Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Nearly Killed Clinton Prez missed 1996 Philippines bomb by minutes: new book By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 24, 2009 5:37 AM CST 18 comments Comments President Bill Clinton nearly drove over a bridge in Manila where al-Qaeda terrorists had hidden a bomb, according to a new book. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Al-Qaeda terrorists under the orders of Osama bin Laden came within minutes of assassinating Bill Clinton in 1996, according to the author of a new book on the former president. Secret Service members changed the route of Clinton's motorcade through Manila at the last minute after intercepting communications suggesting an attack was imminent, law professor Ken Gormley writes. A bomb was found under a bridge Clinton had been due to cross. A subsequent US investigation found that the plot had been "masterminded by a Saudi terrorist living in Afghanistan—a man named Osama bin Laden," Gormley writes in The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs Starr. Al-Qaeda members have admitted targeting Clinton in the '90s, but evidence has never before emerged suggesting that they got so close, the Telegraph notes. Gormley says the information came from Louis Merletti, the former director of the Secret Service.