Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow over at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies pens a new piece for the June 23rd edition of the Weekly Standard, where he takes a deeper look at just exactly what price was paid in the five for one swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Keep in mind, these are five people the Obama administration across the board, and Hillary Clinton, have assured are no threat whatsoever to the United States. Here’s who Mohammad Fazl is.
One of the five senior Taliban leaders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl played a key role in al Qaeda’s plans leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban’s army chief of staff and deputy defense minister prior to his detention at Guantánamo, did not have a hand in planning the actual 9/11 hijackings. Along with a notorious al Qaeda leader, however, Fazl did help coordinate a military offensive against the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan the day before. And Osama bin Laden viewed that September 10 offensive as an essential part of al Qaeda’s 9/11 plot.
Joscelyn goes on to detail the findings in the 9/11 Commission report that al Qaeda had a three stage approach leading up to the 9/11 attacks, with the first two being essential to complete before sending the final go ahead to the airplane hijackers. Our newly-freed Fazi was a key player in stage two.
The following day, September 10, al Qaeda and the Taliban took their second step. A “delayed Taliban offensive against the Northern Alliance was apparently coordinated to begin as soon as [Massoud] was killed,” the 9/11 Commission found. Fazl and one of bin Laden’s chief lieutenants, Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, played key roles in this setup for 9/11. At the time, al Iraqi oversaw what al Qaeda called the Arab 55th Brigade, which was Osama bin Laden’s chief fighting force inside Afghanistan and fought side by side with Mullah Omar’s forces.
According to a leaked Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment of Fazl, al Iraqi met with Fazl “on several occasions to include immediately following the assassination of [Massoud] in September 2001.” Al Iraqi “stated the Northern Alliance was demoralized after the assassination and [he] met with [Fazl] to immediately coordinate an attack with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance.”
Al Qaeda viewed both the assassination of Massoud and the offensive launched the following day as necessary components of the 9/11 plot.
You should read it all and share it with others. al Qaeda viewed Mohammad Fazl as a key player leading up to the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. It’s a pity our present administration didn’t view Mr. Fazl the same way. And even though further details make this deal more depressing and infuriating, at least clown shoes weren’t involved.