On December 5, 2001, Mullah Omar convened his commanders to their final meeting. By that point, American soldiers had pounded Afghanistan with powerful “Daisy Cutter” bombs weighing 15,000 pounds. With the assistance of American forces, the Northern Alliance had taken control of Kabul. Taliban combatants had also departed Kandahar on the orders of Mullah Omar. For Mullah Omar, a thorough manhunt was being conducted. American drones were flying over the Northern Alliance’s territory looking for Mullah Omar.
However, it was impossible to find him even though he was actually in Kandahar, his stronghold. The presence of Mullah Omar was at an unknown location. At that discreet location, Mullah Omar and the Taliban commanders met. A gun was on Mullah Omar’s lap. What did the commanders want, he queried? Abdul Salam Rockety claimed that the Taliban’s top leaders were tired of fighting. However, they feared that Mullah Omar would become enraged and would murder anyone who dared to disagree with him.
However, one leader found courage and informed Mullah Omar that they desired to be handed over. Rockety claims that Mullah Omar handled such situation calmly. Mullah Obaidullah, the defence minister, will now head the movement, he continued, pointing at him. Then he put his signature on a document to give Mullah Obaidullah control of the movement. Do you understand that, Mullah Omar questioned the commanders twice. and went out of the room. It was the final meeting, and Mullah Omar was never seen by the commanders again.
Two days later, we saw two motor vehicles travelling on the road from Kandahar to Kabul. Abdul Jabbar Omari, Mullah Omar’s bodyguard, was driving the Land Cruiser jeep in front of them. Behind it, in a white Toyota waggon with his two cronies, was Mullah Omar. Where were they going? And it was there that Osama bin Laden hid out while the Taliban fled under heavy US fire? The two people on the world’s most wanted list had Pakistan on their minds a lot.
If they both arrived in Pakistan following 9/11? Whether the story of their trip to Pakistan was entirely fake, partially real, or neither? This will be demonstrated by me, Faisal Warraich, in the History of Pakistan series by “Dekho, Suno, Jano.” The US Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan is Lagman. This base was utilised by the US to house its troops, tanks, and other vehicles after it invaded Afghanistan in 2001. The US experts had also trained the Afghan army at this very site. There were few houses nearby this Base that could be reached on foot. These were modest settlements populated by destitute Afghans lacking even the most basic amenities.
When everyone was looking for Mullah Omar and a $10 million prize was set, he resided in the village. In that village, he too passed away while residing in a home. Once, US troops also infiltrated that home, but they were unable to identify Mullah Omar or a covert exit. A Mullah Omar bodyguard claimed to be unaware of the purpose of the US troops’ visit to that residence. The US Marines’ visit to these towns, according to Dutch Journalist Bette Dam, was intended to clear the roads. And the US military never visited these villages while looking for Mullah Omar. I had the impression that they were primarily concerned with maintaining their roadways.
The Mullah Omar study by Bette Dam refuted Mullah Omar’s visit to Pakistan. He was once urged to relocate to Pakistan when the Afghan search for Mullah Omar was at its height. But in a conversation with his security, Mullah Omar emphasised his mistrust of Pakistan. Had the Dutch journalist not directly obtained these details from Abdul Jabbar Omari, it’s possible that this knowledge would still be kept a secret and the world would still assume that Omar resided in Pakistan. Till 2013, Omari was Mullah Omar’s bodyguard in addition to helping him with other tasks.
Jabbar Omari is currently in the care of NDS, the Afghan intelligence service. Bette Dam spoke with Abdul Jabbar Omari when he was being held in custody. To now, America has not responded negatively to any of these events. Another interesting point is this one. you need to be aware of. When Bette questioned an NDS officer about why Pakistan was held responsible for hiding Omar—knowing full well that he was in Afghanistan and that there was no solid proof of his presence in Pakistan—she received the following response. The query went unanswered by the Afghan officer. But Mullah Omar was not the only person involved in the issue.
America’s real goal was to apprehend Osama bin Laden. For this reason, the US had specifically dispatched CIA agent Garry Berntsen to Afghanistan. His goals included eliminating the Taliban, dismantling Al-Qaeda, and either killing or apprehending Osama. The first step was to locate Osama bin Laden, though. An officer from the Counter Terrorism Department in the US showed Osama bin Laden’s location to President Bush (CTD). On December 1, CTD Deputy Director H. Crumpton presented a map to President Bush at the White House. Osama and Al-Qaeda have moved here from Kandahar, he added, pointing at Tora Bora on the Afghan map.
In order to prevent Osama and others from escaping, Bush requested any means of sealing the caves in the Tora Bora mountains. No army in the world, Crumpton said, could barricade these hilly tracks. The White Range mountains separate the boundaries of Pakistan and Afghanistan. These mountains are up to 15000 feet high and are always covered in snow. These mountains have a section that is 50 km long and naturally covered in caverns. These caverns are inextricably linked to one another. It resembles an underground metropolis where it is impossible to determine a person’s whereabouts. Yes, these caves were created by Americans.
It was a system of caves that existed naturally, and the US sent money to Osama and the Taliban to fortify them. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban’s assistance was desperately required at the time by America. But today, America was quite concerned about this network of caves beneath its surface. Osama bin Laden was there in the same caverns with 700 to 1000 Al-Qaeda members. The US president deferred to the army generals in deciding whether to assault Tora Bora. The US General attacked Al-qaeda in Tora Bora with the assistance of the armies of Britain, Germany, and the Northern Alliance. A Major of the Delta Force was given the reins of the operation Tora Bora.
The US army’s top unit is called Delta Force. It is employed in the most challenging tasks. Up to 50 Delta Force commandos disguised their identities by dressing in Afghan garb. Alongside the US commandos, there were hundreds of local combatants. The local Afghan fighters were under the command of Hazrat Ali and [_] Zaman. From the CIA headquarters, four-star US General Tomy Franks oversaw the entire Tora Bora operation. Additionally, General Franks was in charge of the entire Afghan war. From Kabul, Garry Berntsen, who had been particularly dispatched to Afghanistan for this purpose, was in charge of the operation. On December 3, 2001, General Franks issued a strong bombing order for Tora Bora.
The Tora Bora mountains were heavily bombarded to the very last degree by B-52 planes. The White Range mountains were attacked with up to 300,000 to 400,000 kg of explosives in just 4 days. The most up-to-date tools were utilised to find the people in the Tora Bora hills, and bombs were dropped on even the tiniest hint of a human presence in the caverns. The Al-qaeda members inside the caves were slain using these weapons, or they were forced out to be killed by gunfire or shelling. But despite intense bombing, many caves remained intact.
The US was aware of these caves’ vulnerability because it had previously used them to its advantage. After this heavy bombardment, it was vital to assess the situation on the slopes. What the outcome of the bombardment was, and if anyone was still alive? As a result, radio transmitters and Afghans, a US ally, were transported to the Tora Bora highlands. This team was shocked and surprised to find that Osama bin Laden was still alive and present in these mountains. The Afghan squad also overheard Osama bin Laden speaking. The Afghan crew was able to hear Osama talking to someone thanks to the radio transmitter.
When Operation Garry Berntsen’s head realised this, he compelled the CIA to send ground troops to Tora Bora. If Osama had to be captured, he requested the deploying of the army, rangers, marines, or whatever else. He genuinely intended to mark the location where Osama’s talk was overheard. However, the general who had ordered the shelling of Tora Bora refused to dispatch the troops. Tomy retorted to Bernsten, “And proceed with whatever was available with you. A few hours after this development, Garry Benstsen was dismissed from his position.
The Tor Boar Operation was now under the direction of a Major from the Delta Force. He was informed of the peak where Osma and his friends had been spotted. The US military forces and their partners in Afghanistan were close by. To find Osama bin Laden and his allies, they advanced. However, something strange happened that the Major was unable to imagine. When an Afghan ally named [_] Younas announced a 12-hour ceasefire with Al-qaeda, the Major was speechless.
50 commandos from the Delta Force faced hundreds of Afghan friends. The Afghan allies held the Commandos at gunpoint even as they attempted to advance on their own. The 12-hour standstill was respected. General Franks phoned General Musharraf in the meanwhile to request that the Pakistani side’s access to Tora Bora be stopped. Despite the presence of the Pakistani Army, it was not able to completely close the 50 km long, steep road. Pakistan enquired about US assistance in order to send troops to mountains that are 15,000 feet high quickly. Pakistan requested US helicopters for military airlift. so that the army might arrive quickly and take action to prevent anyone from covertly entering Pakistan.
However, America declined to give Pakistan this assistance. Anyhow, trucks were used to transport Pakistani army forces. They blocked certain crucial routes because Pakistan wished to prevent Al-Qaeda fighters from entering its territory. Americans once more eavesdropped on Osama bin Laden’s talk in Tora Bora. Osama bin Laden looked to be recording what he had to say. Americans learned Osama bin Laden’s exact location through this discussion. Even US forces knew where Osama was hiding out in a cave. The US soldiers observed a tall man and his pals entering the cave.
For hours, American jets blasted this cave. After the Americans were certain that Osama and his friends were dead, the bombardment was stopped. Al-radio Qaeda’s broadcast was now inactive as well. On December 17, 2001, Operation Tora Bora came to an end in the hopes of achieving this. But Osama bin Laden’s video statements were made public in December 2001, 2003, and 2004. In the video that was made public in 2004, Osama appeared to take responsibility for the events of 9/11. In this video, Osama complimented Mohamed Atta, who many consider to be the key figure in 9/11. The US Operation Tora Bora was a disaster, as shown by Osama bin Laden’s video messages.
The next question was: How did Osama bin Laden survive such a ferocious attack? Later, the intelligence data showed Osma had suffered a shoulder injury during the bombardment. And in spite of all predictions, Osama had gone to the Afghan province of Kunar rather than to Pakistan. The Americans did not secure this side because they did not anticipate Osama going this path. Bin Laden and his friends stopped briefly in this little town en route to Kunar. Al-Qaeda members who perished in the US airstrike were also laid to rest in the same area. He left this village for Kunar, travelled there for Nuristan, and then, at an unknown later date, returned to Pakistan.
Although the American mission to overthrow the Taliban government was successful, Osama bin Laden was not apprehended. Do you know what contributed the most to the operation Tora Bora’s failure? A phone call had been made. Before Operation Tora Bora, Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defense, phoned Tomy Franks. The US was then successful in locating and apprehending the most wanted terrorist and dismantling his network. General Franks was instructed by Rumsfeld to prepare for an attack on Iraq and submit a report on it within a week.
The US decision to invade Iraq during the operation in Afghanistan confused Pakistan as well. Why? In Afghanistan, the US unleashed 12,000 bombs, 40% of which were unguided, according to US reports. Consequently, 40% of the bombs failed to reach the target precisely. And as a result, many innocent Afghans were killed on a vast scale. As a result of the widespread panic it caused in Afghanistan, many individuals fled to Pakistan. Nobody was aware of the number of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters who fled to Pakistan from Afghanistan. Additionally, some fighters believed that Pakistan supported their adversary.
Although Osama bin Laden was not captured, the American goal to overthrow the Taliban government was successful. Do you know what contributed most to the failure of Operation Tora Bora? An incoming call was made. Prior to Operation Tora Bora, Tomy Franks had been contacted by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The most wanted terrorist was eventually apprehended, and his network was destroyed, thanks to the US. General Franks was tasked by Rumsfeld to prepare for an invasion of Iraq and report on it within a week.
But why was a significant 9/11 suspect apprehended in Pakistan? All of this will be demonstrated in the upcoming episode of History of Pakistan. But can you remark on why America decided to suddenly move to Iraq? We had already planned for this show to include information about General Musharraf’s referendum. But in order to keep this episode from getting too long, we were unable to do it. Musharraf’s referendum will definitely be covered, Contact Us