1,182. 5/29/1998

In early 1998, the CIA had spent months working on a plan with Afghan tribals to capture Bin Ladin in a night raid and extradite him to the United States. On May 29, 1998, after several months of planning, “The decision was made not to go ahead with the operation. ‘Mike’ [chief of the Bin Ladin unit], cabled the field that he had been directed to ‘stand down on the operation for the time being.’ He had been told, he wrote, that cabinet-level officials thought the risk of civilian casualties–collateral damage–was too high. They were concerned about the tribals’ safety, and had worried that ‘the purpose and nature of the operation would be subject to unavoidable misinterpretation and misrepresentation–and probably recriminations–in the event that Bin Ladin, despite our best intentions and efforts, did not survive.’ ”

 – 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 114

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