Wednesday, February 21, 2007

From Friend to Foe

The New York Times has published an article that describes an Afghan's interesting relationship with the U.S. government over the years. According to the article An Afghan's Path from Ally of U.S. to Drug Suspect, by JAMES RISEN, the U.S. government used this individual for years as an informant against the Taliban and al-Qaeda but when the relationship fizzled, he was arrested on drug charges.

"In April 2005, federal law enforcement officials ... announce[d] the capture of ... Haji Bashir Noorzai ... [but] the officials left out some puzzling details...
Soon after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Mr. Noorzai agreed to cooperate with American officials ... in late January 2002 he handed over 15 truckloads of weapons, including about 400 antiaircraft missiles, that had been hidden by the Taliban in his tribe's territory, Mr. Fisher said[Noorzai's lawyer] ... Mr. Noorzai also persuaded a local tribal figure, Haji Birqet, to return to Afghanistan from Pakistan, the lawyer said. But he said the Americans, falsely warned that Mr. Birqet and Mr. Noorzai were plotting to attack United States forces, killed Mr. Birqet ... angered by the attack on Mr. Birqet, Mr.Noorzai broke off contact with the Americans and fled to his home in Pakistan, according to Mr. Fisher.
...Mr. Noorzai had secretly been indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on drug smuggling charges in January 2005. [FBI] contractors ... persuade[d] Mr. Noorzai to come to the United States ... where he was arrested..."

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