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New Update - March 19, 2004
Taliban File Part III
Pakistan Provided Millions of Dollars, Arms,
and "Buses Full of Adolescent Mujahid"
to the Taliban in the 1990's

For release 30 January 2004
For more information contact
Sajit Gandhi, (202) 994-7000

Taliban File Update

U.S. Pressed Taliban to Expel Usama bin Laden Over 30 Times

Only Three Approaches in First Year of Bush Administration


Washington, DC - The U.S. government pressed the Taliban to expel Usama bin Laden over 30 times between 1996, when the Taliban took Kabul, and the summer of 2001, but the talks were always fruitless and only three of the approaches took place in the first year of the Bush administration, according to a newly declassified State Department summary posted on the Web today.

Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, the previously SECRET NODIS document updates the Archive's Web posting of "The Taliban File," the seventh volume of the September 11th Sourcebook series. The report was recently declassified, along with five others, by the State Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated October 13, 2001.

The report indicates that:

  • Following the August 1998 Embassy bombings, Mullah Omar, in a telephone conversation with State Department officials, expressed interest in a confidential dialogue with the U.S.
  • As early as 1996, the U.S. warned the Taliban that harboring bin Laden and allowing him and his supporters to transit Afghan territory at will and to conduct uncontrolled activities greatly hurt prospects for Afghanistan rejoining the world community.
  • UBL had murdered Americans and continued to plan attacks against Americans and others; The U.S. would hold the Taliban leadership accountable for any of these attacks.
  • The U.S. had knowledge, since 1997, of the location of militant training camps in Afghanistan, and had planned, in accord with the Taliban, to visit these camps.
  • The Taliban, in order to halt American concern over bin Laden, suggested, in October 1999, a trial by a panel of Islamic scholars or monitoring of "UBL Afghanistan" by the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) or the United Nations (UN).
State Department Report, "U.S. Engagement with the Taliban on Usama Bin Laden," Secret, Circa July 16, 2001, 9 pp.
Source: Freedom of Information Act request

Click below to see the original posting on the Taliban from September 11, 2003:

The September 11th Sourcebooks Volume VII: The Taliban File

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