Amin al-Haq, who helped Osama bin Laden escape US capture, returns to Taliban

Screenshot of video allegedly showing al-Qaeda leader Amin al-Haq returning to his home province in Afghanistan | Twitter

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New Delhi: Dr Amin al-Haq, a leading Al Qaeda player who spent years serving as Osama bin Laden‘s security coordinator, is believed to have returned to his home province of Nangarhar in Afghanistan after the fall from Kabul, according to videos released Tuesday.

According to the American news site FDD Long War Diary, al-Haq, also known as Muhammad Amin, could be seen accompanied by a large convoy of heavily armed Taliban fighters and was greeted by a cheering crowd who wanted to take selfies with him.

A qualified physician, described by the Los Angeles Times as a “urologist,” al-Haq was the security coordinator of the Black Guard, the elite unit tasked with protecting bin Laden. He was also referred to as Bin Laden’s bodyguard.

The Bush administration froze al-Haq’s assets after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of 39 named individuals and organizations with suspected links to terrorism. He also faced sanctions from the United Nations for having participated in the financing, planning, facilitation, preparation or commission of acts or activities in favor of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, as well as for supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to support terrorism. Activities.

According to the official Interpol website, al-Haq was born in 1960 in Nangarhar and his last name is Saam Khan. He is currently 61 years old.

Read also : Suspicious of Haqqani’s influence, Modi’s government is unlikely to respond immediately to Taliban campaign

Help bin Laden escape Operation Anaconda

Al-Haq is said to have helped bin Laden escape US-led Operation Anaconda in 2002 by moving him from Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan to Waziristan in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Tora Bora cave complex, high in the mountains, was where top Al Qaeda leaders were locked up at the time. Operation Anaconda, which lasted from March 2 to 18, 2002, aimed to destroy or capture Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in these mountainous positions located in the Shahi-Kot Valley and the Arma Mountains near Zurmat. in Afghanistan.

Al Haq’s role in helping bin Laden’s escape was described in the memoir of former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, “In the Line of Sight”, based on information from Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (KSM), the third highest ranking member of Al Qaeda.

KSM also appointed Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the terrorist group Haqqani Network who died in 2018, as part of this breakout operation.

However, a 2008 research article in the journal Taylor & Francis notes that none of the high-value American inmates have been able to corroborate this account.

Al-Haq fought Soviet forces in the 1980s in Afghanistan, according to a 2011 report in a British newspaper The telegraph. He was also part of the Afghan delegation that traveled to Sudan in 1996 to bring bin Laden to Afghanistan.

Read also : Elements within Pakistani military had ties to al-Qaeda – Obama in raid that killed Osama

Pakistan arrests al-Haq in 2008, frees him in 2011

In 2008, al-Haq, who was around 48 at the time, was arrested in Lahore during a special operation by Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement. At the time, he was the second senior al Qaeda official to be arrested by Pakistani authorities. The first was Mohammed Rahim, who is said to have worked as bin Laden’s driver in Afghanistan.

Al-Haq was held in a prison in Peshawar, a city in northwest Pakistan.

In 2011, Pakistan controversially released him, citing insufficient evidence.

“Amin al-Haq was arrested by mistake, therefore the police did not prove any charges of his association with Osama bin Laden and the court released him” The telegraph report citing a high level security source.

The newspaper added: “Pakistan has a poor record in convicting terrorists, in part blamed on an ill-equipped police force and an overwhelmed judiciary. However, critics accuse elements of the security services of turning a blind eye to extremist groups. “

At the time, two senior Pakistani police officials told US news broadcaster. SCS that al-Haq was not a “key player” and “had no information of great value”.

“In the end, nothing could be used to keep him in detention,” one of the officials said.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Read also : The last American plane left Kabul. What is happening in Afghanistan now?

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