NY1 VIDEO: In August 1998, Osama bin Laden was well-known to the intelligence community as one of the planners behind the deadly embassy bombings in East Africa. But to the American public, he was known, if at all, as a wealthy Saudi with terrorist links. When then-President Bill Clinton ordered missile strikes against several bin Laden-linked sites in Sudan and Afghanistan at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, it wasn't surprising that politicians and the public alike saw the operation through a very different lens than than one might today. NY1's political reporter Andrew Kurtzman filed this report on the varied response to the military action.
NY1 FOLLOW-UP: It soon became clear that al-Qaeda had not suffered much damage as a result of the strikes. In Sudan, a pharmaceutical factory was destroyed almost completely, though reports revealed the link between the factory and al-Qaeda was weak. In Afghanistan, missiles hit a training camp where many leaders, including bin Laden, were expected to meet. None were present at the time of the bombing. Only one death, of a Canadian national, was confirmed at the site.