Senior Taliban leader killed in NATO airstrike
A view from the top of the hill at the Outpost Monti in Kunar province. Maulawi Nur Mohammad was killed in an airstrike in Kunar province.
August 22nd, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Senior Taliban leader killed in NATO airstrike

By Wesley Bruer

A senior Taliban leader - possibly the same man who allegedly helped al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden escape Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion in 2001 - was killed in a NATO airstrike this week, the International Security Assistance Force announced.

In a statement Monday, ISAF said Maulawi Nur Mohammad, also known as Turabi, was among "dozens of heavily armed insurgents killed in a precision airstrike" in Kunar Province. A man of the same name was instrumental in helping bin Laden and current al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri escape from Tora Bora in December 2001, according to testimony from a detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

Mohammad served as the Taliban's shadow governor for the remote Chapah Darah district, where he was observed by Afghan and coalition forces with a "large group of heavily armed insurgents," ISAF said. He was responsible for planning and conducting all Taliban activity in the area against coalition troops.

According to files leaked to and published by WikiLeaks, Guantanamo detainee Harun Al Afghani told interrogators he had met Mohammad about 10 months after the battle in Tora Bora. It was then that he learned of Mohammad's role - along with 40 to 50 of his men - in bin Laden's escape.

Al Afghani was a senior commander of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) - an ally of the Taliban - and courier for senior al Qaeda leaders. Al Afghani has been held in Guantanamo Bay since June of 2007 and is listed as a high-risk detainee of high intelligence value.

According to his statement, Al Afghani had set up a meeting between Mohammad and a senior al Qaeda leader named Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi.

Al-Iraqi was described by U.S. defense officials as "one of the highest-ranking and experienced senior operatives at the time of his detention" in April 2007.

Al-Iraqi is said to have given Mohammad $7,000 in repayment of a loan Mohammad made to bin Laden as he prepared to leave Tora Bora. He also allegedly gave Mohammad more than $2,000 to fund terror operations in Jalalabad, the city not far from Tora Bora where Mohammad is thought to have sheltered bin Laden for several weeks.

ISAF has been unable to confirm that the man killed last weekend was the same who had whisked bin Laden away from Tora Bora. Research by CNN when the detainee assessments were first published found no additional information about what had happened to Mohammad since 2001.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Kunar • Taliban
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. 66th Strategic Command & Operations Unit.

    I rather drone or drop some rockets on hostiles then risk the lives of my men or anyone else just trying to get one guy especially when we have the ability at the time to deploy a drone or any sort of combat support.

    August 23, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Quigley

      Or better yet, we need to just get out of Afghanistan altogether and just forget all this needless killing! Like I said before, we have no right to be there in the first place!

      August 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • 66th Strategic Command & Operations Unit.

        We agree but the cost of leaving could be just as risky as staying, Afghanistan would fall back into the hands of Jihadist and would be the home and fire-base for future attacks.

        September 2, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  2. DENA

    Who cares if they use the drones the taliban uses roadside bombs ppl can't see. F'em

    August 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply


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    August 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • RK

      hahahaha...keep crying one beleives you.....beggar paki...hahahhahhaa

      August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  4. George Patton

    Another field day for the right-wing thugs in Washington!!! Their ought to be an international law against all these cowardly murders by those ungodly drones of ours! Then again if there was one, who would or could enforce it?

    August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Trevor

      Do you have a "list" of crap statements like of set of cards and randomly pull one and hit "paste"?

      August 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • DENA

      You talk about cowardly acts how about flying a jet into two buildings w/thousands of ppl. hummm.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • :)

        Biggest................con job...............ever...................

        August 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Old Man Clark

      Well said, George. Just ignore these idiots here. I wonder if any of them ever finished grade school. Those drones do need to be outlawed and the operators prosecuted!

      August 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • johndcross1

      How dare you say that! You must be an idiot.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
  5. Chicken Hawk Red Neck Slob

    I jes' blew a load in m' sh!t-caked skivvies.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply

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