HE is Public Enemy Number One. But the great irony is that Osama bin Laden was once a key figure in a movement financed and armed by the spooks of Uncle Sam's own intelligence agency, the CIA. When he became an important figure in the Afghan resistance in the 1980s, the Americans actually trained some of his recruits.

During that period, a group headed by bin Laden even had an office in New York, the city he is now accused of pulverising in the most devastating act of terrorism ever seen in the US.