posted on Feb, 24 2003 @ 11:26 AM
Roughly 1,500 of bin Laden's men are reported still holding out outside Konduz. A similar number is unaccounted for. However, mixed among these
eager students were several hundred Pakistani army officers and soldiers in civilian dress, as well as some 120 Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence,
ISI service agents, representing Pakistan's secret intelligence and logistical support for the Taliban.
Correspondents who entered Konduz with the Northern Alliance quoted local inhabitants as reporting that two nights before the town fell ñ and
immediately after the Pakistani planes flew in ñ heavy Russian Antonov air transports touched down at Konduz airport and gathered up the al-Qaida
"Arabs" ñ with their weapons.
Military sources, after checking on this lead with army intelligence sources in the Indian subcontinent, present this explanation of the mystery as
the most plausible. Those Antonovs were chartered by the Pakistani ISI to lift the al-Qaida contingents together with a few Taliban units out of
Konduz in north Afghanistan into north Pakistan.
And that was not the end of the transfer. It is still going on. Sources report that al-Qaida and their Taliban allies are streaming out of Kandahar in
the south and crossing east into Pakistan. The two forces have thus far grouped some 4,000 fighting men on the Pakistani side.
According to intelligence sources, the United States hurriedly injected Marines to the south Monday in direct response to the enemy's redeployment.
That, too, is why the first U.S. troop engagement was with a Taliban convoy approaching the Pakistani frontier. For the U.S. Marines' immediate
objective is not to join the Northern Alliance offensive for the capture of Mullah Omar's bastion of Kandahar, but to block off the continuing
passage of Taliban and al-Qaida units across the highly porous frontier.
Other al-Qaida fighters are thought to have taken advantage of the turmoil and confusion of battle to creep away to the Hindu Kush Mountains. There
is no evidence of this happening, but it accords with their commanders' original plan; if it came to be, the suicide battle in Mazar-al-Sharif prison
will not the last to be staged in Afghanistan.
Link - www.wnd.com...