At a time when Osama Bin Laden was still considered "a US intelligence asset in Afghanistan, as we helped the insurgents fight against the Soviets,
Arizona was a "hotbed" for leaders and operatives of the group that nowadays we know as Al Qaeda.
Among the operatives mentioned as having lived in Tucson during the 1980s or 1990s:
• Mubarak al-Duri, reportedly bin Laden's principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction.
• Mohammed Bayazid, an al-Qaida arms procurer and trainer who reportedly tried to obtain material for nuclear weapons 10 years ago in Sudan.
• Wadih el Hage, an operative convicted in the August 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa.
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The article continues saying that there has been a presence of Al Qaeda since the 1980s, before we realized what Osama's plans were. It is also
mentioned that many operatives of Al Qaeda were training back then in Arizona's flight schools, but had no idea what their targets would be, or
against whom. Perhaps this was a way to keep the information from getting out and the US finding the plans Osama had for us.
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