18 December 2003

Tracing the Asian terror links | CNN.com 22 Sep 2001

A chemical fire in his apartment alerted authorities to his hideout and helped uncover three terrorist plots:

-- an attempt to assassinate the Pope during his 1995 visit to Manila;

-- a conspiracy to bomb US airliners in Asia called Operation Bojinka ('loud explosion');

-- and a plan to recruit pilots to hijack US jetliners in the continental United States and slam the planes into government and commercial buildings.

Philippine authorities turned their evidence over to the U.S. government, providing evidence which led to the NY conviction of Yousef and his cohorts for 'Operation Bojinka.'

While in the Philippines, Yousef traveled to the Abu Sayyaf base in Basilan and trained about 20 members in 1994.

A year later, he gathered about 20 men in Matabungkay, near the capital, Manila, and trained them allegedly to help assassinate the Pope.

I guess we can expect to hear a great deal more about Operation Bojinka over the next few months.

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