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Mastermind behind Osama bin Laden’s escape from US bombing of Tora Bora is back in charge of Taliban

The leader of Osama bin Laden’s former Black Guard and mastermind behind his escape from the U.S. bombing at Tora Bora in 2001 is now back in charge of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

‘Anwar ul Haq Mujahid, the son of Younus Khalis, has returned with hundreds of vehicles and thousands of supporters to his family’s seat of power and to a heroic welcome in Jalalabad,’ a senior Afghan intelligence official who was recently deposed told the Daily Beast. 

The official claims that Mujahid’s command is joined by others who helped al Qaeda in 2001. 

‘Everyone who worked closely with al Qaeda in 2001 is back in his entourage, which arrived by air from Doha to help establish the new government in Kabul and then travelled overland this past week from Kabul to Jalalabad. He is now in charge of both Taliban and foreign fighters in Eastern Afghanistan, including a Chechen contingent.’ 

Filippo Rossi, a journalist on the ground in Afghanistan, and a senior U.N. political official also confirmed Mujahid’s return as military commander. 

Anwar ul Haq Mujahid (pictured), the leader of Osama bin Laden’s former Black Guard, is now back in charge of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Sources say Mujahid has been holding court daily in a reception hall as hundreds of Taliban fighters and villagers gather to ‘listen to his wisdom and advice on the implementation of Sharia law’.

He is joined in leadership by Amin ul Haq, another former Black Guard member, who also recently returned to Jalalabad.

The two leaders – who arrived in Jalalabad a week apart – both have commands featuring hundreds of fighters and have already been exerting their authority.

As cited in by the news outlet, Afghans fleeing Kabul and attempting to seek refuge in Pakistan have faced ‘heavy harassment and intimidation from soldiers under the command of both men’ as they attempt to pass through Jalalabad. 

‘They are brutal,’ Rossi said describing both men. 

Meanwhile, the Taliban continue to deny their alliance with with al Qaeda although reports revealed before the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country revealed the two groups were ‘closely aligned’. 

Mujahid, along with Amin ul Haq, is leading a command with hundreds of Taliban fighters. He has been holding court daily allowing Taliban fighters and villagers gather to 'listen to his wisdom and advice on the implementation of Sharia law' (Pictured: Taliban fighters patrolling a market in Kabul on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021)

Mujahid, along with Amin ul Haq, is leading a command with hundreds of Taliban fighters. He has been holding court daily allowing Taliban fighters and villagers gather to ‘listen to his wisdom and advice on the implementation of Sharia law’ (Pictured: Taliban fighters patrolling a market in Kabul on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021)

The Taliban continues to deny their alliance with al Qaeda although reports revealed the two groups are 'closely aligned'. Al Qaeda issued a congratulatory message to the Taliban once they took over Afghanistan in August. The two groups are also accused of strengthening their military and financial bonds through marriage (Pictured: Taliban fighters in Kabul on Sept. 11)

The Taliban continues to deny their alliance with al Qaeda although reports revealed the two groups are ‘closely aligned’. Al Qaeda issued a congratulatory message to the Taliban once they took over Afghanistan in August. The two groups are also accused of strengthening their military and financial bonds through marriage (Pictured: Taliban fighters in Kabul on Sept. 11)

‘Al Qaeda remains in Afghanistan and closely associated with the Taliban: These are facts documented by the U.N. and others,’ former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann told the news outlet.

‘Al Qaeda branches as far away as North Africa are celebrating the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.’ 

The groups are also accused of strengthening their military and financial bonds through marriage.

Additionally, al Qaeda reportedly issued a congratulatory message to the Taliban for their ‘August victory’. 

Despite assurances from U.S. leaders, the Taliban’s resurgence has many people fearing that officials won’t be able to provide help to the Afghan public.

‘The international donor community is taking a huge risk assuming that the Taliban will distribute aid in a neutral, need-based way,’ Jonathan Terra, a former State Department official in Afghanistan and conflict analyst for NATO said. 

Mujahid is recognized as the mastermind behind Osama bin Laden's (pictured) retreat from Jalalabad into Tora Bora in November 2001. He was aided by ul Haq who helped bin Laden get to a safe haven in Pakistan where he hid for a decade.

Mujahid is recognized as the mastermind behind Osama bin Laden’s (pictured) retreat from Jalalabad into Tora Bora in November 2001. He was aided by ul Haq who helped bin Laden get to a safe haven in Pakistan where he hid for a decade.

Ul Haq was also responsible for laying the groundwork for the battle of Tora Bora (pictured)

Ul Haq was also responsible for laying the groundwork for the battle of Tora Bora (pictured)

‘They are a brutal, self-interested, mostly ethnic Pashtun Pakistani proxy government whose leaders were able to seize power only through financial support, sanctuary and the backing of Pakistani armed forces.’  

There is also concern that with Mujahid and ul Haq back in power that even more of the Afghan publics needs won’t be met.

Mujahid is recognized as the mastermind behind Osama bin Laden’s retreat from Jalalabad into Tora Bora in November 2001, according to a 2009 U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation.

Ul Haq was responsible for laying the groundwork for the battle of Tora Bora and is credited with helping bin Laden get to a safe haven in Pakistan where he hid for a decade. 

The two leaders are also attributed with laying the necessary ‘proverbial golden eggs’ that ultimately led to bin Laden and his followers carrying out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers.  

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