By Theodore Shoebat
The US government just dropped the most destructive non-nuclear bomb its military has in it arsenal on Afghanistan. The bomb was supposedly dropped to destroy an “ISIS tunnel” system in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.
What is interesting is that it was in this very province where the CIA financed the construction of tunnel systems for the Taliban as a fortress in their fight against the Soviets. Edward Snowden has identified the “ISIS tunnels” as the same tunnels that the CIA financed, as he has revealed on his Twitter account:
On his tweet, Snowden linked to a 2005 New York Times article which reports on these tunnels in the Nangarhar province. I read through the report and found some interesting excerpts. In part of the report it says:
Rising to more than 13,000 feet, 35 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Jalalabad [capital city of Nangarhar], Tora Bora was a fortress of snow-capped peaks, steep valleys and fortified caves. Its miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls, had been part of a C.I.A.-financed complex built for the mujahedeen.
The report goes on to talk about a mujahideen operative named Yunis Khalis, who was fighting the Soviets and who had received tremendous funds from the CIA:
Khalis, among the seven resistance leaders, would receive the third-largest share of the more than $3 billion of weapons and funds that the C.I.A. invested in the jihad.
The author of the report, Mary Ann Weaver, recounts a conversation that she had with one mujahid named Masood Farivar in which he told her of how impenetrable these tunnels are when they endured the onslaught of the Soviets:
One evening earlier this summer, I asked Masood Farivar, a former Khalis officer who had fought in Tora Bora during the jihad, to tell me why the caves were so important. “They’re rugged, formidable and isolated,” he said. “If you know them, you can come and go with ease. But if you don’t, they’re a labyrinth that you can’t penetrate. They rise in some places to 14,000 feet, and for 10 years the Soviets pummeled them with everything they had, but to absolutely no avail. Another reason they’re so important is their proximity to the border and to Pakistan” — less than 20 miles away.
In a 2011 report published by The Guardian, it speaks of these CIA financed tunnels:
Osama bin Laden got to know the mujahideen leaders during the anti-Soviet jihad after traveling to Peshawar in 1980. Two years later, his construction company built tunnels in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan that the CIA helped him to finance and which he was later to use to escape US bombing after 9/11.
When I did research on these “ISIS tunnels” that the US supposedly bombed, I could not find any reports specifically on tunnels in Afghanistan ran by ISIS published before today. In other words, the only articles seen on these “ISIS tunnels” were published on the day the US dropped the bomb. However, I did find numerous reports on tunnels in Afghanistan being used by the Taliban.
It appears that these “ISIS fighters” in Afghanistan are just former members of the Taliban who have pledged allegiance to ISIS as a way to reenergize themselves. In one 2015 report we read:
experts say that the entities that now call themselves ISIS in Afghanistan are not fighters from Iraq or Syria. Rather, they’re primarily disaffected Taliban members and insurgents from other groups who seized an opportunity to “rebrand” themselves as ISIS.
Now there is fighting between Taliban fighters and those who owe their allegiances to ISIS. With the deal of the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Omar, there has been intense disagreement on whether or not the Taliban should enter into negotiations with the Afghan government. Those who refuse negotiating are claiming to be a part of the ISIS. “You have the leadership saying, well, it’s time to negotiate, time to look at peace” says Anand Gopal, and the other side is claiming, “‘We’re not the Taliban … we’re not going to enter these negotiations. We’re part of this global movement now that’s been so successful in Iraq and Syria.”
I suspect that this bombing of Afghanistan is simply a distraction from what the US is doing in, and planning on doing to, Syria.