Afghanistan: January 3, 2002

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Local tribal militias along the Pakistani border are still searching for al Qaeda fighters who fled the Tora Bora fighting. While the al Qaeda fighters fled traveled light when they fled, some of them were able to take a lot of cash with them. Searches of the Tora Bora caves found some administrative operations, and that usually means cash. In addition to buying food and shelter from people along the border, it's also possible that al Qaeda had additional caches of food and weapons in other caves along the border. Hiding food and weapons all over the place is an ancient Afghan custom which the al Qaeda foreigners couldn't have missed.

U.S. and British special forces continue to work with hired Afghan fighters to search the Tora Bora area for al Qaeda fighters, bodies, documents and other information. This is part of a growing intelligence effort that includes electronic eavesdropping over Afghanistan, use of a growing number of Afghan agents and informants on the ground and information from hundreds of captured al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. In addition, al Qaeda agents overseas continue to be rounded up and interrogated. These arrests are also yielding documents and other information (phone and credit card records). This intelligence led to information indicating the suspected location of Taliban leader Omar (150 kilometers northwest of Kandahar), and that bin Laden might be with him. 

 

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