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ISIS And Tora Bora—Back To The Future


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ISIS And Tora Bora—Back To The Future

by Peter R. Mansoor

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reports today have confirmed that a branch of the Islamic State has seized Tora Bora, once the stronghold of the iconic founder and leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. The terrorists of al-Qaeda used this remote and forbidding mountain fortress, honeycombed with caves and tunnels, as protection against airstrikes and ground assault in the weeks after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Tora Bora was part of bin Laden’s strategy to lure the United States into a war in Afghanistan, where he believed the superpower could be brought low—much as the Soviet Red Army had been bloodied in its ten-year struggle in the “Graveyard of Empires.”

The first part of the strategy was a resounding success. At a cost of just over a half million dollars and the lives of 19 terrorists, the “planes operation” on September 11, 2001, succeeded in toppling the World Trade Center and striking the Pentagon, killing thousands of civilian and military personnel and making al-Qaeda a household name across the world. President George W. Bush and his administration responded by demanding that the government of Afghanistan, ruled by the Taliban, give up bin Laden to face trial in the United States. The Taliban refused, a decision that led to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan a month later. So far al Qaeda’s strategy was working perfectly.  :snip: 

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