Mujahideen

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Mujahideen (also transliterated as mujahedeen, mujahedin, mujahidin, mujaheddin etc.) is the Arabic literal translation of "holy warriors". --per Wikipedia

from interviews with John P. O'Neill by Martin Dillon published May 2002 (original)

"To understand what is now happening you have to look at the mujihadeen. They defeated the largest army on earth. Do you know what that did for them? It injected them with a feeling of invincibility. They had become the best trained fighting force on earth, thanks in part to us," he told me.
What JP [O'Neill] had discovered was that many of those mujihadeen had returned to their respective countries and had later been recruited for a war against their former ally, the United States.
"The important thing to remember is that the Mujihadeen recruited by Osama Bin Laden had known each other during the war against the Soviets. The benefit of that was that they had gotten specialist training and had established links with each other during the War. It just took someone like OBL to bring them back together and reignite their fervor against a new enemy. Because most of them - from places like Saudi, Iran, Yemen, and Sudan - were not on intelligence lists and had no criminal records it is difficult to identify them, track them or hunt them down. They haven't been on anybody's radar," John O'Neill added.

The objectives of the small, tribal, native Afghan groups were local and usually restricted to resisting incursions on local autonomy. However, under bin Laden's leadership the more educated elements of the movement came to regard a re-formed Islamic caliphate as a long-term goal. A pre-requisite to this is ejection of all non-Muslims from Muslim lands - in a jihad - which began with ejecting the Soviets. Arabs that joined with the mujahideen forces in Afghanistan were generally those sympathetic to this agenda - there remain few Afghans involved in Al Qaida or other global operations. The Taliban and Northern Alliance were the real successors of the Afghan resistance. There remains a strong ethnic divide between them and Al Qaida.


Hugh Eakin asks, in a 10 April 2004 column in New York Times, When U.S. Aided Insurgents, Did It Breed Future Terrorists?

The real culprit of 9/11, in other words, is not Islam but rather non-state violence in general, during the final stages of the stand-off with the Soviet Union. Using third and fourth parties, the C.I.A. supported terrorist and proto-terrorist movements in Indochina, Latin America, Africa and, of course, Afghanistan, he argues in his new book, "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror" (Pantheon).
"The real damage the C.I.A. did was not the providing of arms and money," he writes, " but the privatization of information about how to produce and spread violence -- the formation of private militias -- capable of creating terror." The best-known C.I.A.-trained terrorist, he notes dryly, is Osama bin Laden.
"In practice," Mr. Mamdani has written, "it translated into a United States decision to harness, or even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet."

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