2,188. 7/15/2001

In July 2001, “the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil. The warnings were delivered by an aide of Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban Foreign Minister at the time, who was known to be deeply unhappy with the foreign militants in Afghanistan, including Arabs. Mr. Muttawakil, now in American custody, believed the Taliban’s protection of Mr. bin Laden and the other al-Qa’ida militants would lead to nothing less than the destruction of Afghanistan by the US military. He told his aide: ‘The guests are going to destroy the guesthouse.’ The minister then ordered him to alert the US and the UN about what was going to happen. But in a massive failure of intelligence, the message was disregarded because of what sources describe as ‘warning fatigue.’ ” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Kate Clark, “Revealed: The Taliban Minister, the US Envoy and the Warning of September 11 that was Ignored,” The Independent, Sep. 7, 2002

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