Tim Osman was bin Ladin?
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Osama bin Ladin has had direct contact with the CIA for a long time, according to some people, and one account has him touring the US under a CIA code name as long ago as 1986:

The other man, dressed in Docker's clothing, was not a native Afghan any more than Olberg was. He was a 27-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman) has recently become better known as Osama Bin Ladin. "Tim Osman" was the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments.

Is there any support for this? Search online and you will find this document, which is supposed to offer confirmation:



...but what is this supposed to be, exactly? An opening like “Just a simple and continuing reminder of previous USG field reports on file and fully documented” doesn’t make it sound like an official Government record. If it’s an FOIA release, then which documents were requested to obtain it, and from where? And why would the Government release this information in 2003, anyway?

Perhaps we can learn more by looking at Ted Gunderson and Michael Riconosciuto, the two US representatives who were apparently at this meeting. 

Gunderson at first appears a good witness, being a former “Senior Special Agent-in-Charge” in Los Angeles up to his retirement in 1979. However, all is not necessarily as it seems. Check out his web site, www.tedgunderson.com , and you’ll find articles on satanism, “sexual child abuse - elite involvement”, “plans for civilian internment”, and more. We’ve no problem with anyone expressing their views, but Gunderson wants to cash in, too: the most interesting claims here (“TERRORISTS' ACTIVITIES: ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE FURNISHED TO THE FBI 6 MONTHS PRIOR TO 9-11!”) are only available to those willing to pay out $10 to $25 for his reports (http://www.tedgunderson.com/Products-Reports.htm).

Further, Gunderson appears to have an uncertain reputation, even amongst the conspiracy community. 

Was Gunderson was one of the top FBI COINTELPRO supervisors during the wipe out so-called dissidents in the 60's and 70's? From Gunderson's position in New Haven, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, he had means, motive and opportunity to participate in COINTELPRO. Mr. Gunderson, what were you doing for J. Edgar Hoover in the 60's and 70's?

See www.stewwebb.com/Ted%20Gunderson.html for more.

What you will discover at the site is Gunderson’s own account of the meeting (much more at the link):

Subsequently, Gunderson arranged a meeting in the spring of 1986 at the Hilton Hotel on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Calif., between himself, Riconosciuto, Ralph Olberg, who covertly represented the State Department at the meeting and served on its Middle East desk, and a man identified as “Tim Osman.”

As Gunderson would discover only last year, “Osman” was bin Laden, dressed in ordinary casual Western attire and traveling on a Turkish passport.

Gunderson has also since found that there is a real Osman, who is a Turkish official.

Even if there was a meeting, then, how can we be sure this Osman was bin Ladin?

Perhaps we can learn more from the other participant in the meeting, Michael Riconosciuto. Or perhaps not... The primary article from his point of view appears to be “When Osama Bin Laden was Tim Osman”, and it contains no more hard evidence than you’ll find anywhere else (but don’t take our word for that -- follow the link and find out for yourself).

Riconosciuto’s credibility isn’t enhanced by the fact that he’s been locked up in prison since 1991, after being found guilty of drug offences (charges the above article says were “trumped up”, without offering any support for that), but that’s not our only problem with him. Here’s a timeline detailing some of the claims surrounding Riconosciuto that have been made over the years.

1960's: Peripheral contact with JFK assassination suspects
> At the age of 12, a young science genius named Michael Riconosciuto was
 > building listening devices for the detective agency of Guy Banister in
 > New Orleans. As a teenager, he had his own laboratory, and was doing
 > cancer research, as Judyth Baker was also doing at the time in Florida.
 > David Ferrie later mentioned to her that they had been expecting a young
 > cancer researcher on the scene in May 1963, and assumed Judyth Baker was
 > the person they were expecting. It may have been Michael Riconosciuto
 > instead, and Judyth may have fallen into the situation by chance,
 > showing up in New Orleans two weeks before Michael did.

That group of people can be traced directly back to the JFK assassination through Garrison's primary grand jury witness, Fred Lee Crisman (AKA Jon Gold). Look for Gold's book [out of print and hard to find] "Murder of a City - Tacoma" where he discusses being called to Garrison's grand jury. Gold also speaks of the genius of Michael Riconosciuto, then a 13 year old electronic wiz, busy tapping the phones of the police and sheriffs' departments because law enforcement was interrupting his father, Marshall's drug business.

1973: Accused of links to assassination of Chilean leader Salvador Allende
Michael has often described himself to me as a "chicken" to the CIA's perverted "chicken hawks". As a VERY young man he accompanied "Dr." John Philip Nichols to Chile to assist in the assassination of Allende.

1980: Involved with delaying the release of the US hostages in Iran:
On May 18, 1990, Riconosciuto had called the Hamiltons and informed them that the Inslaw case was connected to the October Surprise affair. Riconosciuto claimed that he and Earl Brian had traveled to Iran in 1980 and paid $40 million to Iranian officials to persuade them NOT to release the hostages before the presidential election in which Reagan became president of the United States.

Early 1980's: "In the early 1980s Michael also served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians in Indio, California"

1980's: has knowledge of bio-warfare research
According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts for biological warfare research.

1980's: Invents the a-neutronic bomb
Riconosciuto's talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic bomb (or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device"), which sank the ground level of the Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto: "I've spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of the a-neutronic bomb) and he's an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have a hunch, which I can't prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."

Another possible weapon candidate soon surfaced: the "A-Neutronic" bomb. In this scenario, a mad criminal scientist (the infamous Michael Riconosciuto, currently serving time in a US prison), developed for the US Government a new super-weapon that involved blowing a cloud of chemicals into the air, charging the cloud with a large excess of electro static energy by means of a small rocket-carried "wire", and then detonating the resultant "fuel-air" mix to create a small nuclear-type explosion.

1980's: Disposes of evidence
   Riconosciuto also claimed that he had a tape documenting threats made against him by another Justice Department official, but he had thrown it in a marsh near Puget Sound the night he was arrested on trumped up methamphetamine charges. Casolaro spent many days searching the Puget Sound bog to no avail, looking for the tape that ostensibly could verify the claims of "Danger Man," Casolaro's nickname for Riconosciuto.

1980's: UFO's and aliens?
After Casolaro's death, Michael Riconosciuto made claims that Casolaro had learned nothing more than what one of two intelligence factions wanted him to know in order to embarrass the other faction. One faction was called Aquarius and had a leadership sub-group called MJ-12, the name, of course, of the supposed secret group founded by Harry Truman in the wake of the Roswell flying saucer crash. Riconosciuto even told one writer that he had witnessed the autopsy of an alien body--this long before the famous alien autopsy film began to circulate. Some have suggested that the tales of extraterrestrials that surround areas like Area 51 and Pine Gap serve as disinformation to deflect attention away from serious issues such as gun-running and black project weapons development. Casolaro's own view, and the extent of his knowledge and interest in this tributary from the Octopus research, and whatever he learned that might have brought the truth closer to the surface of the murky waters in which he swam, may have died with him.

  "Back to Michael Riconosciuto: perhaps _UFO Magazine_ editor Don Ecker sums up Riconosciuto's credibility best when he told _Steamshovel_, 'If he told me the sun came up in the morning and set in the evening, I'd double check it.' [...]

  "Ecker notes in the latest issue of _UFO Magazine_ (Vol 8, No, 1, 1993) that Riconosciuto also claimed to have witnessed an ET autopsy with Robert Booth Nichols, another ominous figure in the Inslaw milieu. [...]"

1980's: has "connections with the Chinese industrial and military group Norinco"

1980's: expertise: "Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he was also an expert on electronic computers and associated subjects such as cryptology"

1983-84: Modifies PROMIS software for the Department of Justice to install a "back door"

Spring 1986: meets bin Ladin as a "representative of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan"

March 1991: knowledge of CIA funds and financial scandals
[Riconosciuto] said he was also responsible for the manner in which caused the interdiction of funds from the sale of Red Chinese gold and the manner in which large sums of CIA funds were secreted and knowledge of where those funds are located.

"The information available on my computer equipment would also tend to prove and show that the above described treasonous deals are related to the ongoing international scandals involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and that crucial features of said deals are centered in Chicago and involve the courts and prosecutors in Chicago," he stated.

1991: forces a "professional hit man" to confess to his crimes:

Nichols and Riconosciuto had forced Marowitz to confess to his crime by hanging him upside down in front of the airplane propellar.

"Riconosciuto recalled, " ... So he [Marowitz] starts talking ... and Bob goes out of the room like this: `Oh my God, I don't want to hear anymore,' covering his ears. This Marowitz starts confessing to every hit he's ever done, including the Dorfman killings in Chicago. ... I mean, all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden Ted has found the torpedo
in the Dorfman killings ..." After the "hanging" incident, Marowitz fled to Israel."

"The transcript was taken from Riconosciuto's first (taperecorded) meeting with Alan Boyak on May 5, 1991 at the attorney visiting room of the Tacoma, Washington house of incarceration....."

1991: Jailed
One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS software in 1991, Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug charges. 

August 11 1991
Believes ""AIDS" was created in the U.S. bio-warfare labs"

July 1998: Knows of embassy bombings in advance, despite being locked up in jail

Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August 7, 1998, Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings were going to take place.

2001: Has developed technology to remove oil dependency
Some powerful people may have good reason to want to keep Michael where he is.
Michael has developed technology which will revolutionize energy and make current polluting oil dependency obsolete. This technology will survive, no matter what happens to Michael, but it is a horror to think that this man is being repaid for his brilliance and patriotism by a 30 year jail sentence.

2001: Maintains Mujahadeen contacts:
"In the 1980s Michael Riconosciuto was involved in negotiations with the Mujahadeen on behalf of the US government. The negotiations were for arms and $600+ million per year in aid to assist in the war against the Soviets. Michael was encouraged to make his own contacts within the Mujahadeen network. After all these years, he still maintains his contacts"

2001: Warns authorities of anthrax attacks in February 2001, months before they happen. At least, that's what he claims: the Archive.org copy of his site dates this page at December 24th 2001. That's when they picked it up, so it could have been done earlier, but there's no support for that here.

2001: Warns authorities of terrorist access to SAM missiles
I have received dated documents today, originating with computer expert Michael
Riconosciuto, that clearly confirm that he had warned the FBI and members of Congress that Islamic terrorist groups were in possession of Strella-3 and IGLA-9 surface-to-air missiles as long ago as this February.

Most of these reports are second-hand, so we can’t be sure that Riconosciuto was behind every claim here. However, if only half of these stories originated with him then it would be enough to make us sceptical of what he’s saying, not least because the Osman story didn’t materialise until after September 11. Why not? bin Ladin had been in the press for years, so why not mention it earlier? Are we supposed to believe that he knew of the 1998 Embassy attacks, but then forgot to mention the US connection to bin Ladin, the supposed culprit? And if Riconosciuto didn’t know Osman was bin Ladin at the time, then how can we be sure he was now? 

We’re not the only people who are sceptical of Riconosciuto. Here’s what Chip Berlet wrote back in the 1990’s:

Another oft-cited source in the October Surprise story was Michael Riconosciuto, who provided many tantalizing leads to investigative reporter Danny Casolaro before the free-lancer's death, which was ruled a suicide (see "The Octopus File," CJR, November/December 1991). Riconosciuto claimed to have specialized knowledge in computer science and software design, the kind of knowledge that, he said, made him useful to intelligence operatives. Casolaro was looking into the alleged theft by the Justice department of a privately owned software program called Promis. Riconosciuto offered an explanation: he told Casolaro that someone in the Justice department had given the software to American intelligence operatives for resale to intelligence agencies in Canada and abroad. One form of payment, he told the journalist, was the orchestration of the release of the American hostages being held in Iran.
Riconosciuto went on to weave a tale involving the Cabazon Indian reservation in southern California, purportedly the site of a supersecret research and testing base for weapons of interest to intelligence operatives. Casolaro began to see the reservation as part of a globe-spanning entity of untold power, which he called The Octopus.

Jerry Uhrhammer of the Tacoma, Washington, "Morning News Tribune" was the only reporter to cover Riconosciuto's three-week-long drug trial, held in Tacoma in April 1991. In the July/August 1992 "IRE Journal", Uhrhammer wrote:

"Any reporter who checked the court file prior to Riconosciuto's trial could have found documents that offered a psychiatric explanation for [his] conspiracy tales. Psychiatrists who examined him in 1972, prior to his first drug conviction, portrayed him as a mentally unstable person who had trouble discerning between fact and fiction."
Uhrhammer added:
"I have been dismayed and appalled by some articles in which Riconosciuto is quoted as a primary source, if not sole source, in support of some conspiracy theory, but without any warning to the reader that his credibility is suspect or nonexistent."
Free-lance reporter Jonathan Littman spent four months investigating charges regarding the Cabazon Indian reservation, including those circulated by Casolaro, who had been using Riconosciuto as a source. Littman wrote a fascinating three-part series for the "San Francisco Chronicle" on how outsiders were abusing tribal sovereignty. Littman and "Chronicle" reporter Michael Taylor also wrote a story about Riconosciuto's claims about several murders linked to persons associated with the Cabazon reservation. "We had to throw out tons of stuff from Riconosciuto wholesale," says Taylor.

We’re uncertain about the witnesses to this meeting, then. The only document purporting to show that “Tim Osman” was bin Ladin is unsourced, as far as we can see (email if you know exactly where it came from). And even if we take the story as literally true, it doesn’t offer strong support for the common “bin Ladin was trained by/ funded by the CIA”. claims. In fact Gunderson’s account has him picked to meet Osman exactly because he didn’t work for a Government agency any more, therefore this story could be used to show there weren’t strong links between bin Ladin and the CIA at this time. 

Given these issues, it’s hard to see how the Osman story can tell us very much on its own. More evidence is essential before we can begin to form a reliable picture about what, if anything, this means.

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