According to an AP story, dated September 18, 1986, the Islamic terrorrists “The Committee for Solidarity with Arab and Middle Eastern Political Prisoners” released a statement saying:
“We shall meet soon in your great states. We shall get acquainted with your great states, your cities, your skyscrapers, your Statue of Liberty.”
The group, also known by its french acronym CSPPA, was responsible for four bombings in France at the time. They claimed the US pressured France not to release the prisoner they wanted released. The alleged organizer of the bombings returned to Iran six months later.
Several pundits have argued of late that the US did not draw the ire of Islamic terrorists until it occupied Saudi Arabia after the 1991 Gulf War. While this may have fanned the flames, this threat, almost fifteen years to the day before the attack in 2001, shows that this kind of thought was at least a smoldering ember before the Gulf War.