Terrorism: February 23, 2002


: After the 1998 bombing of two US embassies, US intelligence succeeded in getting the billing records for Osama bin Laden's Compact-M portable satellite telephone, which made 1100 calls during 1996-1998. The results, under investigation since that time, have allowed the CIA and other intelligence agencies to round up numerous al Qaeda cells. Some data from the billing records includes:

@ 238 calls were to England, the largest number. The most frequent number called is that of Khalid al Fawwaz, who was arrested by the British after the embassy bombings.

@ 221 calls, the second largest number, went to Yemen. Most of these went to a number owned by Ahmad Mohammad Ali al Hada, who is thought to have been "the switchboard" for planning the embassy bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, and the September 11 attacks.

@ More than 90 calls went to Iran, apparently to hard line religious factions and to smugglers who moved equipment, money and people across the western Afghan border.

@ Other calls went to Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Egypt.

@ Not one call went to Iraq.--Stephen V Cole


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