[shniad at sfu.ca: [R-G] Afghan rebel leader proud to be branded a terrorist by U.S.]
ehrbar at econ.utah.edu
Tue Feb 25 19:58:03 MST 2003
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(During the US covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan the largest
covert operation in the history of the CIA Ronald Reagan received this guy
at the White House and referred to him and his colleagues as the moral
equivalent of our founding fathers.)
Irish Times 24/02/03
Afghan rebel leader proud to be branded a terrorist
By Kathy Gannon
Afghan rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said he is proud that the US has
branded him a terrorist and echoed Osama bin Ladens call for suicide
attacks against Americans, according to a statement released yesterday.
Calling the US the big Satan of the world, Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime
minister, also vowed jihad against US troops in Afghanistan. US forces are
combing eastern Afghanistan for Hekmatyar, his loyalists and Taliban and
I am thankful to Almighty God that the United States of America thinks I am
a terrorist. It is a matter of pride for me that such a strong country wants
to punish me for the sake of my holy religion, Islam, the statement
attributed to Hekmatyar said.
I ask the Muslims of the world to wage a guerrilla war by using suicide
attacks, the statement said. Now is not the time for large group assaults,
but for individual attacks, he said.
The Pashtu-language statement was provided by a security officer in
Hekmatyars Hezb-e-Islami group at an Afghan refugee camp in north-west
Pakistan. Hekmatyars signature was confirmed by a former member. The
statement urged Iraq to respond with suicide bombings if the US attacks.
The former Hezb-e-Islami member, speaking on condition of anonymity because
he feared for his life, said Hekmatyar was seen in Afghanistans eastern
Kapisa province two weeks ago and has been shuttling between Kapisa and the
nearby regions of Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar.
US special forces are stationed in Kunar, where Hekmatyar is believed to
have a significant force. A Western diplomat in the Afghan capital, Kabul,
said Kunar was of particular concern because of its proximity to Pakistan
and hills where fighters can hide.
US troops there have come under regular attack, often the target of
ambushes. In the statement, Hekmatyar denies being affiliated with the
Taliban and with al-Qaida in Afghanistan. US and other Western intelligence
officials, several Taliban and even members of Hekmatyars own group have
said he has ties to bin Ladens group.
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