OSAMA BIN LADEN TO LEAD TALIBAN MILITARY OPERATIONS
Citing high-ranking Afghan sources, the Pakistani newspaper, Nation, has reported that the Taliban have appointed two international terrorists, Osama bin Laden and Juma Namangani, to lead military operations against the Northern Alliance.
According to the paper's information, the Taliban leadership has de facto appointed terrorist no.1, bin Laden, as defence minister. He is currently organising offensives from his secret hide-out. Another terrorist, the Uzbek Juma Namangani, has become bin Laden's assistant, carrying out his orders on the northern front.
In the paper's opinion, the new appointments will increase the role of Arab, Pakistani and other foreign mercenaries fighting for the Taliban and could lead to new groups of religious fanatics entering Afghanistan. According to Nation's information, up to 60,000 foreign mercenaries are now fighting for the Taliban.
19 Jan 2001 United Nations ban on military aid to Afghanistan takes effect
29 May 2001 Four Al Qaeda associates convicted for role in African embassy bombings
Jun 2001 U.S. warns Afghanistan that its government will be held responsible for attacks by terrorists sheltered by Afghanistan
6 Aug 2001 Taliban arrests 24 foreign aid workers, including two American women, in Afghanistan on charges of spreading Christianity
21 Aug 2001 CIA asks FBI to find al-Midhar and Alhamzi; they are not located, and will hijack Flight 77 on 11 September
Aug 2001 Osama bin Laden threatens "unprecedented attacks" against the U.S.
9 Sep 2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of Northern Alliance, seriously injured in car bombing assassination; he dies days later
10 Sep 2001 Osama bin Laden's deadline for his deputies to return to Afghanistan
Taliban Slammed Over bin Laden Appointment, United Press International, August 30, 2001
MOSCOW -- Russia's Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the appointment of Saudi terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime, the official RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Bin Laden's appointment confirmed that a center of international terrorism is being set up in Taliban-controlled territory, the ministry said in a statement.
"Pseudo-religious values are being used as a cover to prepare a bridgehead for expansion of militant extremism and separatism far beyond the region's borders," added the statement.