Bin Laden tried to kill Clinton in Manila in 1996

From DKos' Christian Dem in NC:

This morning's (London) Daily Telegraph has a pretty explosive revelation--bin Laden came very close to assassinating Bill Clinton in 1996.

Former President Bill Clinton came within minutes of being assassinated in the Philippines by terrorists controlled by Osama bin Laden, a new book has revealed.

The US leader was saved shortly before his car was due to drive over a bridge in Manila where a bomb had been planted.

The foiled attack came during Mr Clinton's visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the city in 1996.

Clinton was on his way to visit a local politician when the Secret Service got word from intelligence sources that there was due to be an attack along the original route.

The account comes from Ken Gormley's new book, The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs Starr. While it's made headlines so far for revelations that prosecutors were about to indict Bill and Hillary, this assassination attempt makes that revelation look minor league.

Here's more on the books revelation from Raw Story:

Ken Gormley's The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, set to be published in February, recounts an incident during Clinton's visit to the Philippine capital, Manila, in 1996 for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. According to blogger Jamie Malanowski at True/Slant, moments before the president's convoy was to start down a route that would take it over a bridge in downtown Manila, the Secret Service was warned that an attack might have been planned on the bridge.

Malanowski reports:

During the 1996 visit, Clinton was scheduled to visit a Filipino politician. The route he was to take required him to cross a bridge in downtown Manila. As the motorcade was about to depart, Merletti received “a crackly message in one earpiece” informing him that intelligence operatives had picked up a transmission that used the words ‘bridge’ and ‘wedding’ in the same sentence. Since ‘wedding’ was known to be a code word for assassination, Merletti ordered that the motorcade be re-routed. An intelligence team then discovered that a bomb had been planted under the bridge. No estimate is given in the passage for how soon the motorcade would have crossed the bridge, but the implication is that the bridge was not far away.

Malanowski quotes Gormley directly implicating bin Laden in the purported attack:

The thwarted assassination attempt was never made public. ... It remained top secret except to select members of the U.S. intelligence community. The American government’s subsequent investigation of this plot to kill Clinton, however, revealed that it had been masterminded by a Saudi terrorist living in Afghanistan -- a man named Osama bin Laden.

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