Bombings].”
DIA Persian Gulf Terrorism Official
Maybe, it’s just me, but I’m sorta guessing that Mr. Fallis was the “didn’t do diddley’ dude, who resigned in protest on the following day, October 13th, because the American government refused to respond as indicated below:
From our Secretary of Defense, we get:
“[The attack on the U.S.S. Cole] wasn’t sufficiently provocative.”
“Sufficiently provocative” for what? Apparently 17 dead, 49 wounded did not meet the then current criteria requirements. Obviously, the 2,936 people who died in 9/11 met the then current criteria, since we bombed the hell out of Afghanistan and then invaded. So where is the breaking point? Is 100 dead acceptable or do we have to go to 200? Are we allowed to include the wounded? What is the magic formula?
Of course, the NSA warning, citing “operational planning”, issued 6 hours after the bombing did not exactly smother them in success either.
The second issue is the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
As noted in Article #9, I was specifically asked to look into the ASG by the FBI in November, 1993, since the Bureau knew that I was working with a Muslim Prince in the region. As it turned out he was distantly related to the Janjalani family, who were running the show. (It’s not terribly surprizing, since his family had lived in the neighborhood for roughly 800 years and had intermarried with almost everybody within a 1,000 mile radius.)
The Acting Director of PIMBS (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore), U.S. Department of State had personally informed me of the following in a letter dated 1 November 1995:
“The issue of His Highness, the Sultan’s dealings with regard to the Abu Sayyaf Group is one of Philippine internal security, and is the province of the Government of the Philippines.
Then, later on, a spokesman for the Pentagon released the following statement:
“Abu Sayyaf is not just a Philippine problem. It’s an international terrorist group that poses as much of a threat to the U.S. as to the Philippines.”
O.K.; who didn’t get whose memo? Did the Pentagon not get the Department of State’s previous decree, or did the Department of State not receive the Pentagon’s update?
Nudging naiveté into the gulf of gullibility, the Prince Datu and I waited to be taken up on our offer to ‘dismantle’ the ASG – by someone – anyone. None was forthcoming. Why it wasn’t forthcoming will always remain a mystery.
Red flags were going up everywhere, but nobody was seeing them. Not surprizingly, it was highly frustrating - but the Prince and I were getting accustomed to it.
In the next article, we will address pre-9/11, 2001