Ex-Taliban official reveals how Al-Qaeda killed Masood | india | Hindustan Times
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Ex-Taliban official reveals how Al-Qaeda killed Masood

The revelation comes five yrs after the famed resistance leader died when a bomb planted in the camera exploded.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 23:57 IST
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The beat-up video camera was delivered to Afghanistan in a box, and picked up by two clean-shaven Arabs posing as journalists. They met Osama Bin Laden before leaving on their mission to kill Mujahedeen hero, Ahmad Shah Massood.

Five years after the famed resistance leader died when a bomb planted in the camera exploded, a former Taliban official has revealed how Al-Qaeda plotted the killing two days before the September 11 attacks on America hoping to strike a fatal blow to the pro-Washington Northern Alliance before an anticipated US Invasion.

Waheed Mozhdah, then director of the Afghan Foreign Ministry's Middle East and Africa department, showed a copy of what he said was a signed letter dated September 13, 2001, from Bin Laden to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, urging him to launch an offensive on the alliance.

In the letter, written in Arabic, Bin Laden says that if America fails to respond to the September 11 attacks, it will decline as a superpower, but if it starts fighting, it will be a major blow to its economy and it will face the same destiny as the Soviet Union, whose ill-fated 1980s occupation of Afghanistan heralded its disintegration.

Few details have emerged before of how Al-Qaeda plotted to murder Massood, the "Lion of Panjshi" who fought the Soviets and led the resistance against the Taliban. At the time, his Northern Alliance was under siege, barely clinging on to a mountainous northern corner of the country.