What Bin Laden Did on His Summer Vacation

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Evidence is piling up that Osama bin Laden, the Islamic terror leader Washington considers International Enemy No. 1, may have helped spark Russia's latest brutal war in Chechnya. Behind the scenes, U.S. and Russian counterterrorism officials have been sharing intelligence that points to Bin Laden's having an indirect hand in some of the five bombings in Moscow and other Russian cities last August and September. Moscow launched its military offensive to crush Chechen terrorists after those attacks.

The CIA has intelligence that Bin Laden operatives have been in Chechnya training Muslim fighters in guerrilla tactics. And the mixture of chemicals that Russian investigators found in some of the blasts matches the brew mixed by bombers-in-training at his camp in Afghanistan. "There are some strings that connect here," a U.S. intelligence official tells TIME. "Some of the bombs in Russia were consistent with what Bin Laden bombers use."