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Authors

Jules Lobel

Document Type

Article

Abstract

On August 20, 1998, the United States fired Tomahawk missiles at sites in Afghanistan and Sudan. The missile strikes destroyed the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant located in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. The United States also targeted training facilities in Afghanistan believed to be under the control of Osama bin Laden, the man depicted by the Clinton Administration as the "terrorist mastermind" behind the August 7, 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salam, Tanzania. The United States promptly notified the Security Council that the military strikes were legally justified as measures taken in self-defense, under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. President Clinton stated that the United States had "convincing evidence" that bin Laden was behind the embassy bombings and had planned to attack other American targets in the immediate future. Administration officials claimed that the Sudan factory "was producing chemical warfare-related weapons" and was linked to bin Laden's terrorist network.

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