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Bin Laden called UK 260 times
The Sunday Times (U.K.) ^ | 03/24/2002 | Nick Fielding and Dipesh Gadhery

Posted on 03/23/2002 3:55:50 PM PST by Pokey78

RECORDS of Osama Bin Laden’s calls from his satellite phone reveal Britain was at the heart of the terrorist’s planning for his worldwide campaign of murder and destruction.

Bin Laden and his most senior lieutenants made more than 260 calls from their base in Afghanistan to 27 numbers in Britain. They included suspected terrorist agents, sympathisers and companies. Some were prearranged calls to contacts using public pay phones.

The records, obtained by The Sunday Times, show that the terrorist leader made more calls to Britain than any other country in the two years that he used the phone.

He stopped using it two months after members of his Al-Qaeda terror network bombed two American embassies in east Africa in August 1998. He believed that the Americans were tracking his movements through the phone.

Two of the men contacted by Bin Laden in Britain — Khaled al Fawwaz and Ibrahim Eidarous — are now in prison awaiting extradition to the United States for their part in the embassy bombings, which killed 224 and injured thousands.

However, another senior terrorist suspect, Mustafa Nazar, is still on the loose. He spent up to two years in Dollis Hill, north London, recruiting for Al-Qaeda. A key figure in Bin Laden’s terror training camps, he left Britain in 1998 and was last seen in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Taliban.

The telephone records have come to light following the trial last year of four Al-Qaeda terrorists who planned and carried out the bombing of the two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

According to trial documents, the telephone was bought in 1996 with the help of Dr Saad al Fagih, 45, a bearded surgeon who heads the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia. This fundamentalist Muslim group is dedicated to the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian government but is not part of Al-Qaeda.

Al Fagih, who has been regularly used by the BBC as an expert on Bin Laden, has in the past explained that Muslim scholars said the killing of civilians, including children, was allowed by the Koran as “collateral damage” in the holy war.

It was al Fagih’s credit card which was used to help to buy the £10,500 Compact-M satellite phone in the United States and it was shipped to his home in north London, according to American court documents. His credit card was also used to buy more than 3,000 minutes of pre-paid airtime.

Last week al Fagih, who has not been arrested or charged in connection with any of these actions, said: “I am willing to speak to the authorities if they ask me about this or any other issue, but not to the press.”

For two years Bin Laden and his military commander, Muhammad Atef, used the phone to direct Al-Qaeda’s worldwide operations. More than 200 calls were made to the London home and mobile phone of al Fawwaz.

Calls were also made to two public phone boxes in December 1996 and May 1997. One was on a street corner outside Willesden library in north London and another was close by, only a few minutes’ walk from al Fawwaz’s home.

Other calls were made to the offices of companies for which al Fawwaz worked. Al Fawwaz, who lived in Kenya from 1993-94 before moving to London, was head of a group called the Advice and Reformation Committee, based in Queen’s Park, northwest London, which has been described by the FBI as a front organisation for Bin Laden.

Al Fawwaz kept a note of the sat-phone number in his address book under the name of Atef. But according to American court documents the phone was regularly used by Bin Laden. Another recipient of calls from Afghanistan was Eidarous, 44, who lived in Waldo Road, not far from al Fawwaz and the call boxes.

In December 1996 a call was made to the home of Mohammed Hamed, a retired journalist. Hamed, who lives in a semi-detached house in a quiet street in Surbiton, Surrey, does not recall the occasion.

He has indirect links to Afghanistan but there is no obvious reason why he should receive a call from Bin Laden’s phone.

Hamed said his brother, Mostafa Hamed, had fought for the mujaheddin in Afghanistan against the Russians until 1990 and stayed in Afghanistan to work as a journalist. Hamed had not heard from him for more than a year.

In January 1998 a brief call was also made to the home of Salem Azzam, a retired diplomat from Egypt who lives in a smart three-storey maisonette near Edgware Road in London. Azzam has no connection to terrorism; he is the great uncle of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is widely regarded as the chief organiser of Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden’s right-hand man.

The telephone records also suggest that Bin Laden and al Fawwaz co-ordinated the press statements over the religious fatwah urging all Muslims to kill Americans, including civilians, anywhere in the world. The fatwah was later issued to London-based Arab newspapers including Al-Quds, Al-Hayat and a news agency.

While some of the calls went to known terrorists, others were made to now untraceable recipients. One, for example, was to a house on an estate in Wandsworth, south London, which has been occupied by a family of Asian origin since 1996. Last week its occupant said he knew nothing about the call. “It could be a mistake,” said Tanzeel Ahmed.

Other calls are more difficult to fathom, perhaps being the result of wrong numbers or misconnections.

One three-minute call in December 1996 went to a ground-floor council flat in Erith, Kent. Its occupant, Michelle Urquhart, who lives with her three children, last week had no idea why her phone number should crop up on Bin Laden’s sat-phone. “I have no connection with these people and no recollection of a call being made to this property,” she said.

After the United Kingdom, the country Bin Laden called most frequently was Yemen, where Al-Qaeda terrorists bombed the destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors, in October 2000. It received more than 200 calls on the sat-phone. Yemen is now the subject of an American security operation and its government is co-operating to ensure that support for Al-Qaeda is broken.

Other calls were made to Sudan (131), where Bin Laden was based until 1996. There were also 106 calls to Iran, described earlier this year by President George W Bush as one of the “axis of evil” nations. Others include Azerbaijan (67), Pakistan (59) and Saudi Arabia (57).

Six calls to America are recorded and 13 appear to have been made to a telephone on a ship in the Indian Ocean. Six were made to Italy, where police earlier this year uncovered an Al-Qaeda cell planning a poison gas attack on the American embassy, four to Malaysia and two to Senegal.

The most surprising omission is Iraq, with not a single call recorded. Its president, Saddam Hussein, is now being threatened with military action by America because of its alleged links with Al-Qaeda. The absence of calls to Iraq may, however, simply indicate particular caution: Bin Laden suspected his calls were being traced and he is believed to have abandoned using the sat-phone when he thought President Clinton had used it to target a cruise missile attack against one of his bases.

As for the sat-phone, calls to its number, 00873 682 505 331, are now met with the message: “The mobile number you are trying to contact cannot be reached; please try again later.”

Additional reporting: Will Iredale, John Elliott and Judith O’Reilly


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: alfagih; alfawwaz; azzam; binladen; britishfriends; canada; eidarous; espionagelist; hamed; irishlist; jihadinamerica; jihadnextdoor; mediabias; miltech; mira; nazar; osamabinladen; patriotlist; saadalfagih; southasialist; sovereigntylist; talibanlist; taqiyyalist; terrorwar; traitorlist; usembassyplots; warlist; zionist
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1 posted on 03/23/2002 3:55:50 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: *Taliban_list;*TerrorWar;*Britishfriends;*Osama bin laden
index bump
2 posted on 03/23/2002 4:00:28 PM PST by Fish out of Water
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To: *Espionage_list;Black Jade
index bump and fyi
3 posted on 03/23/2002 4:02:16 PM PST by Fish out of Water
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To: Pokey78
No wonder Tony Blair is so eager to get rid of that walking pile of cow dung.
4 posted on 03/23/2002 4:02:49 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Pokey78
let me guess, any calls to carrot top? or those morons on the 10-10-210 save a buck commercials?BWAHAHAHA
5 posted on 03/23/2002 4:05:54 PM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: Fish out of Water; recovering Democrat
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi:

"If the United States wants seriously to eradicate terrorism, the first capital that should be pounded with cruise missiles is London," Colonel Gaddafi said on the Arabic satellite news channel al-Jazeera. "It is the shelter of terrorism," he added, referring to charges that Islamic militants suspected of violence are protected by Britain's policies on political asylum.

Define terrorism, urges Gaddafi (10/24/01)

6 posted on 03/23/2002 4:06:11 PM PST by Shermy
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
Even Bin Laden needs to save a buck or two.
7 posted on 03/23/2002 4:07:09 PM PST by JoeU.S.
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
And none to Eva Savalot. hehe
8 posted on 03/23/2002 4:07:57 PM PST by Pokey78
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
Who do the satellites belong to that Benny Laden used for these calls? Was it the Iridiam (sp) system that the US Millitary bailed out?
10 posted on 03/23/2002 4:12:38 PM PST by tubebender
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To: Uncle Bill;OKCSubmariner;Nita Nupress;golitely;Wallaby;ratcat;rdavis84
Heads Up!
11 posted on 03/23/2002 4:15:03 PM PST by It'salmosttolate
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To: tubebender
873-682505331. Osama's phone number on Inmarsat. 873 is the Indian Ocean prefix.
12 posted on 03/23/2002 4:17:18 PM PST by July 4th
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To: It'salmosttolate
Thanks for the flag. No mention in this article if any of the calls went to the mosque the "Shoe Bomber" attended, where he met up with several other militants. But it was in the UK, right?
13 posted on 03/23/2002 4:17:44 PM PST by MizSterious
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To: knighthawk
Ping!
14 posted on 03/23/2002 4:18:33 PM PST by MizSterious
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To: Pokey78
Bin Laden called UK 260 times

That we know of.

I can't help but wonder if bin Laden called any influential operatives to tell
them to tell the press "a renegade American is mailing the anthrax".

Of course, that wouldn't be necessary as the Clinton hold-overs at the FBI took care
of obsessively following that route of investigation.
Probably to the exclusion of all others.
15 posted on 03/23/2002 4:26:34 PM PST by VOA
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To: Pokey78
Yes, but he called anyone since 12/18/01?
16 posted on 03/23/2002 4:28:18 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Pokey78
He just had to make a bet when the odds for "bin Laden dead by Labor Day" reached 10-1.
17 posted on 03/23/2002 4:33:28 PM PST by sharktrager
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To: Pokey78
Last week al Fagih, who has not been arrested or charged in connection with any of these actions, said: “I am willing to speak to the authorities if they ask me about this or any other issue, but not to the press.”

They're welcome to use my battery charger.

18 posted on 03/23/2002 4:36:31 PM PST by PhilDragoo
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To: Pokey78


Phone was probably a similar model to this. The briefcase models weren't around yet, and in 1996, the big dish models like we used in the Gulf War were on the way out.
19 posted on 03/23/2002 4:36:45 PM PST by July 4th
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To: Shermy
Wow! I didn't know that. I guess that is one of the reasons England is so supportive of us. They have a huge nest of terrorists in their own backyard.
20 posted on 03/23/2002 4:56:52 PM PST by BlueAngel
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To: Pokey78
Ordering ttake-out from Harrod's?
21 posted on 03/23/2002 5:33:06 PM PST by Catspaw
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To: Pokey78
There is no way we do not have recordings of every call that ever transited Inmarsat's birds.

I'd be willing to say it is plausible that not every bin Laden call got translated and analyzed, but sat phones move a relatively puny quantity of bits copmared to the NSA's capabilities, and only big shots use them. We HAD to have some idea what bin Laden was planning.

Now what are the implications of THAT?

22 posted on 03/23/2002 5:51:03 PM PST by eno_
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To: Pokey78
Michelle Urquhart...had no idea why her phone number should crop up on Bin Laden’s sat-phone. “I have no ... recollection of a call being made to this property,” she said....

Betcha she knows perfectly well. The IRA is known to have trained with various Islamic radical groups, and I would suspect that Michelle has a little bit more going than she's talking about...

23 posted on 03/23/2002 6:11:00 PM PST by livius
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To: Pokey78
London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia. This fundamentalist Muslim group is dedicated to the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian government but is not part of Al-Qaeda.

Well now it is officially linked to Al-Qaeda.

Are the people who wrote this story totally naive, or is it supposed to be tongue-in-cheek? All these amazing coincidences of people who received phone calls, and don't know a thing about it. Must have been wrong numbers, over and over again. Yup.

24 posted on 03/23/2002 6:17:17 PM PST by browardchad
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To: Pokey78
Hmmmm. I wonder why Islamic terrorists would feel so cozy in the UK???
25 posted on 03/23/2002 7:01:34 PM PST by hove
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To: Pokey78
London and England are no strangers to terror. One of the last public hangings was in 1868 of Fenians (Irish). They had planted bombs, killing innocent citizens. In 1910, Russian emigres, who had been given political asylum from Czarist persecution lived in London. they rewarded their protectors, by robbing a jewellery shop and killed three unarmed policemen.

The ones allegedly involved, were virtually executed, sumarily, by police at the siege of Sydney Street. Some years reviously, French anarchists were infiltrated and one was bought off.English working class men were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment when they made a bomb at his encouragement. This was called the Walsall conspiracy. The power of the cunning Scotland Yard and British police now seem hamstrung. Why?

The weapon that now protects the latter day terrorists is Political correctness and so-called anti-hate laws.

I have heard a Marxist Socialist litany proclaimed at a meeting of Family History enthusiasts (East of London FHS) ten years ago. Recently to my dismay ,I read on pages 1120-1, of a book: London, by an Edward Rutherfurd (Ballantyne Books 1998). As part of the book, he draws on almost exactly the litany repeated by a functionary, who lectured at that Romford meeting years ago.

It is to the effect that always London has had immigration(true). He compares Romans,Normans, Saxons, Jews, Irish as being quite the same as the "new" Londoners. The disturbing thing is that, even a novelist repeats almost word for word, that which some functionary of local government has put out. Never mind "Carry on London" - it should be b****y well "wake" up. These people are not Britons and never will be.

26 posted on 03/23/2002 7:11:19 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: hove
"Hmmmm. I wonder why Islamic terrorists would feel so cozy in the UK???"

Because it is the country we are least likely to carpet bomb for harboring terrorists.

27 posted on 03/23/2002 7:30:12 PM PST by DBrow
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To: Shermy
Gaddafi, of course should be strapped to any cruise missile sent downrange, but his message isn't entirely wrong. There is one place in London that really would be improved by a missile salvo - the Immigration Office.
28 posted on 03/23/2002 7:59:44 PM PST by RodgerD
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To: Pokey78
Maybe he was trying to have someone fax him the Page 3 Girl.....................................
29 posted on 03/23/2002 8:10:45 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: RodgerD
If we could get terrorism consolidated under the Tricare military medical system it would be reduced to nothingness in fairly short order. Every call terrorists tried to make would be stymied at the outset,put on endless hold, or thwarted outright by one of the three Tricare employees randomly selected that day from a list of otherwise unemployable protected class morons who don't speak any of the languages of the clients, particularly English.
30 posted on 03/23/2002 8:11:33 PM PST by mathurine
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To: *Jihad in America; *Jihad_next_door
Indexing for both.
31 posted on 03/23/2002 8:11:40 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: Pokey78
Big deal. Since 9/11 OBL has called CNN more than 600 times -- collect......
32 posted on 03/23/2002 9:13:19 PM PST by tracer
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: hove
"Hmmmm. I wonder why Islamic terrorists would feel so cozy in the UK???"

I have heard there are more mosques in London than Churches. Ever wonder why the BBC is so Pro-Palestinian?

35 posted on 03/24/2002 1:40:28 AM PST by American in Israel
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To: Pokey78
Bump!
36 posted on 03/24/2002 4:52:08 AM PST by BlueAngel
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To: Pokey78
Its a small world after all Bump.
37 posted on 03/24/2002 4:57:42 AM PST by DoctorMichael
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To: Pokey78
The records, obtained by The Sunday Times, show that the terrorist leader made more calls to Britain than any other country in the two years that he used the phone.

It was for Pakistani take-away.
38 posted on 03/24/2002 5:08:20 AM PST by aruanan
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To: ratcat
The rest of the money comes from partners all over the world, including Sprint, Italy's Stet and the Saudi Binladen Group, founded by the family whose estranged member is terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Nice find r/c.You never know what you'll find when you dig in the sand.

39 posted on 03/24/2002 6:37:18 AM PST by tubebender
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To: golitely
Thanks for the ping. I guess he ordered some books at Azzam
40 posted on 03/24/2002 10:46:38 AM PST by knighthawk
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To: knighthawk
I hope you will not mind this private reply. I went over my ,what I thought may have been a little wild- but hitting the mark- post. Then I hit your marker--- Someone has to wake up out there, These people mean business. Still time to nip all this in the bud. Cheers.
41 posted on 03/24/2002 1:06:49 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: Peter Libra
The next article is about them and another company in Britain like them:

AN EVENING IN FRONT OF THE TV: JIHAD (ISLAM CALL FOR JIHAD MUST READ)

(And you can reply me anytime!)

42 posted on 03/24/2002 1:10:19 PM PST by knighthawk
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To: Peter Libra
To self: Whoops, hit the wrong button. Meant this as a private reply. Anyway, thanks.
43 posted on 03/24/2002 1:10:28 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: Pokey78
Feckless Brits don't like Israel but are happy to allow the Muslim Jihad to operate with impunity on British soil. And to use UK as a center to co-ordinate world wide Jihad activities.
44 posted on 03/24/2002 1:30:12 PM PST by dennisw
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade
When did OBL make these calls?
46 posted on 04/07/2002 3:06:39 PM PDT by mafree
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To: Black Jade; livius; terrorwar
In his indictment of the Spanish al Qaeda cell, Judge Garzon described London-based Abu Qutada as the "spiritual leader of the mujahedin in Europe."
47 posted on 04/07/2002 3:19:54 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: mafree
When did OBL make these calls?

Apparently before he stopped using the phone in late 1998.

48 posted on 04/07/2002 3:21:01 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Pokey78
The most surprising omission is Iraq, with not a single call recorded. Its president, Saddam Hussein, is now being threatened with military action by America because of its alleged links with Al-Qaeda. The absence of calls to Iraq may, however, simply indicate particular caution: Bin Laden suspected his calls were being traced and he is believed to have abandoned using the sat-phone when he thought President Clinton had used it to target a cruise missile attack against one of his bases.

The low number of calls to Saudi Arabia is also surprising, and may be explained by similar security concerns. Note that the guy who bought (the Saudi) bin Laden his phone is a dissident Saudi.

49 posted on 04/07/2002 3:22:52 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Pokey78
I wonder if he uses Q-West.
50 posted on 04/07/2002 3:23:17 PM PDT by floriduh voter
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