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USIS Washington 
File

06 November 1998

TEXT: US GRAND JURY INDICTMENT AGAINST USAMA BIN LADEN

United States District Court
Southern District of New York

 

New York -- A U.S. Federal Grand Jury in New York on Nov. 5 issued an
indictment against Usama Bin Laden alleging that he and others engaged
in a long-term conspiracy to attack U.S. facilities overseas and to
kill American citizens.
The indictment noted that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden's international
terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
Sudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group
Hezballah to "work together against their perceived common enemies in
the West, particularly the United States."
Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement
with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that
they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons
development.
According to the indictment, Bin Laden's group also tried to recruit
Americans to travel through the United States and the West to deliver
messages and to conduct financial transactions to aid their terrorist
activities. The indictment also states that Al Qaeda used humanitarian
work as a conduit for transmitting funds to affiliate terrorist
groups.
The indictment also claims that Bin Laden's supporters purchased land
for terrorist training camps; bought warehouses where explosives were
stored; transferred bank accounts using various aliases; purchased
sophisticated telecommunications equipment; and transferred money and
weapons to Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist organizations.
The indictment also states that beginning in 1993, Al Qaeda began
training Somali tribes to oppose the United Nation's humanitarian
effort in Somalia. In October, members of Al Qaeda participated in an
attack on U.S. military personnel where 18 soldiers were killed and 73
others wounded in Mogadishu. In another reference, the indictment
noted that an unnamed "co-conspirator" transported weapons and
explosives from Khartoum to Port Sudan for transshipment to the Saudi
Arabian peninsula.
The Grand Jury document, which usually does not provide a great amount
of details in advance of a prosecution, also stated that Bin Laden and
"others" tried to develop chemical weapons and attempted to obtain
nuclear weapons components in 1993.
The indictment noted that Bin Laden issued his Declaration of Jihad
with the aim of recruiting others to "kill Americans and encouraged
other persons to join the jihad against the American enemy."
Following is the text of the indictment:
(Begin text)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V-
USAMA BIN LADEN,
a/k/a "Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden,"
a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin-Laden,"
a/k/a "Mujahid Shaykh,"
a/k/a "Abu Abdallah,"
a/k/a "Qa Qa,"
Defendant
COUNT ONE
Conspiracy to Attack Defense Utilities of the United States
The Grand Jury charges:
Background: Al Qaeda
1. At all relevant times from in or about 1989 until the date of the
filing of this Indictment, an international terrorist group existed
which was dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and
violence. This organization grew out of the "mekhtab al Khidemat" (the
"Services Office") organization which had maintained (and continues to
maintain) offices in various parts of the world, including
Afghanistan, Pakistan (particularly in Peshawar) and the United
States, particularly at the Alkifah Refugee Center - in Brooklyn. From
in or about 1989 until the present, the group called itself "Al Qaeda"
("the Base"). From 1989 until in or about 1991, the group was
headquartered in Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan. In or about 1992,
the leadership of Al Qaeda, including its "emir" (or prince) USAMA BIN
LADEN the defendant, and its military command relocated to the Sudan.
From in or about 1991 until the present, the group also called itself
the "Islamic Army." The international terrorist group (hereafter
referred to as "Al Qaeda") was headquartered in the Sudan from
approximately 1992 until approximately 1996 but still maintained
offices in various parts of the world. In 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN and Al
Qaeda relocated to Afghanistan. At all relevant times, Al Qaeda was
led by its "emir," USAMA BIN LADEN. Members of Al Qaeda pledged an
oath of allegiance to USAMA BIN LADEN and Al Qaeda.
2. Al Qaeda opposed the United States for several reasons. First, the
United States was regarded as "infidel" because it was not governed in
a manner consistent with the group's extremist interpretation of
Islam. Second, the United States was viewed as providing essential
support for other "infidel" governments and institutions, particularly
the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the nation of Israel and
the United Nations, which were regarded as enemies of the group.
Third, Al Qaeda opposed the involvement of the United states armed
forces in the Gulf War in 1991 and in Operation Restore Hope in
Somalia in 1992 and 1993. In particular, Al Qaeda opposed the
continued presence of American military forces in Saudi Arabia (and
elsewhere on the Saudi Arabian peninsula) following the Gulf war.
Fourth, Al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the
arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda
or its affiliated terrorist groups, including Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.
3. Al Qaeda has functioned both on its own and through some of the
terrorist organizations that have operated under its umbrella,
including: the Islamic Group (also known as "al Gamaa Islamia" or
simply "Gamaa't"), led by co-conspirator Sheik Oxar Abdal Rahman; the
al Jihad group based in Egypt; the "Talah e Fatah" ("Vanguards of
conquest") faction of al Jibad, which was also based in Egypt, Which
faction was led by co-conspirator Ayman al Zawahiri ("al Jibad");
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a number of Jihad groups in other
countries, including Egypt, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia,
Eritrea, Kenya, Pakistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon,
the Philippines, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir and
Azerbaijan. In February 1998, Al Qaeda joined forces with Gamaa't, Al
Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e
Pakistan" to issue a fatwah (an Islamic religious ruling) declaring
war against American civilians worldwide under the banner of the
"International Islamic Front for Jibad on the Jews and Crusaders."
4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
5. Al Qaeda had a command and control structure which included a
majlis al shura (or consultation council) which discussed and approved
major undertakings, including terrorist operations.
6. Al Qaeda also conducted internal investigations of its members and
their associates in an effort to detect informants and killed those
suspected of collaborating with enemies of Al Qaeda.
7. From at least 1991 until the date of the filing of this Indictment,
in the Sudan, Afghanistan and elsewhere out of the jurisdiction of any
particular state or district, USAMA BIN LADEN, a/k/a "Usamah
Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden," a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin-Laden," a/k/a
"Mujahid Shaykh," a/k/a "Abu Abdallah," a/k/a "Qa Qa," the defendant,
and a co-conspirator not named as a defendant herein (hereafter
"Co-conspirator") who was first brought to and arrested in the
Southern District of New York, and others known and unknown to the
grand jury, unlawfully, willfully and knowingly combined conspired,
confederated and agreed together and with each other to injure and
destroy, and attempt to injure and destroy, national-defense material,
national-defense premises and national-defense utilities of the United
States with the intent to injure, interfere with and obstruct the
national defense of the United states.
Overt Acts
8. In furtherance of the said conspiracy, and to effect the illegal
object thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were
committed:
a. At various times from at least as early as 1991 until at least in
or about February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN, the defendant, met with
Co-conspirator and other members of Al Qaeda in the Sudan, Afghanistan
and elsewhere;
b. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain weapons,
including firearms and explosives, for Al Qaeda and its affiliated
terrorist groups;
c. At various times from at least as early as 1991 USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, provided training camps and guest houses
in various areas, including Afghanistan and the Sudan, for the use of
Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups;
d. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to produce counterfeit
passports purporting to be issued by various countries and also
obtained official passports from the Government of the Sudan for use
by Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups;
e. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to recruit United States
citizens to Al Qaeda in order to utilize the American citizens for
travel throughout the Western world to deliver messages and engage in
financial transactions for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its affiliated
groups;
f. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN,
and others known and unknown, made efforts to utilize non-Government
organizations which purported to be engaged in humanitarian work as
conduits for transmitting funds for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its
affiliated groups;
g. At various times from at least as early as 1991, Co-conspirator and
others known and unknown to the grand jury engaged in financial and
business transactions on behalf of defendant USAMA BIN LADEN and Al
Qaeda, including, but not limited to: purchasing land for training
camps; purchasing warehouses for storage of items, including
explosives; transferring funds between bank accounts opened in various
names, obtaining various communications equipment, including satellite
telephones and transporting currency and weapons to members of Al
Qaeda and its associated terrorist organizations in various countries
throughout the world;
h. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that Al Qaeda
should put aside its differences with Shiite Muslim terrorist
organizations, including the Government of Iran and its affiliated
terrorist group Hezballah, to cooperate against the perceived common
enemy, the United States and its allies;
i. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United
States forces stationed on the Saudi Arabian peninsula, including both
Saudi Arabia and Yemen, should be Attacked;
j. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing
of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al
Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United
States forces stationed in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia,
should be attacked;
k. Beginning in or about early spring 1993, Al Qaeda members began to
provide training and assistance to Somali tribes opposed to the United
Nations intervention in Somalia;
l. On October 3 and 4, 1993, members of Al Qaeda participated with
Somali tribesmen in an attack on United States military personnel
serving in Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope, which attack
killed a total of 18 United States soldiers and wounded 73 others in
Mogadishu;
m. On two occasions in the period from in or about 1992 until in or
about 1995, Co-conspirator helped transport weapons and explosives
from Khartoum to Port Sudan for transshipment to the Saudi Arabian
peninsula;
n. At various times from at least as early as 1993, USAMA BIN LADEN
and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of
nuclear weapons;
o. At various times from at least as early as 1993 USAMA BIN LADEN and
others known and unknown, made efforts to produce chemical weapons;
p. On or about August 23, 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN signed and issued a
declaration of Jihad entitled "Message from Usamah Bin-Muhammad
Bin-Laden to His Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in
the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans
Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from
the Arabian Peninsula" (hereafter the "Declaration of Jihad) from the
Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. The Declaration of Jihad included
statements that efforts should be pooled to kill Americans and
encouraged other persons to join the jihad against the American
enemy";
q. In or about late August 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN read aloud the
Declaration of Jihad and made an audiotape recording of such reading
for worldwide distribution; and
r. In February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN issued a joint declaration in the
name of Gamaa't, Al Jihad, the Jihad movement in Bangladesh and the
"Jamaat ul Ulema e Pakistan" under the banner of the "International
Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders," which stated that
Muslims should kill Americans -- including civilians -- anywhere in
the world where they can be found.
(Title 18, United States code, Section 2155(b).)
(End text)




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