2001 in Afghanistan - September


  • September 1 - About two dozen foreign aid workers were expelled from Afghanistan by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan for allegedly preaching Christianity. The workers were from the international aid organization SERVE and the International Assistance Mission.
  • The parents of U.S. citizens Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer visited their daughters for about 30 minutes accompanied by U.S. diplomat David Donahue. Curry, Mercer and six other foreign aid workers (two Germans and four Australians) with Shelter Now International on charges of spreading Christianity. Eight of the foreign aid workers were transferred late from Kabul's juvenile correction center to an unknown place.
  • September 2 - 438 asylum seekers (420 from Afghanistan) saved August 26 remained on board the MS Tampa, a Norwegian freighter, stranded in the Indian Ocean. An Australian troop ship was en route to transfer them to Papua New Guinea, where they would be split up and sent to New Zealand and to Nauru. Mahmoud Saikal, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan consul to Australia, praised Naura and New Zealand, and condemned Australia.
  • The United Nations called for fair trials for all 24 foreign and Afghan aid workers detained by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The detainees were charged with promoting Christianity.
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil assured relief organizations that, other than SERVE, International Assistance Mission, and Shelter Now International, no other foreign aid groups were under scrutiny for preaching Christianity.
  • September 3 - In Kabul, Afghanistan, the trial began for eight foreign aid workers, as the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court held preliminary deliberations. Evidence included Bibles and video and audio tapes, along with investigation files from the religious police. Shelter Now denied its staff were involved in missionary work, however the Taliban claimed to have written confessions from the detainees. The accused were Georg Taubmann, Katrin Jelinek, Margrit Stebner and Silke Durrkopf, all German; Australians Peter Bunch and Diana Thomas; and U.S. citizens Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer.
  • September 4 - Intense fighting erupted between Taliban forces and the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan in Kapisa province. Elsewhere, the Taliban captured two important areas, Khanqa and Sang-e-Bada southwest of Mahmood Raqi, provincial capital of Kapisa.
  • September 5 - The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan denied Western diplomats access to a court where eight foreign aid workers were on trial for promoting Christianity, but Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Saqib said the defendants could hire foreign lawyers. He also said that the defendants could face hanging. Despite repeated requests, Australian, German and U.S. consuls in Kabul had been denied any meetings with Taliban authorities for a week.
  • The wife of jailed Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman sent letters to U.S. president George W. Bush and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leadership to urge them to exchange Abdel-Rahman for the eight foreign workers standing trial.
  • September 6 - The United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, arrived in Kabul, saying the trial of the arrested foreign aid workers would be meaningful only if it is held in an open court. Despite an earlier promise to do so, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan had not allowed journalists, Western diplomats or relatives of the accused any access to the proceedings.
  • Afghan Foreign Minister Abdul Wakil Motawakil said that, with some "rare" exceptions, all international flights over Afghanistan, including those by the U.N. and International Committee of the Red Cross, would be stopped unless the United Nations released funds from frozen aviation accounts. The United Nations Security Council had banned international flights by Ariana Afghan Airlines except for humanitarian reasons as part of sanctions imposed over the Taliban's refusal to extradite suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.
  • The World Food Programme announced that Afghanistan was on the brink of famine, and appealed for $151 million to fund an "emergency operation".
  • The Central Board of Revenue of Pakistan approved zero-rated export of cement and tobacco leaf to Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan via land route.
  • September 7 - The trial of eight foreign aid workers detained in Afghanistan on charges of preaching Christianity went into recess for a weekly holiday.
  • September 8 - Eight foreign aid workers on trial for promoting Christianity in Afghanistan appeared for the first time in the Supreme Court, and said they were innocent of proselytising. The hearing was presided over by Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Saqib and 18 other judges. One of the six female defendants was wearing the head-to-toe cloak which is mandatory for Afghan women in public, while the others had veils over their hair only. The defendants walked slowly into the court under the escort of armed guards, who did not allow them to answer questions from journalists waiting outside the court. The mother of one of the US prisoners and the father of another accompanied their daughters into the court, but the cousin of the Australian man was kept waiting outside along with Australian, German and US diplomats.
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took control of the Shokhi and Khan Aqa districts in Kapisa province after several days of heavy clashes with the Afghan Northern Alliance led by Ahmad Shah Masood.
  • September 9 - Afghan opposition leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated. A suicide bomber, posing as a journalist, blew himself up after gaining access to Masood's office. The suicide bomber was killed along with one of Masood's followers, and the Afghan commander's guards killed the second person posing as a journalist. The terrorists first conducted interviews with opposition soldiers in Shomali before meeting with Massoud. The bomb was either hidden in the camera or concealed around the waist of one of the terrorists. Massoud did not die immediately, and underwent emergency surgery at a hospital in Tajikistan.
  • A formal National Security Presidential Directive submitted on September 9, 2001, had outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the September 11 attacks. The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaeda, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan, including outlines to persuade Afghanistan's Taliban government to turn bin Laden over to the United States, with provisions to use military force if it refused.
  • The Afghan Supreme Court resumed the trial of eight foreign aid workers held for allegedly preaching Christianity, but no detainees, diplomats or journalists were present.
  • In Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan jailed 35 Afghan employees of one of the recently expelled foreign assistance groups.
  • September 10 - More than 135 Taliban were killed and 75 captured in an attack by opposition forces on Taliban positions in Eshkamesh and Chal districts of Takhar province, Afghanistan.
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan jets bombed residential areas in Khuram, Afghanistan, wounding six people and destroying three houses.
  • More than 30 Taliban fighters were killed or wounded in the Safid Kotal area of Afghanistan when two trucks carrying them hit landmines.
  • The United Nations World Food Programme appealed to international donors for US$150 million to assist the estimated 5.5 million suffering people in Afghanistan.
  • September 11 - Suicide attacks on the U.S. kill more than 3,000 people and destroy the two towers of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon, using three hijacked passenger airliners as missiles, with a fourth, also hijacked, crashing in a field in Pennsylvania. Early speculation about the source of the attack centered on Saudi-born terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who was living in and working from Afghanistan. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leaders condemned the attacks and rejected suggestions that Osama bin Laden could be behind them.
  • Rocket explosions and anti-aircraft fire rocked Kabul, Afghanistan. Both the U.S. and Afghan oppositional forces denied involvement.
  • September 12 - In an internationally televised address, U.S. president George W. Bush announced a "war against terrorism" intent on targeting both terrorists and those who harbored terrorists. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was implied in this declaration.
  • Germany said that the 23 German nationals in Afghanistan had been told to leave the country due to safety concerns.
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan militia said it would consider requests for the extradition of terror suspect Osama bin Laden based on evidence from U.S. investigators.
  • Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese doctor, traveled from Peshawar in Pakistan to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese health clinic staffers. He stayed in Jalalabad for three days, providing medical attention to refugees.
  • USS Enterprise, on its way home from its deployment, was turned around to join USS Carl Vinson in the Fifth Fleet area of operations.
  • September 13 - In anticipation of U.S. strikes, Muslim militants were reported fleeing Kabul, Afghanistan, while other residents were said to be digging trenches around the city.
  • The Afghan Northern Alliance named General Mohammad Fahim as the new leader to replace the deceased Ahmed Shah Massoud.
  • United States Secretary of State Colin Powell confirmed that Osama bin Laden was a suspect, but not the only suspect, for the September 11th attacks. Powell was in contact with Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf to build cooperation in fighting terrorism and to discuss the possibility of U.S. usage of Pakistani air space. Powell also announced that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage would soon travel to Moscow for talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov about Afghanistan.
  • A British security official said that, if evidence emerges that Saudi-born exile Osama bin Laden was behind the September 11th attack, an attack on Afghanistan was an option that NATO was considering. NATO denied the report.
  • Three Western diplomats, representing eight aid workers on trial for allegedly preaching Christianity, left Afghanistan amid an exodus of foreigners concerned over possible U.S. attacks. Family members of the detainees also left the country. However, the eight aid workers remained in the custody of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan militia as an Islamic court continued their trial behind closed doors.
  • Senior diplomats from Russia, India, Iran and Uzbekistan met in Tajikistan to discuss possible assistance to anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov met with Indian Deputy Foreign Minister Omar Abdullah.
  • The United Nations and several foreign aid organizations completed a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan, fearing a U.S. strike.
  • September 14 - United States Secretary of State Colin Powell warned the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan militia that they could not separate their own activities from the activities of terrorists harbored within their borders.
  • Eric Schultz of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkmenistan met with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov to discuss responses to the September 11th attacks.
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leaders warned of revenge "by other means" if the United States attacked Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11th attacks. Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi and Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mamoun Hudaibi echoed the warning and defended the point of view.
  • The World Food Programme warned that, following exodus of aid workers, about 1.5 million Afghans could emigrate out of Afghanistan in search of food. The U.N. estimated that, to date, Afghanistan had 900,000 internally displaced persons and that there were more than three million Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan alone. Furthermore, the U.N. estimated that a quarter of the population (5.5 million people) would be reliant on food aid if they were to stay alive through November.
  • Akil Akilov, the prime minister of Tajikistan, said that his nation was not yet prepared to guarantee the United States air space should the Bush administration decide to launch retaliatory strikes against suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Moscow would not allow NATO forces to be stationed in any of the former Soviet republics.
  • US Congress authorized president George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against the terrorists who orchestrated the September 11th attacks. The vote in the U.S. Senate was unanimous. There was only one dissenting ballot in the United States House of Representatives.
  • In Ashkhabad, U.S. envoy Eric Schultz met with Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov to brief him on proposed retaliatory measures against the September 11th attacks.
  • The Pakistan Ulema Council called for a jihad against the United States if they attack Afghanistan. Council vicechair Maulana Naseeruddin organized rallies and "Death to America" conferences around Pakistan.
  • September 15 - United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Pakistan agreed to cooperate if the United States decided to strike Afghanistan. The Washington Post reported Pakistani officials had agreed to allow the United States to use Pakistani airspace in the event of a military strike against Afghanistan, but Pakistan would not involve its forces in any action beyond its own geographical boundaries.
  • As U.S. president George W. Bush met with his national security team at Camp David, he told reporters that Osama bin Laden was a prime suspect in the September 11th attacks. Bush added that bin Laden was mistaken if he thought he could avoid capture or death.
  • Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a call for jihad against the United States and its supporters if they attacked or assisted an attack on Afghanistan. The Taliban also asked all foreigners to leave Afghanistan in view of a possible attack by the United States.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov expressed implicit Russian support for a possible U.S. armed intervention in Afghanistan.
  • India, which did not share a formal military relationship with the United States, decided to allow its facilities to be used for strikes against Afghanistan. India also provided the United States with intelligence information on training camps of Islamic militants in the region.
  • Aziz al-Rahman, an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan diplomat, said Osama bin Laden was free to leave Afghanistan but would not be forced out.
  • Iran announced it deployed military and police forces to seal its 560 mile border with Afghanistan to prevent a possible influx of refugees.
  • People's Republic of China Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that claims made by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal of connections between China and the Taliban were false.
  • September 16 - U.S. president George W. Bush told his military to get ready for a long War on Terrorism, adding that they would smoke the enemies "out of their holes".
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan information minister, Qadratullah Jamal, said that Afghanistan had "fortified our bunkers and our important installations, including military bases and airfields."
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leader Mullah Mohammed Omar met with senior clerics and received their support.
  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement removed its remaining 15 foreign aid workers from Afghanistan.
  • Osama bin Laden published a statement to the Afghan Islamic Press that he was not responsible for the September 11th attacks. In the statement bin Laden said "The U.S. is pointing the finger at me but I categorically state that I have not done this."
  • Afghan Northern Alliance Foreign Minister Abdullah offered full support to the United States in any operations, including 15,000 of its fighters for any possible strike on Osama bin Laden.
  • Thousands attended the funeral of Ahmad Shah Masood, former commander of the Afghan Northern Alliance, who was buried in his home village of Basarak in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan.
  • The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan urged the U.S. to show restraint in attacking Afghanistan, hoping that the U.S. "could differentiate between the people of Afghanistan and a handful of fundamentalist terrorists."
  • Iranian President Mohammad Khatami condemned the assassination of Afghan Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Masood.
  • Pakistan asked the United Nations for permission to travel to Afghanistan on September 16 to petition Kabul to turn over Osama bin Laden.
  • A Pakistani newspaper reported that Osama bin Laden had sneaked out of Kandahar, along with his wives, children and followers and moved to an undisclosed secret location in Afghanistan.
  • The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council unanimously condemned the September 11th attacks and assured the United States they were ready to take part in its War on Terrorism.
  • A Russian division of 7,000 men based in Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, was placed on heightened combat alert. However, Tajikistan announced it would not allow Western nations to launch attacks on Afghanistan from its territory. Tajikistan was struggling to recover from a five-year civil war between Islamic opposition forces and a hard-line secular government, and was heavily dependent on Russia for military and political support.
  • The last of Western aid workers left Afghanistan.
  • To date, Afghans made up the single biggest refugee group in the world with more than 2.6 million in exile, mainly in Pakistan and Iran.
  • September 17 - Pakistan placed its army on alert ahead of a possible U.S. attack on Afghanistan.
  • Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the September 11th attacks but added that attacking Afghanistan might cause a human catastrophe and could trigger more problems for the United States.
  • Afghanistan shut down its airspace, two weeks after threatening to close it if the United Nations did not lift sanctions against Ariana Afghan Airlines. Although no flights were landing in Afghanistan, many flights were flying across Afghan airspace. Each time an aircraft flew over Afghanistan the airline had to pay Ariana $400. The money was deposited in accounts in Geneva that were frozen because of the sanctions.
  • In Kandahar, a delegation of Pakistani officials led by intelligence chief General Mahmood Ahmed held a morning meeting with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leadership, including Mullah Mohammed Omar, to discuss cooperation with the United States.
  • Tajikistan's armed forces were placed on alert following reports that 5,000 Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan fighters in Afghanistan had approached the border.
  • Pakistan's army reported that Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan troops of between 20,000 and 25,000 had been deployed just across the border from the Khyber Pass. A Pakistani army officer said Pakistan had reinforced its own troops fanned out along the region.
  • Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised the United States against a full-scale war in Afghanistan.
  • September 18 - Ruud Lubbers, who was serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, visited Washington, D.C. to warn the United States Department of State that millions of Afghans had already faced starvation and homelessness and U.S. attacks "might hit additionally" many more.
  • The BBC News reported that Niaz Naik, a former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, claimed that he had been told by senior American officials in mid-July 2001 that military action against Afghanistan would begin by the middle of October at the latest. The message was conveyed during a meeting on Afghanistan between senior U.S., Russian, Iranian, and Pakistani diplomats. The meeting was the third in a series of meetings on Afghanistan, with the previous meeting having been held in March 2001. During the July 2001 meeting, Naik was told that Washington would launch its military operation from bases in Tajikistan – where American advisers were already in place – and that the wider objective was to topple the Taliban regime and install another government in place.
  • The United Nations Security Council demanded that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan "immediately and unconditionally" hand over Osama bin Laden.
  • Afghan Information Minister Qudrutullah Jamal condemned the September 11th attacks.
  • A delegation of Pakistani officials led by intelligence chief General Mahmood Ahmed flew from Kandahar to Kabul to negotiate with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leaders, including Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhond and Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil.
  • Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, the head of the National Salvation Front of Afghanistan and first President of the Mujahideen government, condemned the September 11th attacks and urged the United States to exercise restraint.
  • Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, from his safe house in Iran, condemned the potential attack by the United States on Afghanistan, and threatened to band with other groups to resist it. Hekmatyar said also that he had no reason to disbelieve Osama bin Laden's denial of involvement in the September 11th attacks.
  • In Afghanistan, a meeting of the shura, a collection of 1,000 village clerics and mullahs, was scheduled to decide the fate of Osama bin Laden, but the council could not reach Kabul in time. The meeting was postponed one day.
  • In an address on the Taliban's Radio Shariat, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Interior Minister Mullah Abdul Razzaq called for volunteers willing to fight against an invasion of the United States.
  • Iran Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi cautioned against a U.S. military strike on Afghanistan.
  • The United Nations World Food Programme warned that an estimated 3.8 million Afghans, completely dependent on outside aid, had only enough food stocks for two to three weeks.
  • India announced that Afghan refugees living in the country would have to register themselves.
  • Officials in Pakistan and Tajikistan reported 10,000 Afghans fleeing into their borders. However Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Maulvi Abdul Hai Mutmaem denied reports that people were fleeing Kabul and Kandahar.
  • The National Post reported that Iran sent a message to the United States government via Canada stating it would not oppose targeted military strikes against those responsible for the September 11th attacks.
  • September 19 - Official beginning of United States' combat activities in Afghanistan, as designated by president George W. Bush in his "Afghanistan Combat Zone Executive Order" on December 12, 2001.
  • The United States ordered over 100 military aircraft to the Persian Gulf region.
  • The USS Theodore Roosevelt left Norfolk, Virginia for the Persian Gulf as part of a 14-ship battle group.
  • In Kabul, Afghanistan, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar announced he was ready to hold talks with the United States. He also urged the U.S. to use patience and to gather and turn over evidence to the Taliban Supreme Court. Omar suggested that the U.S. was using Osama bin Laden as a pretext to topple the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The U.S. government responded by stating it wanted action, not negotiations.
  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Interior Minister Mullah Abdul Razzaq urged Afghan citizens to support a jihad.
  • Fearing a U.S. response, an exodus of thousands of Afghan peoples headed for Iran and Pakistan.
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan asked that CNN leave Afghanistan.
  • A Pakistani delegation sent to Kabul, Afghanistan to convince the Taliban movement to hand over Osama bin Laden also visited the eight detained Shelter Now International workers on trial for spreading Christianity. The delegation spokesman said the detainees appeared well and in good spirits.
  • September 20 - Tajikistan president Emomali Rakhmonov said refugees fleeing Afghanistan would not be permitted into Tajikistan.
  • Iran set up refugee camps on Afghan soil and asked relief organizations to help provide services to the camps. Iran also ordered its troops to seal its border with Afghanistan. Iran also stated that it would not allow the U.S. warplanes to use Iranian air space to attack Afghanistan.
  • In Afghanistan, the shura, a council of 1,000 village clerics and mullahs, issued an edict that called on the Taliban to persuade Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan, but the United States rejected the suggestion.
  • Mullah Mohammed Omar appealed to guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir to return to Afghanistan to defend against attacks. The shura also warned that any attacks on Afghanistan would cause a jihad.
  • U.S. president George W. Bush addressed the United States Congress and demanded that the Taliban deliver Osama bin Laden and destroy bases of al Qaeda.
  • The Afghan Northern Alliance capture of several Taliban posts and dozens of villages in Samangan province, Afghanistan.
  • Uzbekistan and Tajikistan both agreed to allow the United States Air Force to use their facilities to mount patrols and combat missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • September 21 - U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested that the United States would seek to work with the Afghan Northern Alliance in future operations in Afghanistan.
  • The Afghan Northern Alliance drove the Taliban out of Dara-i-suf, Afghanistan.
  • In Islamabad, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, stated that until evidence was procured, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was not prepared to surrender Osama bin Laden to the United States.
  • In Karachi, Pakistan, an estimated 40,000 people protested against potential U.S. strikes on Afghanistan. Four protesters were killed and ten police officers were injured. Other protests in Peshawar (10,000 protesters), Quetta (3,000 protesters), and Islamabad (1,500 protesters) occurred without incident.
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan requested the United Nations suspend all communications from Kabul to the outside world.
  • A crisis meeting of European Union foreign ministers agreed unanimously to support the right of the United States to attack Afghanistan.
  • September 22 - Japan's Ministry of Finance announced that payments or fund transfers to accounts in Afghanistan and to Taliban-related individuals living outside Afghanistan needed its permission.
  • In Afghanistan, an unmanned U.S. spy plane collecting intelligence for the CIA was shot down over Samangan Province by Taliban forces.
  • U.S. transport planes landed at the military airfield in Tuzel, Uzbekistan.
  • Turkey announced that it would allow U.S. transport planes to use its bases and airspace.
  • Taliban forces pounded Afghan Northern Alliance positions in Samangan Province and Balkh Province, Afghanistan.
  • The United States Defense Department called to active duty another 5,000 Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members, bringing the total number of active reservists to more than 10,000.
  • Scores of Afghan men threw rocks and bricks at the gate of the U.S. embassy, screaming "death to America." The embassy had been abandoned since 1988.
  • Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan said his country would keep open diplomatic ties with the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan.
  • The United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan after failing to persuade Taliban leadership to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolution demanding the hand over of Osama bin Laden.
  • Mohammed Fahim, the military leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, held talks in Tajikistan with Russian army chief Anatoly Kvashnin.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin and U.S. president George W. Bush held a 40-minute telephone conversation to discuss the War on Terrorism.
  • September 23 - Members of Jamiat Ulema i-Islam marched from their homes in Pakistan to the Afghan border to fend off a possible U.S. invasion.
  • The Afghan Islamic Press reported that Osama bin Laden went into hiding.
  • September 25 - During a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, when a reporter asked if the United States should help Afghan people liberate themselves from Taliban rule, president George W. Bush said, "We're not into nation-building; we're focused on justice."
  • September 26 - An article in The Guardian on September 26, 2001, also adds evidence that there were already signs in the first half of 2001 that Washington was moving to threaten Afghanistan militarily from the north, by way of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A U.S. Department of Defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January 2001 and U.S. General Tommy Franks visited the country in May 2001, conveying a message from the Bush administration that the US considered Tajikistan "a strategically significant country". However, this assertion overlooks the fact that these relationships had been ongoing since the breakup of the USSR, and that under Clinton similar statements had been made by military officials. U.S. Army Rangers were training special troops inside Kyrgyzstan, and there were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana. Reliable western military sources say a U.S. contingency plan existed on paper by the end of the summer to attack Afghanistan from the north, with U.S. military advisors already in place in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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