Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump exaggerates his prescience on the 9/11 terrorist attacks when he claims he "predicted Osama bin Laden" in a 2000 book.
Trump's claim came during an interview on the Alex Jones Radio Show on Dec. 2 (starting at the 4:40-minute mark).
"The America We Deserve," which was published in January 2000, makes a single reference to bin Laden. It doesn't warn "we better be careful with this guy named Osama bin Laden." It doesn't say the U.S. "better take him out." And Trump's reference to bin Laden as someone "nobody really knew" at the time is wrong, too.
Here's the lone reference to bin Laden in Trump's:
The book's reference to bin Laden escaping U.S. jetfighters refers to an Aug. 21, 1998, attack ordered by then-President Clinton. The attacks were carried out in Afghanistan and Sudan in response to the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania earlier that month. They were designed to "disrupt bin Laden's terrorist network," as Clinton explained in a radio address.
So, bin Laden was well known by the time Trump's book came out — even though Trump now says "nobody really knew who he was." Also, the book doesn't say the U.S. needs to redouble its efforts to "take him out," as Trump now tells it.
Instead, the book criticizes the Clinton administration for its "haphazard" handling of "multiple threats." Trump ends that section of the book by writing: "Yes, we do face multiple threats we didn't face before. But this isn't to say we are walking in the dark. Instead, we know who and what the threats are. The problem is that we're totaling mishandling them."
It does, in another part of the book, say that the U.S. is in danger of "the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the  bombing of the World Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers," referring to an earlier, less deadly attack in 1993. But he was not alone in that concern. As Trump writes in his book, "No sensible analyst rejects this possibility." That was, after all, a reason why Clinton ordered the attack on bin Laden's terrorism network in 1998. Clinton said he ordered the strikes to "protect our citizens from future attacks."
But criticizing the Clinton administration for its handling of crises isn't the same thing as "predicting Osama bin Laden."
— Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. Based in Philadelphia, Factcheck monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Its goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. Find a list of Factcheck.org funders here.