A newly declassified cable from
the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) shows that the assassinated Afghan
opposition leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud, tried to warn the West of planned terrorist
attacks against the United States.
The cable, written in November, 2001, was obtained by the National Security
Archive at George Washington University in the U.S. capital, through a request
under the Freedom of Information Act.
According to the heavily edited document, Mr. Massoud had "limited knowledge" of
al-Qaida plans to perform a terrorist act against the United States on a scale
larger than the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The DIA cable says he gained the information through intelligence efforts
of his Northern Alliance. The cable says Mr. Massoud warned the West about
the intentions of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network in a speech to the
European Parliament in April, 2001.
Mr. Massoud was assassinated later that year, two days before the September
11 hijacked airliner attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Two al-Qaida operatives posing as journalists killed him using a bomb hidden
inside a video camera.
The DIA cable said the Afghan commander was not a threat to al-Qaida, even
though his forces were fighting the Taleban for control of Afghanistan.