Did the US really help Osama during Afghan war?

I heard there’s actually 2 different factions during that war, one the US helped, the other being Osama’s gang.

I can’t seem to find any proof, or if indeed the US did support Osama.

Does anyone have a cite for me?

P.S I apologise for cross posting, I posted in the wrong forum first of all and couldn’t delete. Sorry :frowning:

I’m not sure if OBL was connected to Gulbuddin but these links suggest that Gulbuddin received considerable US support. Quote from newsmax ‘…It may, or it may not, come as a surprise to learn that the CIA was obsessively insistent that the lion’s share of arms and support they gave to the Afghan Mujahaddin went to Gulbuddin. The term ‘obsessive’ is in no way hyperbolic. The CIA’s obsession to support Gulbuddin in vast preference to all other Mujahaddin leaders bordered on the pathological…’


This Jane’s report doesn’t specify, but it does indicate that, best case scenario, Osama was at the least able to take over the US funded network as soon as the Russians retreated. [NOTE: I suspect that this refers to the foreign fighters rather than the muhajadeen as a whole.]

This is apparently the full text of the article (it doesn’t really answer your question, but there’s some jucy background for you).

Intellnet says:

The specific case that you’ve heard of where there were two factions and where the US didn’t support bin Laden’s one sounds like complete BS to me. It scans like a simple story invented to make people feel good about not supporting bin Laden when it was convenient. Note that I’m not saying that the US definitiely did, but when the story simplifies the number of factions it doesn’t encourage me.

At the end of the day, bin Laden was no different to any of the others back then. You can bet that if the CIA had been channeling arms/money to the other six groups but not to bin Laden’s, then they’d be telling you about it. I know that silence doesn’t equal guilt, but these are spooks that we’re talking about :slight_smile: .

For what it’s worth, the CIA denies ever having had any relationship with bin Laden.


During the Afghan war, Bin Laden was just another Mujahaddin leader, one of several. The claim that we never helped him is almost certainly revisionist history.

Good link Ravenman. Still, although it categorically states that there was no relationship, even I can think of way around the wording used (and I’m not familiar with how the deals were done).

I searched their site to no avail. It’s a little sad that they don’t go into it in detail and explain what they actually were doing (as far as National Security allows).

The point is complicated by the fact the US aid given to the Afghan mujahdeen during the russian occuation was funnellled the ISI, the Pakistan Intelligence service (for reasons of cold-war “plasible deniabilty”). As such it was the ISI that to a large extent decided the details about where the aid should end up. The ISI certainly made some dubious choices on this front, favouring, for political reasons Abdul Rashid Dostum over Ahmad Shah Massoud. Though as bin Laden was not exactly short of cash (being part of one the richest families in Saudi Arabia), and even at that point already had antipathy towards the US, it is not clear how much financial aid he would have received from the US.

Whatever the case about direct financial aid the CIA certainly supported, the recriutments efforts organisations like Bin Laden’s during the russian occupation. They helped “Jihadis” from around the world travel to Pakistan and on to Afghanistan (it was these “Jahadis” the would later become the core of Al Quieda). They even funded and provided visas for radical moslem clerics to visit the US to recruit there. I think it is John Cooley’s book (see link below) that dicusses a US Embassy in Saudia Aradia worker who (not knowing what really happening) saw so many visas being issued to apparently unsuitable applicants, assumed there was some kind of bribery involved, and reported it to his superiors.

This subject is covered in a number of books… Here are a couple that I thought were good…

Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism
by John K. Cooley

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden
by Peter l. Bergen

Thanks, griffin. I should have known there’d be an intermediary.