A few months later bin Laden, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, and Abu Hafs gathered in Kandahar to pick potential targets. The three men were the only ones involved. Their goal was not only to inflict symbolic damage. Bin Laden imagined that America - as a political entity - could actually be destroyed. "America is a great power possessed of tremendous military might and a wide-ranging economy," he later conceded, "but all this is built upon an unstable foundation which can be targeted, with special attention to its obvious weak spots. If it is hit in one hundredth of those spots, God willing, it will stumble, wither away and relinquish world leadership." Inevitably, the confederation of states that made up America would dissolve.
- From The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright