Did the Taliban Try to Stop Bin Laden Terror Attacks?

Sunday, February 14, 2010
Mullah Omar

The long assumed relationship between Osama bin Laden and the Taliban is now being questioned because of declassified information from the State Department. As discussed in a journal published by the Combatting Terrorism Center at the U.S. Army’s West Point academy, the Taliban’s top leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, reportedly tried to isolate bin Laden after the 1998 terrorist attacks in Africa carried out by al-Qaeda operatives in order to keep him from plotting again against U.S. targets.

The claim that Omar wanted to limit bin Laden’s anti-U.S. campaign was based on accounts from Egyptian jihadist Abu’l Walid al-Masri who had connections with both camps. Also, the story in the CTC Sentinel recounts an incident in 1999 when the Taliban attempted to take over bin Laden’s personal security, resulting in a shootout. The Taliban eventually assumed control of bin Laden’s compound and seized his satellite phone.
The Obama administration has maintained the assertions of the Bush White House that Omar supported al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11, 2001. However, the Taliban has insisted that it has no interest in al-Qaeda’s global ambitions.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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