US documents relates Masood's assassination to 9/11 attacks
WASHINGTON, September 14 (Online): On the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the National Security Archive at George Washington University has disseminated a new collection of recently declassified US documents covering the controversial rise to power of Taliban in Afghanistan.
The documents unveiled a November 2001 DIA cable that discusses the relationship between the assassination of Northern Alliance Commander Ahmad Shah Masoud and the terrorist attacks of September 11. The cable indicates that Masoud had gained limited knowledge "regarding the intentions of the Saudi millionaire Osama (bin Ladin), and his terrorist organization, al-Qaida, to perform a terrorist act against the US on a scale larger than the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." Could Masood's knowledge of an attack and subsequent warning to the US government have led to his assassination.?
The cables and correspondence clearly indicates that the Clinton administration was in touch with the Taliban government and had no problem with their policies so far as there was a possibility that the communication channels can lead to favorable business/trade opportunities for the United States.
The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This reference has a particular relevance today, as the Taliban fighters are reportedly regrouping in Afghanistan.
This text called "The Taliban File" is a collection of 32 documents obtained through the US FOIA by Archive research associate Sajit Gandhi details the rise of the Taliban from its meager start in Kandahar to a full fledged military force and ultimate control of the country. The documents discuss Pakistan's support for the Taliban, US dealings with the Taliban, post 9/11 thinking on military strategy in the War on Terror, and the relationship between the assassination of the Northern Alliance Commander Ahmad Shah Masoud and the terrorist attacks of September 11.
The declassified documents revealed a November 1994 cable from the US Embassy in Islamabad, which mentions one of the first kidnappings conducted by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, kidnapped one American-Bella Josef Nuss - and three British citizens. The document indicates that Sheikh "holds a British Passport, attended the London School of Economics, and spent time in Bosnia where the abuse of Muslim women apparently radicalized his views."
Moreover, a February 1995 cable from the US Embassy in Islamabad, which offers a detailed biographic sketch of the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir-ul-Momineen from his origins in the Mujahideen to his rise as the leader of the Taliban.
A December 1997 Department of State cable summarizing a meeting between Taliban officials in the US as part of a Unocal delegation and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderfurth. When the Taliban are questioned by Inderfurth over their allowing Osama Bin Laden refuge, a Taliban representative responds by saying that if they expelled Bin Laden he would go to Iran and cause more trouble.
Another representative notes that the Taliban did not invite Bin Laden into Afghanistan, but that he was already inside Afghanistan, "as a guest of the previous regime when they took over." The Taliban representative claims that they had stopped allowing Bin Laden to give public interviews, and "had frustrated Iranian and Iraqi attempts to get in contact with him."
A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) cable from October 2001 discusses the role of Pakistan in the rise of the Taliban and questions about Pakistan's and the ISI's connection with Bin Laden. "Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network was able to expand under the safe sanctuary extended by Taliban following Pakistan Directives."