September 12th, 2011
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US not interested in resolving Ossama issue before 9/11

Ossama bin laden, 9/11Afghanistan: Former senior aide to the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar said that the Taliban government in Afghanistan offered to present Osama bin Laden for a trial long before the attacks of September 11, 2001. The US government however, showed no interest.

Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, Taliban’s last foreign minister, also said that his government had made several proposals to the United States to present the al-Qaeda leader, considered the mastermind of the 2001 attacks, for trial for his involvement in plots targeting US facilities during the 1990s. According to him the Taliban relayed their wishes to the US through indirect channels such as the US embassy in Pakistan or the informal Taliban office for the UN in New York.

“Even before the [9/11] attacks, our Islamic Emirate had tried through various proposals to resolve the Osama issue. One such proposal was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference [OIC],” Muttawakil said.”But the US showed no interest in it. They kept demanding we hand him over, but we had no relations with the US, no agreement of any sort. They did not recognize our government,” Muttawakil added.

Robert Grenier, the CIA station chief in Pakistan at the time of 9/11, confirmed that such proposals had been made to US officials. Grenier said the US considered the offers to bring in Bin Laden to trial a “ploy”. Another idea put forth was to bring bin Laden to trial before a group of Ulema [religious scholars] in Afghanistan. “No one in the US government took these [offers] seriously because they did not trust the Taliban and their ability to conduct a proper trial,” Robert Grenier said.

Following the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as US pressure grew, the Taliban insisted on conducting a trial  procedure under the supervision of OIC because they considered it a “neutral international organization”. The OIC is a Saudi Arabia-based organization representing 56 Muslim nations. Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations at the time was occupied by the anti-Taliban resistance, led by Burhanuddin Rabbani, the country’s ousted president, but its seat at the OIC had remained empty, Muttawakil said. But yet again the US did not take these demands seriously.



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