late November, 2001: The Telegraph later reports on the battle for Tora Bora around this time: "in retrospect, and with the benefit of dozens of accounts from the participants, the battle for Tora Bora looks more like a grand charade." Eyewitnesses express shock that the US pinned in Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, thought to contain many high leaders, on three sides only, but left the route to Pakistan open. Says an intelligence chief in Afghanistan's new government, "The border with Pakistan was the key, but no one paid any attention to it. And there were plenty of landing areas for helicopters had the Americans acted decisively. Al-Qaeda escaped right out from under their feet." When the battle was over, only 21 bedraggled al-Qaeda fighters were captured. [Telegraph, 2/23/02] Still more incompetence, or did the US want bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda leaders to escape?
From the Complete 9-11 Timeline by Paul Thompson. A vital online resource for anyone wanting to investigate 911 and the war on terror.
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