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Clinton Orders Military Strikes Against Terrorist Facilities in Afghanistan, Sudan

The U.S today launched military strikes against a terrorist base in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons facility in Sudan affiliated with Osama bin Laden, a major funder of anti-U.S. terrorism and top suspect in the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

President Clinton said that he had "convincing evidence" that bin Laden played a major role in embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and in past attacks on U.S. military forces and citizens. Clinton also noted the U.S. belief that bin Laden and his terrorist followers were planning "additional terrorist attacks against our citizens and others." Defense Secretary William Cohen said he hoped that these strikes would "reduce the ability of these terrorist groups to train and equip their followers."

A group allegedly founded by bin Laden, the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, issued a statement yesterday which read, "The coming days will, God willing, see that America meets a black fate ... There will be more attacks." The statement threatened that U.S. citizens and their allies would face repeated attacks "until American forces withdraw from the land of Muslims."

Bin Laden was also a signatory to a fatwa (religious tract) issued last February which read, ``We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it."

Media Resources: AP and CNN - August 20, 1998



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