Germany's spy chief Hanning heavily criticized the US's "war on terror" and revealed tuesday that Osama bin Laden escaped capture in Tora Bora,
Afghanistan in 2002 simply by bribing afghan mercenaries proxying for the US. This contradicts official US explanations according to which Osama bin
Laden's presence in Tora Bora was uncertain. Further according to Hanning, Osama bin Laden since dwelled in the Afghan-Pakistani border area and was
able to win many friends among locals.
ERLIN (AP) - Osama bin Laden bribed Afghan militias to give him free passage into hiding after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, the head of Germany's
spy agency was quoted Tuesday as saying, in remarks critical of the United States.
"The principal mistake was made already in 2001, when one wanted Bin Laden to be apprehended by the Afghan militias in Tora Bora," August Hanning
told the Handelsblatt daily. "There, bin Laden could buy himself free with a lot of money."
The head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service did not explicitly blame the United States, whose forces used Afghans as their eyes and ears in
the hunt for al-Qaida and Taliban after the war, but the context was clear.
Shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan the U.S. commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, acknowledged that some Afghans were probably accepting bribes to free
al-Qaida or Taliban fighters whom the U.S. wished to interrogate - although he did not name Osama bin Laden himself.
Military experts warned at the time that many Afghan tribal leaders were working first to consolidate their own power, viewing the American goals of
capturing al-Qaida figures as secondary.
The failure to catch bin Laden quickly allowed the terrorist leader - blamed by the United States for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and
Washington - to slip away and insulate himself, Hanning said.
"Since then, he has been able to create his own infrastructure in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area and has won many friends from the tribal
groups there," he said.
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An exciting new chapter in the war on terror. When you have mercenaries as your only friends don't be surprised when they sell your security
interests to the highest bidder, in this case OBL. The 25 million reward on his head was an entertaining move by GWB, the only problem seems to be
that OBL's net worth is well above that
[edit on 13-4-2005 by krotzkrotz]