Documentary exploring accusations made following the death of Bin Laden. Top CIA officers and Western diplomats say Pakistan's military is duping its western allies.
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BARACK OBAMA: 'Today, at my direction,
'the United States launched a targeted operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
'After a firefight, they killed Osama Bin Laden
'and took custody of his body.'
Earlier this year, America shot dead the Al-Qaeda leader
in his hiding place in Pakistan.
Publicly, Pakistan is one of America's closest allies,
yet every step of the operation was kept secret from it.
This series tells the hidden story of how, for a decade,
Pakistan deceived America and the West...
and was then found out.
Unfortunately, one guy we missed, that's the number one guy.
And so we got all the blame.
You didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to put the dots together.
Pakistan was playing a double game and double-dealing us.
It's a story that begins with the hunt for Al-Qaeda.
I'm a native New Yorker, you know,
I'm thinking in my heart, this is revenge.
But it's also a story of how and why
Pakistan continues to give secret support to the Taliban.
First, they support us by providing a place to hide.
Secondly, they provide us with weapons.
Above all, it is the story of how Pakistan, a supposed ally,
stands accused by top Western intelligence officers and diplomats
of causing the deaths of thousands of coalition soldiers in Afghanistan.
Deaths that continue to this day.
We are literally seeing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fighters pouring in from Pakistan.
I think it was quite clear to us that the Pakistanis were playing very much a double game.
'The stakes here are huge.'
GEORGE W BUSH: 'The Taliban has been given the opportunity to surrender
'all the terrorists in Afghanistan and to close down their camps and operations.
'Forewarning has been given and time is running out.
'The United States is presenting a clear choice to every nation.
'Stand with the civilised world or stand with the terrorists.
'And for those nations that stand with the terrorists,
'there will be a heavy price.'
The Taliban regime ignored President Bush's threat.
It refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden.
My fellow Americans, let's roll.
A month after 9/11, the United States began to bomb Afghanistan,
from where the attacks had been planned.
The Americans' aim was to employ their military might
to prevent Afghanistan being used again as a terrorist base...
..and to destroy Al-Qaeda.
Their allies were the Northern Alliance,
made up of local Afghan warlords,
united by their hatred of the Taliban.
US special forces and CIA agents
were directing operations on the ground.
Their commander was Gary Berntsen.
Well, of course, for me, I'm a native New Yorker, you know.
I'm not ashamed to say the fact that for me this was, in a way,
I'm thinking in my heart, this is revenge.
They have come in, they have killed our people.
I will deliver justice to as many of these people as possible.
We're going to dispatch them to the next world.
As the bombing intensified, some senior Taliban commanders retreated
to the airfield at Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan.
But they were not alone.
Before 9/11, neighbouring Pakistan had been the Taliban's closest ally.
Events had moved so fast,
the Taliban still had Pakistani military advisers with them.
Now, the Pakistanis were still secretly supporting the Taliban,
even though they said in public they were on the Americans' side.
What happened next in Kunduz was the first evidence
of an audacious Pakistani double cross
that would last a decade.
In December of 2001, as American forces,
American air power and the Northern Alliance on the ground
was putting the Taliban to the knife across the country,
one of the more difficult episodes
that really made it very, very difficult to trust the Pakistanis
was the Kunduz airlift.
The Northern Alliance came to me in a fit of rage,
stating that the Pakistani aircraft were landing in Kunduz on an airfield
and were evacuating the Taliban.
I actually asked Amrullah Saleh, who would later become
the Northern Alliance chief of intelligence, so you know,
I asked him if he was smoking hashish.
I couldn't believe it.
Those planes did fly in.
The stated reason for them entering was, of course,
to evacuate some of the military officers that had been up there,
but the Taliban fought their way onto those planes
and an air corridor allowed many of the leadership
of the Taliban's northern command to be flown out of Afghanistan,
while the rest of us were trying to destroy them.
I was horrified by the duplicity on the Pakistanis' part.
One of the Taliban fighters uses the name Commander Aziz.
He's still active in the Taliban and has hidden his identity.
He is speaking publicly for the first time.
We saw wounded and dead everywhere.
On the roads, in the streets.
Everybody was escaping, chased by the enemy.
Aziz claims to have watched
as the Pakistani military airlifted not just their personnel,
but also his Taliban commanders.
I literally saw it with my own eyes.
The programme of evacuation began around 4pm
and went on until about 11 at night.
The roars of the planes to take them away could be heard the entire time.
God knows everything.
The military planes transferred them in about ten flights.
The problem with Pakistan is that they had deceived us in Kunduz.
I think it demonstrated their true colours.
In the Pakistani capital Islamabad,
there was a hidden determination to help the Taliban live
to fight another day.
Two weeks before Kunduz,
the head of Pakistan's intelligence service,
the ISI, travelled to a secret meeting.
General Mahmud Ahmed was one of the most powerful men
in Pakistan's military regime.
He had nurtured the Taliban since their rise to power.
General Mahmud, it is claimed, told the Taliban ambassador,
Mullah Zaeef, that whatever was said publicly,
Pakistan and the ISI would still secretly support the Taliban.
In the 1990s, Pakistan had helped create the Taliban
to prevent Afghanistan falling under the influence of India,
Pakistan's enduring enemy.
Of course, for Pakistan, the overwhelming obsession is India.
This eternal worry that India is using Afghanistan
to surround Pakistan.
So, that is the central obsession
and, of course, as every state is entitled to do,
their priority is their national security and survival,
and they regard the Americans and us
as somewhat impermanent fair-weather friends.
Support for the Taliban ran through the highest levels
of Pakistan's military and intelligence establishment.
Will Taliban go away? They're not going to go away.
Eventually, it is they who are going to be on our borders.
We have to co-exist with them, we have to learn to live with them.
Can we afford to have a hostile Afghanistan on our back?
No, we cannot.
The collective wisdom of the nation says that we must continue
to have good linkages with Taliban.
It is in Pakistan's national interest
and I think everybody knows
that it is in Pakistan's national interest.
Pakistan's support for the Taliban did not come as news to the CIA.
Philip Mudd was briefing the White House regularly.
He was in Afghanistan in that autumn of 2001.
I was there on the ground and the Americans said,
"Well, you must be with us, we just lost 3,000 people".
Well, not everybody was.
We shouldn't be surprised to find
not only that there are people in Pakistan
who, before 911, were supporting the Taliban...
Of course there were.
They were creating a friend on their back door.
I remember watching things like the Kunduz operation, saying,
"We shouldn't be surprised
"that there were sympathisers within the Pakistani security service".
The powerful Pakistani security service - the ISI,
or Inter-Services Intelligence,
operates from this headquarters in Islamabad.
The ISI is part of the military.
Its agents are mostly soldiers
and it's always commanded by a senior general.
In the 1980s, it worked with the CIA and MI6
to support the Afghan Mujahideen
fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
I've worked with the ISI for more than three decades.
It is part of the Pakistani army,
but it operates, generally, beyond the control
of the Pakistani government as a whole.
There are many grey areas about the ISI's behaviour.
(GEORGE BUSH) There's an old poster out West, as I recall,
that said, "Wanted, dead or alive".
All I want, and America, wants him brought to justice,
that's what we want.
In early December 2001,
in the weeks following the Kunduz airlift,
more Taliban fighters were cornered.
This time, in the Afghan mountains of Tora Bora,
close to the border with Pakistan.
With them were fighters from Al-Qaeda,
an estimated 1,500 men in all.
The CIA's Gary Berntsen discovered Osama Bin Laden
was tantalisingly within reach.
One of our people picks up a radio.
It's essentially a hunting radio. Nothing complicated, no encryption.
This is what they're using to talk with one another.
We're able to actually listen to them speak to one another
and assess, you know, their position.
We actually saw Bin Laden and his son come out.
Reporter gave us a pretty good description.
We thought, "This is a bit suspect".
We've got B-52s, we've got B-1s, we've got B-2s, F-16s.
Everything in the US arsenal,
every aircraft that you can strap a bomb onto
is flying in there and dropping weapons on Tora Bora.
But to Berntsen's frustration,
US Central Command refused to send the extra ground troops
that he requested.
And the Taliban fighters, together with Bin Laden and his men,
had a potential escape route -
across the Afghan border and into Pakistan.
The critical piece in this, of course, was,
we are told that the Pakistani Frontier Force
will cover the back of the mountain.
That statement from the Pakistanis convinced the US
that they didn't need to send additional forces in.
It was a miscalculation on the part of the US.
But the trapped Taliban fighters and their Al-Qaeda guests
needed help somehow to reach the border.
There are allegations it came from familiar quarters,
as one of the most influential Northern Alliance warlords,
Zahir Qadir, reveals.
The three Afghan warlords convened a secret meeting
to agree tactics.
One of them, Haji Zaman, came up with a controversial plan -
to grant the Taliban a 12-hour ceasefire
so they could gather their men and weapons and surrender.
Qadir's fears were borne out.
Many of the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda guests
used the ceasefire to head for the border.
To Qadir, it was evidence that his fellow warlord, Haji Zaman,
had double crossed him.
Zaman had once been a major Taliban commander himself
and was known to have had links with the ISI in the past.
Qadir's claims are impossible to verify
and Haji Zaman was assassinated
when he returned to Afghanistan last year.
What is certain is that in the months after America attacked,
most of the Taliban fighters escaped,
alongside their Al-Qaeda allies.
One middle-ranking Taliban commander who'd got away at Tora Bora
and is still an active fighter,
reveals where they ended up.
He's an Afghan who uses the name Mullah Qaseem
but asked for his real identity to be kept hidden.
TRANSLATION: We fought for some time, but later on, we escaped.
We all wanted to reach safety.
We went to places safe from bombardment,
but when they were invaded, we escaped to Pakistan.
We had no problem at the border.
Then, we went to Peshawar.
We got together into groups of four or five people who we trusted.
The police were not arresting or jailing Afghans when they saw us...
..so, we didn't face many difficulties.
The escaping Taliban fighters were members of the Pashtun tribe.
The Pashtuns are spread across Pakistan's tribal areas
and southern Afghanistan.
Linked by language and ethnicity,
they don't recognise the border between the two countries.
They were coming back to their own kith and kin,
coming to Pakistan, who had been supporting them against the Soviets,
providing them the sanctuary and the base for the last decade or so,
who had very deep relations with them.
They were welcomed.
We have the same blood running in our veins.
Senior figures in Pakistan's intelligence
and military establishment
were already aware that the Taliban had survived
to fight another day.
Did you think that the Taliban had been defeated?
I mean, to be very exact,
the total casualties they suffered was about 1,100, who were killed.
The rest had hidden themselves, they had fallen back.
The war in Afghanistan seemed over.
A new government, under President Hamid Karzai,
took power, backed by America and its allies.
America no longer cared about the Taliban.
Its primary target, as it always had been,
which now meant hunting them down in Pakistan.
The Taliban had always been quite distinct, organisationally,
from Al-Qaeda and I did not see the Taliban
as being a real material threat.
We were focused like a laser beam on Al-Qaeda.
These were the people who were responsible for 9/11,
these were the people who we feared,
if they managed to make good their escape,
would continue attacking US interests around the world.
That was, by far, our number one priority.
We didn't want anything to interfere with that.
Some of their leadership started going into urban spaces of Pakistan.
So, in the spring,
you've got a fundamental problem in this campaign,
and that is starting to try to find people in urban areas of Pakistan
and starting to try to figure out
how we could work with the Pakistanis on that.
The next 18 months, through 2002 and 2003,
seemed to show the US and Pakistan co-operating against Al-Qaeda,
through their spy agencies, the ISI and the CIA.
The Taliban's survival mattered to Pakistan.
Each arrest helped unlock what would become billions of dollars
of US military aid.
The ISI would do confirmatory checks on the ground,
focusing specifically on Al-Qaeda,
the Arab members of Al-Qaeda who'd fled out of Afghanistan.
We and the Pakistanis had perfected a methodology
for conducting raids to capture these people.
It was a series of rolling raids, almost night after night,
and that was the way that we did business in those early days.
But even then, there were limits to US/Pakistani co-operation.
In the past, the ISI had built close links
with various Pakistani militant groups fighting India
in the disputed territory of Kashmir,
and even with Al-Qaeda.
Now, the ISI went to great lengths to cover these tracks,
as became evident during the disappearance
of an American journalist in early 2002.
On the 23rd of January,
the 38-year-old Daniel Pearl was kidnapped
in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
It soon emerged that the militant group that had abducted him
was one of those fighting Indian troops in Kashmir,
with, the CIA suspected, the secret support of the ISI.
I think, to the extent that some of those extremists,
may have been affiliated with groups
that had received some measure of support
from the army of Pakistan in the past,
those were details which the Pakistanis
would not particularly have wanted to come to light.
Two weeks later, with Pearl still missing,
the British-born mastermind of the kidnap, Omar Sheikh,
decided to hand himself in to the authorities.
But not to the police.
Omar Sheikh had links with the ISI stretching back to the 1990s
and he now chose to give himself up to a former ISI official.
The ISI kept the news secret.
We had reason to believe that he had been detained,
and specifically, by the ISI,
and so, I went to a very trusted counterpart within the ISI and said,
"How about it? Do you have him?"
And he said, "Well, let me look into it".
He came back to me a few hours later and said, "No, we don't have him".
And I knew he was lying to me.
Eventually, but only under extreme pressure,
the ISI did hand over Omar Sheikh to the police.
Later, he himself said,
in open court, that he had been detained by the ISI
and been kept for, you know, some seven or eight days or so,
and we can only guess what those conversations were like.
I suspect that he was strongly encouraged by the ISI
not to say too much about his past life.
I think the Pakistanis were probably concerned
about what other stories he might tell.
In particular, there were suspicions that before 9/11,
the ISI had indeed encouraged such groups
to develop contacts with Al-Qaeda.
The closeness of the links between Omar Sheikh's group and Al-Qaeda
were soon to be brutally demonstrated.
The local police chief, Detective Fayyaz Khan,
takes up the story.
The man who beheaded Daniel Pearl
was the self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda mastermind of 9/11,
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
When, a year later, he was arrested by the ISI
in the military town of Rawalpindi, the Pakistanis claimed
it showed they were indispensable in the battle against Al-Qaeda.
If you look at the wanted list which the United States issued,
most of those guys were actually nabbed by the ISI.
So, ISI was very active and has been keeping a watch in all the cities,
but then, it's a country of 180 million people,
so ISI has been active in all these cities, looking for Al-Qaeda,
picking them up.
Unfortunately, one guy we missed, that's the number one guy,
and so, we got all the blame.
But even in the early days of 2002 and 2003,
the Americans had doubts about Pakistan.
Inside the CIA, it was noted that no senior Taliban figures
were arrested during this period.
For all the arrests of Al-Qaeda members like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
the CIA questioned the true motives of Pakistan's military dictator
General Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistan, and particularly General Musharraf,
played the Bush administration like a fiddle.
They gave us just enough, in terms of Al-Qaeda,
to keep the Bush administration happy,
but not enough to actually eliminate Al-Qaeda as an organisation,
and virtually nothing on the Taliban.
Musharraf knew that before every meeting between the two of them,
he needed to reinforce his stock,
and he did that by giving us a prominent Al-Qaeda operative.
The Pakistanis would, fortuitously,
on the verge of a summit meeting between Bush and Musharraf,
produce number three, number four, in the Al-Qaeda hierarchy,
and that way, take away any criticism
that might come from the Americans over Pakistan's double game.
Meanwhile, the reports from Islamabad
that were reaching the British at this time
seemed to bear out the American claims.
Colonel Richard Kemp was working at the heart of Whitehall,
and intelligence reports from MI5 and MI6 passed across his desk.
I think it was quite clear to us
that the Pakistanis were playing very much a double game
and a lot of what they were saying and some of what they were doing
was very clearly aimed at the eyes of the West
and didn't necessarily reflect their real intentions
and their real actions,
so, I think we felt that there would be elements of the Taliban
who were still being supported by Pakistan
and who Pakistan was still prepared to have operating on its territory.
The clearest evidence for this double game
lay in the Pakistani town of Quetta,
just across the border from the Afghan province of Helmand.
In 2003, the Taliban set up a government in exile there.
Christina Lamb was reporting from Pakistan at the time.
In 2003, I was in Quetta and Quetta was like Taliban central.
Taliban were everywhere.
You could see them all over the town,
and there was training camps,
you could see recruiting going on, fund-raising,
and it was all quite open.
From this sanctuary, the Taliban began to launch attacks
against the forces of the new Afghan government
and the US troops supporting them.
Pakistan did not stop the attacks.
Mullah Qaseem, a Taliban commander,
was one of those who used Quetta as a base.
We were sent to different places over the border in Afghanistan,
places like Paktika and Khost.
We would cross the border and carry out operations there,
depending on what equipment we had.
Once we'd used up our ammunition, we'd return to our base
and another group would take our place,
so we were able to keep it going.
For a fighter, there are two important things -
supplies and a place to hide.
Pakistan plays a significant role.
First, they support us
by providing a place to hide, which is really important.
Secondly, they provide us with weapons.
HE SINGS IN HIS OWN DIALECT
The American troops still in Afghanistan
had been told the Taliban had been defeated
and that Pakistan was their ally.
Their commander, General Dan McNeill,
found the truth on the ground was the opposite -
the Taliban was reconstituting itself as a fighting force,
helped by Pakistan.
'Along the border, there's an Afghan town called Shkin.'
It was always a difficult place, it continues to be to this day.
'We had our forward operating base there, a very small one, very light footprint,
'but it was sufficient for what we needed it to do.'
'So one night, late 2002,
we observed a dismounted patrol, might have been 20 or 30 people,'
come across the border out of Angoor Adda,
'the Pakistani village on the other side of the border from Shkin.'
It was clear that they meant mischief and malice.
'We watched them come by the Pakistani Frontier Corps facility, they walked right by the walls,'
Anybody who was manning those walls
or guarding the gate would have to see them, without question.
'They were going to attack the Afghan outpost and wait for us
'to come out in our mounted quick-reaction force
'and they were going to ambush the quick-reaction force.'
We had to quickly devise a plan to ambush the ambushers.
'And that, indeed, is the way it unfolded.
'We watched the remnants of that force go back
'pretty much the same way they came, going back into Pakistan.
'Someone had to know they were walking,
'and when I talked the next day or so to the Pakistani brothers about it,'
if I remember correctly the division commander was in that area,
"No, didn't happen that way, couldn't have happened, they didn't come by our place."
While Pakistan proclaimed itself the ally of America,
it was simultaneously allowing itself to be the Taliban's sanctuary.
For Mullah Qaseem and his comrades, it was the difference between life and death.
-'During the night we planted mines.'
There is a kind of plane that makes a droning sound.
They are called computer planes... whatever. They followed us.
'Later on, helicopters came. My friend was wounded.
'Pakistan is our second home.'
'We feel safer in Pakistan than we do in Afghanistan.'
We took him to a private hospital in Peshawar.
If a Talib gets injured and is taken to the hospital, he's accepted regardless.
In Kabul, the new government's intelligence chief monitored
the Taliban resurgence with dismay.
Amrulleh Saleh was part of a government
that bitterly resented Pakistan's role in supporting the Taliban.
If a wounded guy goes to one of our hospitals and says, "Treat me,"
the doctor will ask, "How did you get injured?"
But when a Taliban gets wounded, the entire medical system
of Pakistan is in his service, nobody asks him, "Where were you wounded?"
'The Pakistanis never dismantled the infrastructure
'which was supporting the Taliban back in the '90s.'
The charge sheet against Pakistan was growing.
In late 2003, Colonel Tony Shaffer
was working for US military intelligence in eastern Afghanistan.
'It was very clear there was major support being provided
'to the Taliban in Pakistan in some form.'
The most notable evidence we had early on was a female intelligence operative -
'an ISI operative - being rolled up as part of Taliban raiding party.
'This was something that you could not deny.
'There was vetting done to verify
'this female operative's affiliation with the ISI.'
And apparently, there was a great effort made behind the scenes to bring her back.
I was of a mind, as were other officers, to send her to Guantanamo Bay,
we believed that that would be the adequate disposition.
Unfortunately, politics came into play
and eventually she was returned to the Pakistani ISI.
'So in my eyes, and the eyes of others who I was working with,
'it was irrefutable evidence of Pakistani support for the Taliban.'
The American claim is lent further credence by the Taliban commander,
Mullah Qaseem, who says he witnessed the ISI in action.
-'I have seen the ISI dressed as Mullahs, as preachers,
'and as Muslim scholars.'
'They do come but they don't come in uniform.'
The Taliban movement was created with the help of the ISI.
It is like when a tree grows - one has to plant it and water it.
Supported by Pakistan, the Taliban killed 52
and wounded hundreds of American troops in Afghanistan in 2004.
But as long as Pakistan helped hunt Al-Qaeda, America was willing
to downplay what they saw as Pakistan's duplicity.
-President George W Bush!
2004 was an election year.
7,000 miles away in Washington,
the President wanted to claim progress in the War on Terror.
GEORGE W BUSH: 'Our strategy is succeeding.
'Four years ago, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups.
'Today, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders
'and more than three quarters of Al-Qaeda's key members and associates
'have been detailed or killed, and America and the world are safer.'
President Bush had already formally named Pakistan as a "major non-NATO ally",
in recognition of its role in fighting Al-Qaeda.
'I think the Bush administration, for a long time,
'was in denial about Pakistani behaviour.'
The Pakistanis were our most important ally
in going after Al-Qaeda.
Their duplicity in continuing to support the Taliban was
something the Bush administration didn't want to face up to.
You've got the state diplomatic interest, of look, you know,
we need the Pakistanis, and we can't insult them and embarrass them,
we need to work with these guys, everybody acknowledges that.
'So there's only so much pressing you can do if you want to get
'the kind of positive reaction from them that we all know we need.'
Meanwhile, Pakistan's apparent willingness
to barter Al-Qaeda figures to divert American attention
from its support for the Taliban had provoked a reaction...
from Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers.
NEWSREADER: '14 people have died in a failed assassination attempt
'on the President of Pakistan.
'It's the second time in less than a fortnight
'that President Pervez Musharraf has been targeted.
'His motorcade was heading towards the capital, Islamabad...'
In December 2003,
two assassination attempts were made on the Pakistani President.
Both were thought to have been masterminded by Pakistani militant groups
working in association with Al-Qaeda.
'Two attempts were made on him.'
And the people who were caught,
there were three from his own commando unit,
there were two from his security.
Five of them were hanged for the crime that they had committed.
The attacks were eventually blamed on Amjad Farooqi,
an Islamic militant with links to Al-Qaeda.
In retaliation, President Musharraf ordered the army to attack Al-Qaeda
and their allies in their stronghold of South Waziristan,
in the heart of Pakistan's untamed tribal areas.
'Musharraf was told, "Look, they masterminded it in Waziristan,"'
and at that time, Waziristan was kind of in a point of boiling.
'And Musharraf, without a second thought, unleashed the army on them.'
The fighting that followed was fierce.
But at the height of the offensive, an incident took place
that raised American doubts about whether Pakistani intelligence could be trusted
when it came to hunting down Al-Qaeda's top leadership.
Spies working for the Americans had pinpointed Bin Laden's number two,
Ayman al-Zawahari, in the Pakistani town of Wana,
capital of South Waziristan.
'The bad guys if you will, Al-Qaeda and Taliban,
set up at a place called the Al-Qaeda hotel.'
This was a full-on hotel which was actively a headquarters
for everything we could see going on to conduct operations to kill people.
'The most notable interest we had was that there was a pattern
'of what we would call a high-value target, HVT.'
The patterns of activity and communication
indicated that there was a large fish there.
We found out that Dr Zawahiri was hanging out there,
and this information was passed to the Pakistanis.
The information was promptly used to plan a great military operation
using the Pakistani army, and the end result was pretty much nothing.
I was in Wana and I am the one who carried out this operation.
And once we got the information
there were reports that some elements are there.
So the operation started early morning, with the first light.
And first the aviation and the special forces, they went in,
and they went in and killed a number of people.
But by that time the ground forces, which I was commanding, went in.
A number of dead bodies were there but others had been taken
and any surviving members might have fled.
Although the Pakistani military had captured many Al-Qaeda prisoners,
the most high-value target, Zawahari himself, was not among them.
We found out that 24 hours before going in, the HVT,
in this case Dr Zawahiri, was given fair warning,
"You're about to be attacked, you'd better skedaddle."
And the reason being is because the ISI was able to give tip-off information
to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban folks in the safe haven
and allow them to escape ahead of the attack.
The Americans suspected the ISI of secretly protecting Zawahiri,
because while the Al-Qaeda threat remained high,
the case for continued US aid to Pakistan remained strong.
When you're running these operations, I think you have a legitimate concern
that a few of the people you're dealing with might let that information out the back door.
And that clearly was a concern we had over time.
If you develop critical information on a point target
that's unique and perishable,
you just can't afford to let that stuff go out the back door
because that target will spook immediately.
He'll go back to plotting. You might not pick him up for another year or two.
The Pakistanis deny the charge that they deliberately let Zawahiri get away.
What is clear,
is that Zawahari continued in overall charge of Al-Qaeda's military operations
for the next five years.
During that time, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for 313 attacks,
resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people.
And since Osama Bin Laden's death earlier this year,
Zawahiri has become the new Al-Qaeda leader.
After the Battle Of Wana, the first of a series of truces was struck.
The Pakistanis would back off Al-Qaeda and their local allies
if they agreed not to attack Pakistani targets.
But to American frustration, throughout this period,
the Pakistani military had not confronted the Taliban fighters
who continued to attack the Americans in Afghanistan
from their bases in Pakistan.
It's been a long war for a lot of people.
I think the first time I ever... killed a man...
certainly had an effect on me.
It's been a difficult campaign in which, you know,
I lost several friends and I think that heightens the frustration
that I have about Pakistan.
To Captain Andrew Exum,
who was part of a Special Operations task force,
one particular incident stands out.
In the spring of 2004,
I was leading a quick reaction force of US Army Rangers
in Eastern Afghanistan...
..and we got spun up one night because a Ranger unit that was in a blocking position
down in the border with Pakistan had come under fire.
The quick reaction force, that unit had a young Ranger named Pat Tillman,
who was a US football star
and, in that firefight,
he was killed by friendly fire actually from his own unit.
In the aftermath of his death,
people lost sight of the fact of why those Rangers were there on the border in the first place.
They were there in expectation of a Pakistani army offensive through Waziristan,
that was going to push these militants out of Waziristan and back into Afghanistan.
And obviously that never took place.
And I think that in Tillman's death you see so much the futility
with which this conflict has been waged
in light of our partner in Afghanistan that at times has been incompetent,
at times has simply not had the capacity
or the will to take on these militant groups,
and at times and in instances has been complicit with these militant groups.
The Forward Operating Base was re-named in honour of the young football star.
Meanwhile, the CIA made another discovery
that was to have lethal repercussions.
Inside Pakistan, scores of training camps had been built
to help teach Taliban fighters how to kill American soldiers.
Mullah Qaseem was an early recruit.
It was like a workshop.
The important thing was that we should be able to convince people.
The Americans and British who'd come to your country
hadn't come to build it but to destroy it.
"Your country has been invaded.
"Remember your ancestors who made the British run away
"and successfully fought the Russians.
"In the name of Islam, you should gather people together
"and get them ready for jihad."
Another Taliban commander,
who still actively fights under the name of Mullah Azizullah,
says many of his teachers were from Pakistani intelligence.
He's asked to hide his identity.
They are all the ISI's men.
They are the ones who run the training.
First they train us about bombs. Then they give us practical guidance.
Their generals are everywhere. They are present during the training.
The official spokesman for the ISI
denies that there was any such support for the camps.
These camps, they got...
probably reinitiated by themselves
when the Taliban crossed over from Afghanistan in 2001/02
and they started reorganising.
So to say that these militant groups
were being supported by the state
with the organised camps in these areas, et cetera,
I think nothing could be further from the truth.
The official denial is dismissed by Latif Afridi,
one of Pakistan's senior judges and a native of the tribal area.
He has no doubt about the importance of Pakistani intelligence
to the Taliban training camps.
< Would it have been possible for those camps to have been created
without the knowledge of the ISI?
No, it was not possible.
See, during this period, ISI had trained guerrilla fighters.
People say there were 600 Chinese there, Punjabis there,
you see Chechens, there's Arabs, there's Tajiks,
God knows how many other...
peoples from other nationalities. But these people have been allowed
with the explicit approval of our agencies.
But the ISI were not the only backers of the camps.
According to another middle-ranking Taliban commander,
breaking his silence for the first time.
Still fighting under the name of Najib,
he joined the insurgency eight years ago.
I was in the camp for a month.
They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialised in.
I was trained to fire RPGs.
The instructors were from Al-Qaeda. We were all Al-Qaeda.
They were preaching about the importance of jihad,
and suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us.
Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there.
The CIA were becoming aware of the scale of the Taliban training camps
and the fact that Al-Qaeda were talent-spotting potential suicide bombers.
What we were seeing was people, for example kids from Britain, kids from North America,
showing up in little training compounds in the tribal areas.
In some cases you might have Al-Qaeda running them.
I'm talking about the core group of Al-Qaeda people
who were charged with training and sending people
into western Europe and North America.
In the winter of 2004, two young British men
made the long journey to Pakistan to be trained for jihad.
While there, they were singled out by Al-Qaeda,
who decided they would be more useful to the jihadi cause
if they returned home to conduct operations there.
'Hi, there's a bus just exploded outside, in Tavistock Square,
'just outside my window.
'There's people lying on the ground and everything.
'There's a London bus, it's a 30, I think,
'but there's people dead and everything, by the looks of it.'
On 7/7, I was in my office in Whitehall in the Cabinet Office
and I received notification of explosions in the London Underground
and, obviously, this was not an accident, this was obviously...
Britain was under attack.
The intelligence reports soon revealed the bombers' visits to the training camps in Pakistan.
Over a number of years,
I'd been monitoring international terrorist activity,
not just in the UK but around the globe,
and I'd seen, in virtually every case, links back to Pakistan,
so it didn't come in any way as a surprise to find
that terrorists operating in the UK
were being directed by Al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan.
The British also suspected the role of Pakistani intelligence in the training camps.
The ISI, of course, must take responsibility
for the fact that some of these camps were still up and running,
including, perhaps, the camp that was responsible for training the 7/7 attackers.
The new influx of suicide bombers trained in the camps
soon made their presence felt on the ground in Afghanistan too.
The numbers on suicide attacks...
2003 in Afghanistan - there were two suicide attacks,
2004 - five suicide attacks,
2005 - 17 suicide attacks in Afghanistan.
Those are the three primary years I was there.
The following year in '06 - there were 139 suicide attacks.
That leads me to suspect that our friends in Pakistan
may have decided to re-energise the Taliban
so that they would have a proxy force in whatever was going to happen after the Americans were gone.
But the Americans, too, must shoulder some responsibility for the resurgent Taliban.
In the years after 9/11,
the Americans had shown little interest in rebuilding Afghanistan,
which helped the Taliban to take root and prosper.
Then, in 2005, just as the Taliban was becoming an effective fighting force,
the Americans decided to hand over military control to NATO.
The Americans wanted to concentrate on Iraq instead.
The decision was to have momentous consequences,
as the Taliban sensed an opportunity and stepped up their attacks.
The night before I went back into one particular area -
this was in Helmand Province in the spring of 2006 -
a friend of mine came and knocked on my door
and said, "Look, Mike, as your friend, as your classmate,
"I'm begging you not to go in there. We are literally seeing hundreds
"and hundreds and hundreds of fighters pouring in from Pakistan
"and it is not what you think it is any more."
And he was truly concerned for my life.
And it turned out to be a very legitimate concern.
There were many times when I didn't know if I was going to live.
We experienced insurgents crossing the border
within very close proximity of Pakistani military posts.
We experienced both artillery and rocket fire from the other side of the border,
that the Pakistanis didn't respond to.
We were experiencing 200/300/400-man ambushes.
These we're very sophisticated three-sided ambushes,
particularly along the Helmand River valley.
Things as sophisticated as floating barges with RPG and mortar teams,
multiple layers of mortar, artillery and heavy machine guns.
It was definitely a turn for the worse
in both the security situation but also the insurgents' capabilities.
Major Mike Waltz, who had spent two years in the field,
during which time the Taliban attacks on coalition troops had more than doubled,
now returned to Washington in 2006 as an adviser to the Pentagon on the Afghan desk.
My message coming back to Washington,
particularly on the state of the Taliban,
was that the insurgency had reconstituted,
the security situation was getting appreciably worse
and that if we didn't adopt a different strategy,
namely a counter-insurgency strategy and the resources to back it,
that the situation was just going to continue to decline.
And yet this harsh appraisal
and the critical role of Pakistan didn't shape British thinking.
As part of the new NATO-led campaign,
the British set off for Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan,
believing this was a peacekeeping and reconstruction mission.
We certainly didn't have a good handle on that at the time
and I don't think that the decision to go into Helmand
was informed by intelligence.
That then turned out to be a mistake.
Without the support that Pakistan gives, without providing a safe haven
and also physical support and in some cases direction,
I don't think the Taliban could have operated
and built themselves up in the way they did.
-White house, three building.
-On that target!
Almost immediately, the British troops found themselves in the most brutal and intense combat
the army had seen for decades.
Last burst, last burst.
At times, they were in danger of being overrun.
Probably, the first fatalities when I was there
was three guys that were attached to the company
were killed one night and that, obviously...
really brings it home. Quite a sobering sense.
This isn't what were supposed to be doing, defending places.
We're supposed to be having a positive effect,
not being tied down exchanging fire with Taliban.
What was by now unmistakable to the West
was that Pakistan's complicity with the Taliban
was costing British lives.
By 2006, it was abundantly clear
that the Pakistani intelligence service
was orchestrating the revival of the Afghan Taliban.
And, to me, that was the moment when it was clear we'd been double-dealt.
We'd had our suspicions before then but in 2006 it was unequivocal.
The Afghan Taliban were back,
they were surging across southern Afghanistan
and they could only do that if they had the support of the Pakistani intelligence service.
Next time on Secret Pakistan, The double-cross is discovered...
..America strikes back
but Pakistan's help to the Taliban continues.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
In May this year, US Special Forces shot and killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Publicly Pakistan is one of America's closest allies - yet every step of the operation was kept secret from it.
Filmed largely in Pakistan and Afghanistan, this two-part documentary series explores how a supposed ally stands accused by top CIA officers and Western diplomats of causing the deaths of thousands of coalition soldiers in Afghanistan. It is a charge denied by Pakistan's military establishment, but the documentary makers meet serving Taliban commanders who describe the support they get from Pakistan in terms of weapons, training and a place to hide.
This first episode investigates signs of duplicity that emerged after 9/11 and disturbing intelligence reports after Britain's forces entered Helmand in 2006.