In a memoir, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan during 9-11 and ex-Guantanamo detainee Abdul Salam Zaeef claims that the United States had advanced foreknowledge of 9-11. In the months leading up to 9-11, he was approached by the US ambassador to Pakistan (William Milam) and informed that Osama Bin Laden was about to attack America. To quote (p. 138):
One morning the US ambassador unexpectedly asked for an appointment that very same day (The Americans occasionally got agitated over small things). I was tired and on my way home to rest but they insisted on meeting me as soon as possible. After the late afternoon prayer, the ambassador came to my house, accompanied by Paula Thedi [Political Affairs Officer to the US ambassador in Pakistan]. He seemed worried and impatient and started to talk as soon as he entered the room. “Our intelligence reports reveal that Osama is planning a major attack on America. This is why we had to come immediately at such a late hour. You need to tell officials in Afghanistan to prevent the attacks!
Zaeef claims that he immediately forwarded the ambassador’s concerns to Kabul, and Kabul responded twenty three hours later:
Afghanistan has no intention to harm the United States of America now or in the future. We do not condone attacks of any kind against America and prevent anyone from using Afghan soil to plan or train for any such attacks.
Zaeef claims to have personally translated the this statement from Pashtu and passed it to the American ambassador.
Immediately after 9-11, Zaeef issued a similar statement to the media on Kabul’s stance(p.144):
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim. We strongly condemn the events that happened in the United States at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We share the grief of all those who have lost their nearest and dearest in these incidents. All those responsible must be brought to justice. We want them to be brought to justice, and we want America to be patient and careful in their actions.
It would be interesting to dig deeper into diplomatic exchanges between Kabul and Washington prior to 9-11. It would also be interesting to find out what exactly the US ambassador knew about the impending attack on America.
9-11 is often compared to Pearl Harbour. Unlike Japan after Pearl Harbour, Afghanistan vehemently denied responsibility for 9-11. But the present generation of Americans don’t seem to to be perturbed. Unlike the Americans who witnessed Pearl Harbour, the present generation got no aircraft with enemy markings. Unlike the Americans at Pearl Harbour who got to see the enemy in flesh and blood, present day Americans only got some grainy edited gloat videos. The Powers That Be understand that enemies can now be synthesised.
Talk about falling standards.