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[Emperor's Clothes]


The creation called Osama

By Shamsul Islam
Reprinted from 'The Hindu' (India) September 27, 2001
[Posted 27 September 2001]

THE UNPRECEDENTED deaths and destruction in two cities of the

U.S. on September 11 has stirred the conscience of the world. It was
the most lethal, ruthless and daring terrorist strike on the nerve centre
of the world's most powerful nation today. The U.S., which promises
to guarantee security to the world, was found wanting in checking the
terrorist strikes at home for more than 40 minutes when the terrorists
had the free run of its major airports, highjacking not one or two but
four domestic planes to be used as flying bombs.

It did not take long for the U.S. establishment to identify the culprits
who masterminded these terrorist acts. These were the `evil' forces of
`Islamic terrorism' led by Osama bin Laden. The mainstream U.S.
media went on to explain these terrorist attacks in the context of the
`clash of civilisations' thesis of Samuel Huntington. There were urgent
calls for "forming a global alliance that will use all tools - diplomatic,
political, economic, educational, investigative, and where appropriate,
force - to pursue and root out the terrorist criminals and their

But it is really surprising that the U.S., mecca of information

technology with its super computers and all kinds of data bases,
should be so greatly short of memory about Osama bin Laden. The
media in the U.S. these days is full of biographical sketches of Osama
bin Laden in which he appears on the world scene in 1990 opposing
the Gulf War and then is shown growing into an anti-West monster,
finally, targeting the U.S. on `Black Tuesday'.

However, it may be news to many ears that Osama's journey as a

terrorist did not start in 1990-1991. Any honest biographical
description of Osama should not overlook his activities in the 1980s
when he was deputed by the CIA to Afghanistan to finance and
oversee the resistance to the Soviets. He was groomed as a theocratic-
terrorist by the U.S. openly. In fact, there is lot of weight in the thesis
that the modern Jehadi-Islam is a byproduct of intrigues by the West
to keep the Islamic world under its suzerainty, devoid of any kind of
democratic processes. And also to use it as a whipping boy
occasionally whenever attention needs to be diverted from issues

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raised by anti-globalisation campaigners.

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

(RAWA), which has a long tradition of opposing the Taliban regime
and paying for it with blood, raised this issue in its September 14 press
statement. While condemning the terrorist attack, the statement went
on to underline the fact that "the people of Afghanistan have nothing
to do with Osama and his accomplices. But unfortunately we must say
that it was the Government of the United States who supported
Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in creating thousands of religious
schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way,
as is clear to all, Osama has been the blue-eyed boy of the CIA''.

How the U.S. and the CIA created Osama and his network has been
well-documented in the book "Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and
Fundamentalism in Central Asia'' by Ahmed Rashid who is the
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far
Eastern Economic Review and The Daily Telegraph of London. This
book which has been published by the Yale University Press clearly
shows who in reality created Osama. Ahmed Rashid in his superb
expose is able to present the factual linkages between the U.S. and the
`monster' which it created. Some of the excerpts are too revealing too
be missed.

In 1986, CIA chief William Casey had stepped up the war against the
Soviet Union by taking three significant, but at that time highly secret,
measures. He had persuaded the U.S. Congress to provide the
Mujaheddin with American-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to
shoot down Soviet planes and provide U.S. advisers to train the
guerrillas. The CIA, Britain's MI6 and the ISI (Pakistan's Inter-
Services Intelligence) also agreed on a provocative plan to launch
guerrilla attacks into the Soviet Socialist Republics of Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan, the soft Muslim underbelly of the Soviet state from where
Soviet troops in Afghanistan received their supplies. Casey was
delighted with the news, and on his next secret trip to Pakistan he
crossed the border into Afghanistan with President Zia to review the
Mujaheddin groups.

"Thirdly, Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI

initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to
Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin. Washington wanted
to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world was fighting the Soviet
Union alongside the Afghans and their American benefactors.''

The book also goes on to show in graphic detail how harmless

madrassas were turned into factories for breeding religious guerillas.
"... between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43
Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central
Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the
Afghan Mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals
came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas that Zia's military
government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border.
Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct
contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the

"In camps near Peshawar and in Afghanistan, these radicals met each

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other for the first time and studied, trained and fought together. It was
the first opportunity for most of them to learn about Islamic
movements in other countries, and they forged tactical and ideological
links that would serve them well in the future. The camps became
virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism''.Interesting details of
Osama's recruitment by the CIA for jehad in Afghanistan are also
available in this book. "Among these thousands of foreign recruits was
a young Saudi student, Osama Bin Laden, the son of a Yemeni
construction magnate, Mohammed Bin Laden, who was a close friend
of the late King Faisal and whose company had become fabulously
wealthy on the contracts to renovate and expand the Holy Mosques of
Mecca and Medina. The ISI had long wanted Prince Turki Bin Faisal,
the head of Istakhbarat, the Saudi Intelligence Service, to provide a
Royal Prince to lead the Saudi contingent in order to show Muslims
the commitment of the Royal Family to the jehad. Only poorer Saudis,
students, taxi drivers and Bedouin tribesmen had so far arrived to
fight. But no pampered Saudi prince was ready to rough it out in the
Afghan mountains. Bin Laden, although not a royal, was close enough
to the royals and certainly wealthy enough to lead the Saudi
contingent so when Bin Laden decided to join up, his family
responded enthusiastically.

He first traveled to Peshawar in 1980 and met the Mujaheddin leaders,

returning frequently with Saudi donations for the cause until 1982,
when he decided to settle in Peshawar. In 1986, he helped build the
Khost tunnel complex, which the CIA was funding as a major arms
storage depot, training facility and medical center for the Mujaheddin,
deep under the mountains close to the Pakistan border.''

The book also demolishes the CIA claim that after 1990 there were no
contacts with Osama. Surprisingly, just a few weeks before the U.S.
Embassy bombings in Africa, the book tells us, "the Saudi conundrum
was even worse. In July 1998 Prince Turki had visited Kandahar and a
few weeks later 400 new pick-up trucks arrived in Kandahar for the
Taliban, still bearing their Dubai license plates''.

This all shows that any meaningful fight back against world terrorism
today will have to begin from the backyard of the U.S.

(The writer is Reader, Department of Political Science, Satyawati

College, University of Delhi.)

Original URL

(C) 'The Hindu' 2001 Reprinted for Fair Use Only

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Further Reading

How can we trust the U.S. government's claim that its

motivation is to fight terror when it has been the main support

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- no, the creator - of terrorist forces in several regions?
Consider the following articles analyzing U.S. operations in
the Balkans. The sources used in these articles are a) the
mainstream media and b) interviews with eyewitnesses.
Feel free to re-post these and other articles written for Emperor's
Clothes in any non-commercial medium. For commercial use, contact
us. When posting, please credit Emperor's Clothes. Thank you.

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is a group of ruthless terrorists

heavily involved in the drug trade. When NATO took over Kosovo,
the KLA marched into the Province alongside the NATO occupiers.

Emperor's Clothes has published eyewitness accounts which describe

in detail how NATO and the KLA have worked together.

1) See for example: 'Driven from Kosovo,' the account by the leader
of the Jewish community of how he and thousands of other residents
were driven from Pristina, capital of Kosovo. Can be read at

2) Also see "What NATO Occupation Would Mean For Macedonians'

- eyewitness accounts of the NATO/KLA takeover of the Kosovo
town of Orahovac. Can be read at

Having installed the KLA in power in Kosovo, NATO is now

providing advisers, weapons and training for these same terrorists in
their latest war, against Macedonia. This is discussed in several
Emperor's Clothes articles which are supported by citations from
mainstream media and reliable eyewitness accounts. For a list of these
articles go to

One of the most revealing articles is by Canadian military analyst

Scott Taylor, who recently traveled to Macedonia and talked to the
terrorist leaders. See "Terrorist Thug Boasts: "Thanks to Uncle Sam,
Macedonians are no match for us!" at

3) Belarus, a former Soviet Republic in the strategic Baltic region, is a

thorn in NATO's side because it insists on independence from NATO.
Having apparently failed to create a successful Fifth Column within
the country, the U.S. Ambassador has openly declared Washington's
intention to overthrow the Belarussian government, using techniques
developed in the Contra war against the Nicaraguan Sandanistas in the
1980s. Indeed, the Ambasssador, Michael Kozak, is one of the
operatives involved in Iran Contra.

'Tough Measures Needed in Belarus!' Can be read at

If the U.S. government is not motivated by the "fight against

terrorism" then what is it really after? Here is an analysis from the
editors of Emperor's Clothes:

Why Washington Wants Afghanistan' at http://emperors-

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