Skip to comments.Clinton Admits: I Turned Down Bin Laden Extradition Offer
Posted on 08/11/2002 12:09:53 AM PDT by kattracks
Mansour Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman who says he was rebuffed by the Clinton White House after negotiating a deal for the extradition of Osama bin Laden to the U.S. in 1996, has gained an important new witness who backs his story - none other than ex-President Clinton himself.
Former Clinton administration officials such as senior National Security Council aide Nancy Soderberg have described Ijaz as an unreliable witness. Former Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri recently slammed him as "a liar" and "a crackpot."
But a tape recording obtained exclusively by NewsMax.com shows Clinton himself confirming all the key points of his story.
In never-before-reported comments to a New York business group this past February, the ex-president never mentioned Mr. Ijaz by name. But the events he related parallel the freelance diplomat's story exactly.
"Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan," Clinton explained to a February 15 Long Island Association luncheon.
"He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991 then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start meeting with them again.
"They released him," the ex-president confirmed.
"At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.
"So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, cause they could have," Clinton explained. "But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan."
Since last December, Mr. Ijaz has insisted that he negotiated the deal for bin Laden's release from Sudan. But he maintained that the White House declined to take advantage of the offer because of legal technicalities - a detail now confirmed by the ex-president.
Immediately, however, former Clinton officials trashed the bin Laden extradition story as an exaggeration at best - a complete fabrication at worst.
Asked to respond to Ijaz's account in January, ex-NSC aide Soderberg told Fox News Channel, "He's living in a fantasy land. There was no such Sudanese offer."
"He's lying," Ms. Palmieri, now chief spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said of Ijaz's story in May. "The guy has absolutely no credibility. You'll see that you never see him on television anymore once he was outed as being a fraud."
Mainstream reporters, apparently unaware of Clinton's February comments, have also trashed Mr. Ijaz's account.
In May, both New York Times reporter Judith Miller and NBC newswoman Andrea Mitchell told radioman Don Imus they declined to cover the bin Laden extradition story because they didn't find it credible.
Listen to excerpts from the bombshell Clinton speech the rest of the press ignored.
Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
Clinton: At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.
If Laden wasn't wanted by the United States for doing something against us, why did Mansour Ijaz even know who he was? Did Ijaz have a silly habit of trying to arrange the extradition of unknowns to the US? Somehow I doubt it. Isn't it time for another "is = is" statement by Bill?
Can someone jog my memory? What did we know and when did we know it about a connection between OBL and the bombing of the WTC?
Doesn't that seem a little odd for such a smart guy who's got no end of iron-clad and fang-toothed handlers?
I'm surprised he hasn't stepped up to the plate to take credit for the Yankee's World Series loss last year.
After all ... we're talking about a guy who issued his Own Personal Apology for Waco but weeks before Danforth cleared him entirely in his report issued November 8, 2000.
On August 7, 1998, a truck bomb destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Moments later another truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. The bombings killed 213 in Kenya and 11 in Tanzania. (sourced here)
He is thought to be complicit in the 1993 bombing of the WTC ...... but I'm not sure when the connection was made.
According to the US, Bin Laden was involved in at least three major attacks - the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 killing of 19 US soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. (sourced here)
Here's the LINK.
. . . first time I remember Ossama bin Laden's name mentioned was when Orin Hatch held Senate hearings and warned about the man. I remember that it hit me out of the blue at the time, didn't know what to make of it.
Good dates there. I thought those bombings were earlier.
|Bush and Clinton and 911- some facts...|
Feds want to keep bin
Laden-Somalia link in trial
April 20, 2001
Web posted at: 4:32 p.m. EDT (2032
From Phil Hirschkorn
CNN New York Bureau
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The defense
presentation in the embassy bombings
trial will pause Monday so federal
prosecutors can make their case that
Islamic militants loyal to Osama bin
Laden trained the Somali fighters who killed 18 American soldiers in 1993.
The charge, largely ignored in 10 weeks of trial testimony and evidence about
the August 7, 1998, bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, is one
the U.S. attorney has not dropped in a proposal for reduced charges submitted
to the trial judge.
In a one-day presentation, the government is expected to call an expert witness
from the U.S. military to sum up what happened in the Somalia capital of
Mogadishu on October 3, 1993.
On that day, a firefight resulting from a U.S.
Army raid to capture lieutenants of Somali tribal
leader Mohammed Farrah Aidid left 18 U.S.
The U.S. troops were in Somalia to assist a U.N.
mission distributing food and relief supplies and
restoring order to the war-torn nation. The United
Nations had put a bounty on Aidid after his men
ambushed and killed 24 Pakistani peacekeepers
A federal indictment accuses bin Laden and 21
others in a terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans
dating to the early 1990s. Four of those named in
the indictment have been on trial since January,
accused of roles in the embassy bombings, which
prosecutors say were the culmination of the
conspiracy. The two truck bombings killed 224
people, including 12 Americans.
Prosecutors completed their initial evidence
presentation to the jury on April 4 after calling
more than 90 witnesses.
On Thursday, at the request of U.S. District
Judge Leonard Sand, the U.S. attorney's office
submitted a revised indictment to simplify the
charges the jury will be asked to consider.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in
court this week that one of the six terror
conspiracy charges -- plotting to attack U.S.
national defense facilities -- would be dropped and that the list of more than
150 overt acts alleged in the main conspiracy count would be reduced.
Copies of the revised indictment were under court seal, pending a court
conference scheduled Monday afternoon.
Fitzgerald has told Sand the actions alleged in Somalia will remain in the
Defendant Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, 36, a Jordanian national, is the only
defendant in court directly implicated in Somalia. The indictment names Odeh
as one of seven known members of bin Laden's group, al Qaeda, who trained
Aside from the unforeseen casualties, the U.S. military action on October 3,
1993, "was a success," according to a memo by Maj. Gen. William Garrison,
the commanding officer. "The targeted individuals were captured." More than
500 Somalis died from the battle.
Aidid died in 1996, his son Hussein succeeding him as tribal leader and de facto
president, although Somalia had no central government until last year. A
peace-brokered parliament installed last summer elected a new president,
Abdiqasim Salad Hasan, to a transitional three-year term.
The three men now on trial in New York along with Odeh are Mohamed
Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali, 24, a Saudi; Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, 27, a
Tanzanian; and Wadih el Hage, 40, a naturalized American.
None of the defendants are expected to testify. The defense is expected to
rest at the end of next week.
In Sudan, bin Laden appeared to concentrate on
switching gears. He reportedly built a road from Khartoum
to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and apparently farmed.
Plenty of Afghans came to join him.
Bin Laden was certainly close to Egyptian radical
groups based in Khartoum among them, Islamic Jihad.
Through an organization he funded in London, bin Laden
continued to call for radical change in Saudi Arabia. But
after years of continued criticism of the Saudi royal family,
his own family disowned him.
In 1992, bin Laden claimed responsibility for attempting
to bomb U.S. soldiers in Yemen, and again for attacks in
Somalia in 1993.
By 1994, the Saudis wanted bin Laden out of their back
yard. The Americans joined them in putting pressure on the
Sudanese to expel him.
He left Sudan for Afghanistan in the spring of 1996, by
which time he had been identified in a State Department
report as a major financier of terrorism.
A couple of very interesting items
...... Spring 1996 - President Clinton signed a top secret order that authorized the CIA to use any and all means to destroy bin Laden's network.
.....June 25, 1996 - A large truck bomb devastates the US military residence in Dhahran called Khobar Towers, killing 19 servicemen. The US military initially linked bin Laden to the attack but now believe a Saudi Shiite group was responsible (Source: Washington Post 8/23/98). U.S. investigators still believe bin Laden was somehow involved.
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