Is it true that OBL received training by U.S. forces in Afganistan?
Maybe. One journalist/analyst has made that claim and certainly the CIA was aware of him and made no secret of welcoming the extra largesse he brought to the table in Afghanistan. It wouldn’t be particularly shocking if he had, really. Realpolitik makes for strange bedfellows.
However I haven’t seen solid evidence of actual training myself. Though I haven’t looked real hard, either.
By most of the mainstream world it is considered a fact that ObL was trained by Pakistani forces which were funded by the U.S., but not the U.S. or the CIA directly.
Most leftists of course have a thousand different theories.
I’m in the middle of the OBL chapter of the 9/11 Commission report, and their finding was that he was not financed by the US, and in fact rose to prominence within Al Qeada by doing the financing, at least in the initial stages in the late '80s, himself. In later years, financing was provided by extremists within the Middle East governments. He’s made it a point not to accept any non-Musilm help.
But, I don’t have the book here with me at work, so that’s just off the top of my head.
Basically, we threw a bunch of money at Pakistan, said “train us some anti-Soviet insurgents,” and didn’t look too closely at anything that followed.
The 9/11 Commission report, Chapter 2, writing of Osama Bin Ladin among the anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan in the 1980s:
What “training” do you think Osama received? During that time period, he was a financer and nothing more. He likes to be filmed carrying an AK-47, but do you really think he would ever consider fighting with it?
From the 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 2:
So Walloon, what do you think of the 9/11 Commission Report so far? I’m about 2/3rds of the way through Chap 2, and it’s turning out to be more readable than I thought it would be. In fact, if it wasn’t for the footnotes, it would be a lot like some of the Clancy techno-novels.
In book that I’m reading “Ghost Wars”, Osama was a financer, who recruited fighters from other muslim countries (sound familiar?). He and a small number of those recruits held off an attack from 400 Russian troops for a week. This is what gave him a name for being a fighter. It was said that he would have to lie down often during this week for rest, due to his problem with diabetes. He brought in equipment from his family’s construction business to build roads. This equipment was also used to dig out and expand the caves in the Tora Bora area. Obviously, he used this to his advantage later.
OK, so he fought once to save his own skin. It’s not like he was one of the guys who went out to ambush Soviet patrols or try to shoot down their helicopter gunships. He was a money-man for the mujahadeen who used his money to start his own terrorist group when the Soviets gave up and went home.
The CIA would have had no reason to have trained him because he was not a fighter. It wouldn’t have gained anything - the CIA was training the guys who were going out to kill communists on a daily basis.