“The realization that bin Laden had declared war on the United States became obvious to everyone at least by August 7, 1998, when the American embassies in East Africa were blown up. Once again, the CIA was caught totally by surprise. Because the agency had spent most of its time and money on its band of Afghan soldiers of fortune, and no effort trying to actually penetrate the group [al Qaeda], in Afghanistan or elsewhere, it picked up not a whisper of the long-planned and complex plot. The attacks followed two years of public threats by bin Laden, including a clear declaration of war only months earlier on network American television. The surprise attack was a massive blow to an agency established…specifically to prevent such surprises.”

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Page 208