The “main story”:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-alqaeda20jun20,1,440629.story?coll=la-home-headlines in today’s Los Angeles Times is that both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan aided terrorists in return for not attacking their country.
bq. Saudi Arabia provided funds and equipment to the Taliban and probably directly to Bin Laden, and didn’t interfere with Al Qaeda’s efforts to raise money, recruit and train operatives, and establish cells throughout the kingdom, commission and U.S. officials said. Pakistan provided even more direct assistance, its military and intelligence agencies often coordinating efforts with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, they said.
bq. “There’s no question the Taliban was getting money from the Saudis ? and there’s no question they got much more than that from the Pakistani government,” said former Sen. Bob Kerrey, one of the congressionally appointed commission’s 10 members. “Their motive is a secondary issue for us.” “Whether there was quid pro quo with the Saudis, we don’t know. But certainly the Pakistanis believed that there was. They benefited enormously from their relationship with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.”
bq. Pakistanis, meanwhile, were in with the Taliban and Al Qaeda “up to their eyeballs,” said the senior commission staff member. He said Bin Laden, for instance, negotiated his 1996 move to Afghanistan with Pakistan’s powerful military-intelligence leadership, which held considerable influence over the various warlords struggling for control of Afghanistan at the time. “He wouldn’t go back there without Pakistan’s approval and support, and had to comply with their rules and regulations,” the official said. He said Pakistan opened its airspace to Bin Laden and his flying flotilla of operatives.
bq. Pakistani intelligence officers also allegedly brought Bin Laden to meet Mullah Omar soon after his arrival in Afghanistan, and then helped forge an alliance between the men that enabled the Taliban to trample competing factions and take over much of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, also was instrumental in helping Al Qaeda set up an infrastructure in its own country and in Afghanistan, and the two outfits jointly operated training camps along the border where militants were taught guerrilla warfare, the official said. “It started day one,” the official said of Pakistan’s involvement. “They controlled the Taliban; they controlled the border.” [“LA Times”:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-alqaeda20jun20,1,440629.story?coll=la-home-headlines]
Why did this become news now ? Didn’t anyone know about this or is this article a reminder to someone who forgot that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were two of the three nations who recognized the Taliban Government in Afghanistan ? If the 9/11 Commision had read Ahmed Rashid’s book “Taliban”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000266.html, they would have found most of this information.