This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at

Official statement from U.S. government refuting claims CIA funded Osama Bin Laden 2005

January 17, 2007

MIM: The official refutation of the oft cited canard that the United States funded Osama Bin Laden.

Did the U.S. "Create" Osama bin Laden?

Allegations that the U.S. provided funding for bin Laden proved inaccurate

The United States did not "create" Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda. The United States supported the Afghans fighting for their country's freedom -- as did other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Egypt, and the UK -- but the United States did not support the "Afghan Arabs," the Arabs and other Muslims who came to fight in Afghanistan for broader goals. CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen notes that the "Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of funding." He notes:

Al Qaeda's number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, confirmed that the "Afghan Arabs" did not receive any U.S. funding during the war in Afghanistan. In the book that was described as his last will, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, which was serialized in December 2001 in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Zawahiri says the Afghan Arabs were funded with money from Arab sources, which amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars:

Abdullah Anas, an Algerian who was one of the foremost Afghan Arab organizers and the son-in-law of Abdullah Azzam, has also confirmed that the CIA had no relationship with the Afghan Arabs. Speaking on the French television program Zone Interdit on September 12, 2004, Anas stated:

Milt Bearden served as the CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, where he was in charge of running the covert action program for Afghanistan. In his memoirs titled "The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB," Bearden says the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Egypt, and the UK were "major players" in the effort to aid the Afghans. Bearden writes:

From 1983 to 1987, Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf was in charge of the Afghan Bureau of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which ran Pakistan's covert program to aid the Afghan mujahidin. In his book The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story, Brigadier Yousaf confirms the matching U.S.-Saudi arrangement, stating:

Bearden makes it clear that the CIA covert action program did not fund any Arabs or other Muslims to come to the jihad:

Marc Sageman worked closely with the Afghan mujahideen as one of Milt Bearden's case officers, from 1987 to 1989. In his book, Understanding Terror Networks, he writes:

The Central Intelligence Agency has issued a statement categorically denying that it ever had any relationship with Osama bin Laden. It stated, in response to the hypothetical question "Has the CIA ever provided funding, training, or other support to Usama Bin Laden?":

In summary:

• U.S. covert aid went to the Afghans, not to the "Afghan Arabs."

• The "Afghan Arabs" were funded by Arab sources, not by the United States.

• United States never had "any relationship whatsoever" with Osama bin Laden.

• The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Arab backing for the "Afghan Arabs," and bin Laden's own decisions "created" Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, not the United States.

Created: 14 Jan 2005 Updated: 14 Jan 2005

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at