Bin Laden and the 1998 World Cup

I did a piece for the current issue of Howler about an attempted attack by Osama Bin Laden on the 1998 World Cup in France. I recommend picking up a copy not just because I wrote something in it, but because Howler is impeccably done. Each issue almost seems like a collectible. It’s also the only way you can read the story, because as a print magazine, they don’t put the articles online (that’s why there’s no link to the piece itself, sorry).

The story was actually a long time in the making as it came together over the course of about two years. Part of that was because I was trying to find more solid evidence to back up some of the claims I wanted to put in print. I FOIA’ed both the FBI and the CIA and over the course of about 18 months, I would receive another reply from another department regarding my request for information. Most of it was redacted to the point of being almost useless.

So simply as additional background, a couple of those FOIA’d documents are posted below.

Lost (it has to be somewhere in a file around here but it’s still hiding) was an FBI document from the station chief in Paris to the field office in LA where they were looking for ID information on a specific person. It was about as redacted as the document attached.

Just want to be clear that I am happy with the final piece as it appeared in Howler (and my guess is that it took significantly more time on their end than many of their other pieces, so I really appreciate the time they put in and the risk they took). This is nothing more than some supplementary info for those who read the piece (and a blatant attempt to help them sell a few more copies of the magazine).




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