Courting/Accepting The Taliban/ Pipelines
"A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas. Unocal says it has agreements both with Turkmenistan to sell its gas and with Pakistan to buy it." World: West Asia BBC December 4th 1997, Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline
"Mr. Chairman, the Caspian region contains tremendous untapped hydrocarbon reserves. Just to give an idea of the scale, proven natural gas reserves equal more than 236 trillion cubic feet. The region's total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels … Unocal foresees a pipeline which would become part of a regional system that will gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040mile long oil pipeline would extend south through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast. This 42-inch diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one million barrels of oil per day." U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, February 12, 1998, Volume 4 Page 16-18. Testifying Unocal representative John Maresca
"The only other possible route option is across Afghanistan, which has its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades. The territory across which the pipeline would extend is controlled by the Taliban, an Islamic movement that is not recognized as a government by most other nations. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders and our company. In spite of this, a route through Afghanistan appears to be the best option with the fewest technical obstacles. It is the shortest route to the sea and has relatively favorable terrain for a pipeline. The route through Afghanistan is the one that would bring Central Asian oil closest to Asian markets and thus would be the cheapest in terms of transporting the oil. Unocal envisions the creation of a Central Asian Oil Pipeline Consortium. The pipeline would become an integral part of a regional oil pipeline system that will utilize and gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia." U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, February 12, 1998, Volume 4 Page 50. Testifying Unocal representative John Maresca
"Only bullet and shrapnel scars beneath their heavy attire would be clues that these visitors were militia commanders, some with ties to Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network. For the next five weeks, the men were feted at private parties, escorted on tours of other local landmarks, including a school and hospital, and given cash for a shopping mall excursion where most bought scented soaps and silk stockings. And just as quietly as they had arrived, the Afghans were shepherded back to Afghanistan -- all expenses paid courtesy of the U.S. government and the University of Nebraska at Omaha." University Helped US Reach Out to Taliban,” Chicago Tribune, October 22, 2001
"Mr. DAMELIN. Let's focus specifically on the oil pipeline issue in the Caucasus. Could you briefly describe what the U.S. policy was in June 1995 with respect to oil pipelines in this part of the world?
Ms. HESLIN. U.S. policy was to promote the rapid development of Caspian energy, specifically through the development of multiple pipelines on commercially viable international terms. We did so specifically to promote the independence of these oil-rich countries to, in essence, break Russia's monopoly control over the transportation of oil from that region which had significantly reduced its flow and frankly to promote western energy security through diversification of supply. So that was our policy. It was a geopolitical decision. We sought to link these countries specifically to the West, while promoting good relations with their neighbors.” Investigation of Illegal Or Improper Activities in Connection with the 1996 Federal Election Campaign: Hearings Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress, First Session, Part 7 Page 98 (Extended quote from book) Sheila Heslin Clinton National Security Council member
The Growth Of Terrorism And Terrorist Organisations
Moscow's specific worry was the spread of fundamentalism and its influence on
Soviet Central Asian Muslims' Afghanistan The Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower By Mohammed Yousaf, Mark Adkin Page 217
"The intelligence agencies of the US and the UK went along with Zia's policy of Arabising/Wahabising the Muslims of Pakistan because this contributed to an increase in the flow of jihadi terrorists to fight against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan." B. Raman, ‘Home-Grown Jihadis (Jundullah) in UK and US’, 6 May 2007
"Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network was able to expand under the safe sanctuary extended by Taliban following Pakistan Directives" Defence Intelligence Agency, ‘Veteran Afghanistan Traveler’s Analysis of Al Qaeda and Taliban Exploitable Weaknesses’, 2 October 2001, National Security Archive, ‘The September 11th Sourcebooks – Volume VII: The Taliban File
"The Tadjik commander from southern Afghantstan, Pakistan also encouraged, facilitated and often escorted arabs from the middle east into Afghanistan. Eventually A special facility was constructed in Zarwa (CRA), in Paktia province, with Pakistan Inter-services Intelligence directorate (ISI) Funding." Defence Intelligence Agency, ‘Veteran Afghanistan Traveler’s Analysis of Al Qaeda and Taliban Exploitable Weaknesses’, 2 October 2001, National Security Archive, ‘The September 11th Sourcebooks – Volume VII: The Taliban File
"They have however been disguised under the cover of dozens of "humanitarian" agencies spread throughout Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Funding has come from now-defunct banks such as the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank and from bin Laden's so-called Advisory and Reformation Committee. One of his largest Islamist front agencies, it was established in London in 1994" Marcia Kurop, ‘Al Qaeda’s Balkan links’, Wall Street Journal Europe, 1 November 2001
"Indeed, to this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said. “Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said." Bin Laden comes home to roost Dec. 10, 2003, NBC By Michael Moran (Michael Moran, “Bin Laden Comes Home to Roost: His CIA Ties Are Only the Beginning of a Woeful Story,” NBC News, August 24, 1998)
Taliban Deals Over Bin Laden
"In the face of widespread famine, limited foreign aid and tough new sanctions, Afghanistan's Taliban regime is finally moving towards a compromise over demands for the extradition of the Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden."Taliban ready to strike a deal on Bin Laden The Guardian Thu 22 Feb 2001
"For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the U.S. without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan’s military leadership said. But U.S. officials appear to have dismissed the proposal and are instead hoping to engineer a split within the Taliban leadership. The offer was brought by Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban foreign minister and a man who is often regarded as a more moderate figure in the regime. He met officials from the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence directorate in Islamabad on Monday. . .
[U]ntil now the Taliban regime has consistently said it has not seen any convincing evidence to implicate the Saudi dissident in any crime. “Now they have agreed to hand him over to a third country without the evidence being presented in advance,” the source close to the military said. . . . The U.S. administration has not publicly supported the idea of a trial for Bin Laden outside America and appears intent on removing from power the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and the hardliners in the regime." The Guardian October 16, 2001 New offer on Bin Laden
"Weeks before the terrorist attacks on 11 September, the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil.
The warnings were delivered by an aide of Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban Foreign Minister at the time, who was known to be deeply unhappy with the foreign militants in Afghanistan, including Arabs." Kate Clark, “Revealed: The Taliban Minister, the US Envoy and the Warning of September 11 That Was Ignored,” Independent, September 6, 2002
"We never heard what they were trying to say," said Milton Bearden, a former CIA station chief who oversaw U.S. covert operations in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "We had no common language. Ours was, 'Give up bin Laden.' They were saying, 'Do something to help us give him up.' "David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post, October 29, 2001
"A SECRET plan to put Osama bin Laden on trial in Pakistan has been blocked after President Musharraf said he could not guarantee his safety, it was disclosed yesterday… The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval, was that within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal." Patrick Bishop, “Pakistan Blocks bin Laden Trial,” Telegraph, October 4, 2001
''When I said no negotiations, I meant no negotiations,'' Mr. Bush told reporters upon landing on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from a weekend of intensive national security briefings at Camp David. He added that he was not interested in discussing Mr. bin Laden's innocence or guilt. ''We know he's guilty,'' he said." Elizabeth Bumiller, “A Nation Challenged: President Rejects Offer by Taliban for Negotiations,” New York Times, October 15, 2001