1,120. 2/23/1998

Regarding bin Laden’s February 23, 1998, fatwa against the United States: “The bin Laden unit at the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center issued an alert memo within days of this manifesto’s issuance. The unit’s professional analysts, specialists in political Islam–recognized an escalation in the February 23 attack on ‘Crusaders and Jews.’ The statements were ‘the first from these groups that explicitly justify attacks on American civilians anywhere in the world. …This is the first religious ruling sanctifying such attacks,’ the CIA’s analysts wrote. Within weeks the State Department issued a worldwide alert calling attention to bin Laden’s threat.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 383

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