Osama bin Laden, among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”: Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?


Osama is classified among among The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

However, on the Usama bin Laden page on the FBI website, there is no explicit statement to the effect that he might be wanted in connection to the Septmber 11, 2001 attacks. 

Photograph of Usama Bin Laden

He is wanted in relation to the 1998 African Embassy bombings. 


On first reading the web page seems to be out of date, a pre-9/11 page, which the FBI forgot to update.

The FBI, like most organizations, updates its website periodically, when new information, concerning a “wanted fugitive” becomes available. 

On closer examination, the original posting, which dates to June 1999, was updated: in November 2001, at least three weeks after the US invaded Afghanistan. (Click here to go to FBI Usama page)

The decision to go to war was taken without a indictment by the US Justice department and corroborating statements by the FBI to the effect that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda was behind the attacks. It was taken without an indictment issued by the Justice Department. 

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation conducted by the FBI..

The FBI confirmed in a recent statement (July 2006) that “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on the Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11” (See the Muckracker Report, See also Enver Masud,  FBI: Bin Laden Not Wanted for 9/11? The ‘FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11‘, Wisdom Fund, June 2006). Rex Tom, FBI Director of Investigative Publictiy stated in this regard that

“The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

Barely four weeks later, on the 7th of October, Afghanistan was bombed and invaded by US troops

The war on Afghanistan started on October 7, 2001, less than a month after 9/11. 

On September 20th, the Taliban government had offered, “to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington.” (George Mombiot, The Guardian, 11 Nov 2003). This offer which was repeated by the Taliban government on October 1, 2001, six days before the beginning of the bombing: 

“We are ready for negotiations. It is up to the other side to agree or not. Only negotiation will solve our problems.” Bush was asked about this offer at a press conference the following day. He replied: “There’s no negotiations. There’s no calendar. We’ll act on [sic] our time.” (Ibid)

To this date, the Justice department has not formally indicted and charged Osama bin Laden for the 911 attacks: 

The FBI maintains a separate “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, which includes bin Laden and 25 others who have been indicted in U.S. federal courts in connection with terror plots. But this second bin Laden listing also makes no mention of Sept. 11.

“The indictments currently listed on the posters allow them to be arrested and brought to justice,” the FBI says in a note accompanying the terrorist list on its Web site. “Future indictments may be handed down as various investigations proceed in connection to other terrorist incidents, for example, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.” (Washington Post, 28 August 2006)

Original Text and Links to the Usama bin Laden page on the FBI website click below


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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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