“The following are excerpts of a statement issued by bin Laden [on May 16, 1998] following the U.S. government’s designation of the Taliban as a state that tolerated terrorism. ‘The Taliban government has long been in need of such a U.S. resolution to clear the charges that it was an agent of the U.S., to prove its firm and independent position, to make its own decisions, and not to be subject to outside pressures even from America. So congratulations to the Taliban government on the medal of honor presented by America through the decision to charge it with sponsoring terrorism.’ ”

 – Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know, Pages 199-200