Mohammed Omar predicted the current campaign by the USA in Afghanistan 5 years ago, claiming that when the Taleban would not allow the US to build a pipeline “they will begin to attack us, justifying it with Bin Laden”
Omar’s words are reported by Hamid Mir, who made the last interview with Osama Bin Laden, who declared that he is not against the American people, only the politicians and the state. He declared that he has nuclear weapons, which he will use in response to a nuclear attack.
Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist, has interviewed Osama Bin Laden four times since 1997. The last time was inside Afghanistan, two weeks into the current military campaign in Afghanistan. He gave an exclusive interview to the Portuguese Daily Diario de Noticias.
Hamid Mir’s first interview with the Taleban was with Mohammad Omar, the Taleban spiritual leader, in December, 1996. At the time, he remembers, the American Under-Secretary of State for Southern Asia, Robin Raphael, was defending the Taleban in a speech at the United Nations.
Mir met Omar in Kandahar. Mohammad Omar assured Mir that they were not a puppet of the United States but that the USA wanted to manipulate the Taleban. Hamid Mir recalls the exact words used by Omar:
“The USA wants to use us against China and Iran. They have a great interest in building a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, avoiding Iran. Five billion dollars are at stake. We made it clear to the United States that we would not do what they wanted. You will see that when we do not do what they want, they will attack us, justifying it with Bin Laden”.
Hamid Mir’s first interview with Osama Bin Laden was in Jalalabad in 1997, the second in May, 1998, the third in November of that year and the fourth, three weeks ago. He said that the main differences he noted in his interviewee were that he was fatter, his beard suddenly much greyer and his polite and delicate speech of the first interviews had gone. He was now much more terse, more sure of himself and more incisive. He also learnt to speak excellent English. Mir said that in the first interview, Bin Laden’s English was very bad but in the last one, he was constantly correcting the translator, claiming that the translation had not given the exact sense of the question.
In the first interviews, Osama Bin Laden had declared himself against all the American people but he had changed. He admitted that there were many good people in the United States and it was the politicians and State which he despised. He told Mir that he had seen many western people on television protesting at the bombing in Afghanistan and concluded, “They are good people. They are not Moslems, but they condemn the bombing”.
Bin Laden, who spent ten years fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and was ready to help Saudi Arabia push Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army out of Kuwait, declared that the Taleban should have taken to the mountains much earlier, that they were sitting in the cities watching bombs falling on their heads while the Northern alliance played cards in the trenches.
Mir said that during the conversation, Bin Laden had made it clear that something was imminent in the United States, without specifying what, and claimed that he had nuclear weapons which he would deploy if the US armed forces used them first.
Commenting on the military situation, Hamid Mir said that it was complicated for the Northern alliance to hold the country for long because they only have 15,000 troops. This will mean that if the Taleban launch counter-offensives, and to date they have pulled back without losing their heavy equipment, the United States will be committed to sending in large numbers of ground troops, which is exactly what Bin Laden had planned.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru