Clearing Osama bin Laden

Clearing Osama bin Laden

 (Last Updated 11:10 GMT, 04 July 2012, new text in green)

Osama bin Laden was not a terrorist, he was a good man, a humanitarian ready to take up arms to defend causes he thought just. In that sense he was no different to the soldiers we celebrate as heroes, and the outcomes of his actions are just as debatable as the outcomes of the West’s military follies around the world.

After a privileged upbringing in a very wealthy family, Osama stayed true to his principles and when he saw the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan he responded. Fresh from college, aged twenty-two, he used his inherited wealth and his knowledge of civil engineering to contribute what he could to the fight against Soviet occupation. He was involved in combat but never claimed to be a warrior, instead admitting how scared he had been sheltering in a muddy hole from the gunfire whizzing above his head.

Other than construction work, a principle role he took was recruiting Arab Jihadists to join the Mujahideen cause. With significant support from Yemeni General Ali Mohsen, they managed to recruit about 10,000 Arab Mujahideen, 3,000 of whom were Yemenis. Osama also acted as a principle liaison between the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), as well as building high-level contacts within the global Jihadi movement, men such as Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Abdullah Yusuf Azzam.

Although the Soviets did not withdrawal until February 1989, they were effectively defeated by 1987 with the arrival of the CIA funded, SIS supplied stinger missiles that destroyed the invaders air superiority. Also in 1987 Osama is known to have requested permission to visit Yemen. I believe he made this trip to Yemen and in conjunction with Yemeni General Mohsen they established what he later referred to as a training camp in a secluded valley one-mile from a town called al Qa’idah. At the same time his associates Sayyaf and Azzam were establishing military training camps for global Jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan, men such as Ramzi Yousef (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew) who in 1993 bombed the World Trade Centre in New York.

But I believe Osama’s camp in Yemen was different – an assertion based on my visit to that valley in 1997, as detailed in this nine-minute youtube testimony. The approach to the valley was impressive with steep cliffs on one side, the foothills to a mountain range in central Yemen. 

 al Qa’idah al Askariya, was the valley’s original name, translation: "the soldiers place by the garrison town"

Upon entering the valley I was aware of two things, the natural beauty and a tranquil silence save for the birds and the breeze. It felt very much like a sanctuary. Combining my first-hand knowledge of that valley with its close proximity to al Qa’idah town and Taiz International airport has led me to conclude that this was not a military training camp. This was something more akin to a rehabilitation-centre for the War weary and battle damaged Arab Mujahideen returning from their victory over a world super power.

When I returned from Afghanistan in October 2012 we stopped off in Cyprus for 24-hours, for what was termed “decompression”, a break to ease the transition from a War footing back to a home environment. After a day on the beach, short horse rides and other activities we had a BBQ, a couple of beers, a live show - a comedian and a band I think - and a movie. It was transformative.

And that is what I think Osama bin Laden setup in Yemen in 1987, a sanctuary for the returning thousands of Arab Mujahideen who’d volunteered to defend a small nation from a super power’s might. It’ll be where this copied New York Times (NYT) October 2001 report about al Qaeda being funded through the sale of honey originated too, quote:

"One key location, they said, is Yemen, which produces some of the purest and most expensive honey in the region and which is home to many supporters of Mr. bin Laden. His father was born in Yemen.

New York Times, October 2001

I imagine the valley besides al Qa’idah town was littered with beehives, but they weren’t funding international terrorism, just nourishing the body, minds and souls of these Jihadist veterans during their “decompression”. I also suspect the NYT story is a CIA plant, a psyop to mock / unerve their opponents. knowing the personalities of these people (CIA contractors and compliant journalists), I say it was to amuse themselves and reflect on how clever they were. I suspect they are the US National Security Agency working in conjunction with the Deep State (business moguls, financiers, War profiteers and a fourth horseperson of the apocalypse).

But I am not naïve and I don’t imagine it was all flowers and smiles at the valley retreat. Either Wahhabi or a similarly devout interpretation of the Koran would have been studied and observed. These were men whod helped defeat a super power in a long and hard fought War, and I am sure they had far greater ambitions after that achievement. But those ambitions varied widely amongst those present at the August 1988 meeting in Peshawar Pakistan that marked the founding of the group we have come to know as al Qaeda.

work in progress