1,272. 8/20/1998

“The August 20 [1998] meeting [of terrorist leaders at which the U.S. planned a cruise missile attack to kill bin Laden] was not much of a secret: It was known to Pakistani intelligence. Former ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] chief Hamid Gul later said that he provided the Taliban with advance warning of the American attack, according to reports that circulated inside the U.S. government. Mushahid Hussain, a cabinet minister in the civilian government of Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was in Saudi Arabia on an official visit on August 19. He called the head of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau on an open phone line to see how everything was going back home. ‘So I said, *What’s happening?*…[He said] *Bin Laden is having a meeting tomorrow. …He’s called a summit.* I said, *Do the Americans know?* He said, *Of course.* ‘ ‘The attack will come this evening,’ Hussain told his Saudi hosts the next morning. If he could anticipate the strikes, he reflected later, ‘surely bin Laden with all of his resources would have known what was coming.’ ”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 410

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