Written November, 2004.
Around May 29, 1998, Osama bin Laden issued a statement, in the form of a pamphlet which was entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam"
he called on Muslims to "prepare as much force as possible" in their efforts to drive the enemies of God out of the Arabian peninsula. This is a
review of the evidence of Al Qaeda's interest in obtaining nuclear material, and attempts, some of which may have been successful, to obtain nuclear
materials for the purpose of creating bombs.
In the indictment filed against bin Laden and various al Qaeda members by the United States government on November 5, 1998, the following charges
At various times from at least as early as 1992, the defendants USAMA BIN LADEN and MAMDOUH MAHMUD SALIM, and others known and unknown, made
efforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons;(1)
On or about May 29, 1998, the defendant USAMA BIN LADEN issued a statement entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," under the banner of the
"International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and the Crusaders," in which he stated that "it is the duty of the Muslims to prepare as much
force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God";(1)
During the direct examination of Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl during the 2001 trial against Osama and the al-Qaeda members named in the 1998 indictment(2),
Al-Fadl told of his involvement in an attempt to buy a cannister of enriched uranium. The series of contacts relayed in Fadl's involvement included
the former Sudanese president Moqadem Salah Abdel al Mobruk. Fadl tells that eventually he met with a man named Basheer in Khartoum who told him he
would provide documentation stating the quality and country of origin of the uranium. Basheer told him it would take $1,500,000 to purchase the
Al-Fadl provided Basheer's information to his contact, Abu Rida al Suri who gave him a paper with the needed information about the uranium. Suri
told him to inform Basheer that they had an "electric machine" which would check the uranium, but that they first wanted to see the cylinder and
have confirmation of its quality and country of origin. Later in the testimony Al-Fadl explains that the "electronic machine" had not arrived yet
and was coming from Kenya.
Al-Fadl then tells of the second meeting with Basheer in which al Suri accompanied him. They were taken by jeep to a small town north of Khartoum
called Bait al Mal and shown an approximately 2 to 3 foot long cylinder. Basheer provided them the documentation on the uranium which contained a
lot number that matched an engraved number on the cylinder.
After this meeting Al-Fadl was instructed to take the document (which was in English) to one Abu Hajer. Al-Fadl testified the paper stated the
uranium was from South Africa and contained a serial number and something about quality, but he could not translate the English.
Al-Fadl was then sent back to Basheer to tell him that they did, in fact, want to purchase the uranium but were waiting on the "electronic
machine". It was after this communication with Basheer that Al-Fadl was paid $10,000 for his involvement and no longer participated. In testimony
that was objected to as hear-say, Al-Fadl stated that he had heard the uranium was checked (assumedly with the machine) in Hilat Koko.
In the cross-examination of Al-Fadl on February 13, 2001, Al-Fadl was asked what the uranium was for. Al-Fadl responded:
I remember, yeah, Abu Jaffar al Tayar, he's Egyptian, and he say it's easy to kill more people with uranium.(3)
Further in the examination he is asked about the machine they were waiting to arrive from Kenya:
Q. That was to see if this uranium was good enough to build a bomb to kill a whole lot of people, right?
In the charges filed against Zacarias Moussaoui, the U.S. Government cited that:
At various times from at least as early as 1992, Usama Bin Laden, and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of
Bin Laden's "Nuclear Bomb of Islam" statement is referenced in these filings as well:
On or about May 29, 1998, Usama Bin Laden issued a statement entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," under the banner of the "international
Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and the Crusaders," in which he stated that "it is the duty of the Muslims to prepare as much force as possible
to terrorize the enemies of God."(4)
In an article written on December 2, 2003, by Dr. Kalpana Chittaranjan for the India-based Observer Research Foundation, Osama bin Laden was quoted
in a December 1998 interview with TIME magazine as responding to the question as to whether he had obtained nuclear weapons with:
If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank God for enabling me to do so.(5)
Dr. Chittaranjan goes on to reference an AFP report in November 2003 about a former Democratic Republic of Cong (DRC) soldier who testified in an
investigation that a representative of Al Qaeda had purchased enriched uranium from the Congolese opposition in 2000.(5)
On October 7, 2001, a video of Osama bin Laden was released in which he referred to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.(6) This had not been the first time that
the reference between Hiroshima and the U.S. had been made. In a Telegraph article written on October 15, 2001, it was reported that a CIA report in
2000 included a conversation between Al-Qaeda members in which one member stated taht bin Laden was planning "an Hiroshima" in America.(7) But
Osama's reference Hiroshima and Nagasaki goes back as far as 1998 in an interview with ABC's John Miller shortly after the "Nuclear Bomb of
Islam" statement had been issued.(8)
In a November 15, 2001 article by ABC News, it was reported that Northern Alliance troops had found detailed designs of nuclear weapons in houses in
and around Kabul, Afghanistan. In addition, a reporter for the Times of London, on assignment with the troops in Afghanistan, had found partially
burned plans on how to detonate plutonium for the purpose of creating a nuclear explosion. These documents were found in a building formerly used as
a headquarters for al Qaeda.(9)
In February 2004 ABC's Daily Terrorism Report included a reference to an article in a pan-Arab newspaper stating al Qaeda, led by Osama, had
purchased tactical nuclear weapons in 1998 from the Ukraine and had stored them in safe locations for possibly use.(10)
NOTE: My sincere apologies in how long it has taken me to write this. Because of my procrastination certain links are no longer available. I
have listed the dead links in the references anyway.
1. 1998 Indictment against Usama bin Laden et. al.
2. February 7, 2001 Direct Examination of Jamal Ahmed Al- Fadl
3. February 13, 2001 Cross Examination of Jamal Ahmed Al- Fadl
4. United State of America vs Zacarias Moussaoui
5. Dirty Bombs: A Potential Terror Weapon
6. Possibilities for nuclear terror to real to ignore
7. Bin Laden video could have contained coded
8. Transcript of John Miller's Interview with Osama bin
9. Bin Laden Terror Documents Discovered
10. The Insider: Daily Terrorism Report
Dead link of ABC interview with bin Laden: abcnews.go.com...
Dead link to State Department's review of potential nuclear capabilities of Al Qaeda: usinfo.state.gov...
Original ATSNN Article
[edit on 1-9-2006 by Valhall]