Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize
Sudan offered up the terrorist and data on his network. The then-president and his advisors didn't respond.
By MANSOOR IJAZ
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.
I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities.
From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center.
The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening.
As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counter-terrorism policies fueled the rise of Bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster.
Realizing the growing problem with Bin Laden, Bashir sent key intelligence officials to the U.S. in February 1996.
The Sudanese offered to arrest Bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia or, barring that, to "baby-sit" him--monitoring all his activities and associates......