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Posted: 3/3/2002 4:15:12 PM EDT
[size=4]How bin Laden got away[/size=4] [b]A day-by-day account of how Osama bin Laden eluded the world's most powerful military machine.[/b] By Philip Smucker | Special to The Christian Science Monitor TORA BORA, AFGHANISTAN - All 1,000 of the regional tribal leaders rose to their feet and shouted "Zindibad, Osama!" ("Long Live Osama!"). The Al Qaeda chief placed his right hand over his heart, the ethnic Pashtun sign for being honored, while 15 of his elite guards flanked him. In the last public speech given at the Jalalabad Islamic studies center on Nov. 10, Osama bin Laden painted the battle lines black and white. "The Americans had a plan to invade, but if we are united and believe in Allah, we'll teach them a lesson, the same one we taught the Russians," he said, according to two tribal leaders who attended the speech. Mr. bin Laden, with that speech, was laying his plans to stay a step ahead of the US campaign. He would travel to his favored fortified redoubt in Tora Bora, as the US expected him to, but he would also pave a way out. After his rousing speech, he bestowed cash gifts on key people who could later help him escape. The US-led war in Afghanistan was going exceedingly well up to that point. The Taliban regime had been pushed from the northern half of the country; the capital of Kabul and much of the rest of Afghanistan would fall within the next few days. It was a war like no other. In an evolutionary leap powered by Information Age technology, US ground soldiers were mainly employed as observers, liaisons, and spotters for air power - not as direct combatants sent to occupy a foreign land. The success of the US was dazzling, save for the fight for Tora Bora, which may have been this unconventional war's most crucial battle. For the US, Tora Bora wasn't about capturing caverns or destroying fortifications - it was about taking the world's most wanted terrorist "dead or alive." In retrospect, it becomes clear that the battle's underlying story is of how scant intelligence, poorly chosen allies, and dubious military tactics fumbled a golden opportunity to capture bin Laden as well as many senior Al Qaeda commanders. Moreover, as the US military conducts new strikes with its Afghan allies in nearby Paktia Province, sends special forces into Southeast and Central Asia - and prepares for a possible military plunge into Iraq - planners will need to learn the lessons of Tora Bora: Know which local leaders to trust. Know when to work with allied forces on the ground. And know when to go it alone. "Maybe the only lesson that is applicable is: whenever you use local forces, they have local agendas," says one senior Western diplomat, now looking at options for invading Iraq. "You had better know what those are so that if it is not a reasonable match - at least it is not a contradiction." [b]Bin Laden rallies followers[/b] It was just two days before the fall of Kabul on Nov. 12, that bin Laden rallied his forces five hours east by road in the city of Jalalabad - a long-time base of his operations. It was mid-afternoon, bombs were falling all over the city, and tribal leaders had just finished a sumptuous meal of lamb kebabs and rice. * * * See remainder of lengthy article at:[url]http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p01s03-wosc.html[/url] Eric The(WhoLeftTheBackDoorWideOpen?)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 4:54:06 PM EDT
How bin Laden got away??! "We shaved off our beards, changed our turban colors to Khandahari green, got in cars and drove across the border (into Pakistan)"! Quote from former Taliban Defense Minister Abdul Sahadi. DaMan
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 5:23:59 PM EDT
I think Smith&Wesson markets software, where you can alter a person's facial appearance electronically. It is surprising that the US govt didn't do it ahead of time.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 5:37:50 PM EDT
Just like Khadafi, Hussein, and how many other tyrants have walked after screwing the US. No coincidence. Waterdog
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 6:28:21 PM EDT
this post reminds me of a lunch room conversation when the local "Yankee Doodle Dandy" crowed about how we kicked ass in afghanistan...blah blah blah superior weapons blah blah blah. The only ass we ever kicked was the little guys the po'dunks in the field.Osama bin Laden could very well be suckin down Camel piss tea w/ Quadafii and Saddam himself on the Mediterranean Sea plotting there next box cutter attack.Afghanistan was a big nothing with out Osama bin Diaper heads skull on a AK-47 Bayonet
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