The Rise And Fall Of Osama — A Fake Account
It was mid-May. Around 5PM. I was giving finishing touches to an article with its filing deadline only few minutes away. I heard the door-bell ring. And as I clicked the ‘Send’ command on my lap-tap submitting via the internet the just finished article to the newspaper for publication, one of my grandsons, 11-year old Daud rushed into my room announcing almost out of breath: “Dada, there is someone at the doors. He would like to see you, if you are free!”
What I saw when I went out was an impressive, athletic looking tall person, almost six feet, in his 70s or early 80s with sharp eyes, head totally white, sedately dressed in shirt-sleeves.
“Yes?” I asked extending my hand which he grabbed in what seemed like a huge paw and shook vigorously.
“I am Samiuddin Khan and live down there,” he said pointing to a house about four houses down the lane from where we were shaking hands and on the same side of the road.
Continuing, he added: “I am told you are a journalist? I have some highly sensitive information I would like to share with you.”
He sounded well-educated, well-bred and refined; did not look or sound like the usual run of the mill harebrained characters who give free run to their imagination and come up with weirdest of stories and rush to share them with the first person they meet.
Still, I hesitated for a minute or so giving him another once — over rather closely watching his eyes which looked back straight into my eyes as if making up my mind for me as I felt it but natural to invite him in and get him seated in the drawing room.
Sitting across him, I asked: “What would you like tea, coffee or something cold?”
“Cold water would do, because even before the short time it would take to serve it, you would throw me out when I say what I have to say,” he said calmly but added quickly “I would, nevertheless, request you very humbly and very respectfully to hear me out first.”
There was a large dose of pleading in his request.
But the very next minute he threw me off balance when he said: “Osama is alive!”
Retorting quickly but calmly to the look of utter incredulity which he saw on my face he said, “I am not a crank, and I have no intention of wasting your time and mine, with the usual rant as to the great plans Osama has chalked out for mobilizing the Muslim Ummah for Islamic conquest of the world.”
“He is today a penniless wasted rut, recuperating from his kidney, lung and so many other medical afflictions. He does not know about his tomorrows but he deeply regrets his yester-years,” said my guest taking advantage of my dumbstruck incredulity.
“Who are you? Why do you want me to listen to your hare-brained story about a person being alive who the world knows and is satisfied that he was killed by US Seals in his house in Abbottabad in 2011 and his body thrown into the sea?” I asked when I regained by voice, trying very hard not to sound too abrupt or too rude because his dignified bearing would not let me be so.
“You would know who I am by the time I finish my story and I need you to hear me out because I want to share it with someone before I die which I believe is going to be sooner than later. And you being a journalist, you would know what to do about it when I am gone,” replied the gentleman as if answering a query in a board room meeting about the financial health of the corporation under discussion.
There was a long pause as we looked at each other as if trying to seize one another. The room had turned too stifling for comfort. More so because of the pressure in the room rather than the sweltering summer day outside.
Breaking the silence, I asked my servant who had meanwhile entered the room, ‘Switch on the AC and get us something cold.”
And then turning to him, after a short pause, I said rather reluctantly as if prepared to indulge in what to me would be an utter waste of time: “OK, I am all ears, and please skip the preamble.”
The look on his face said he could read my mind, but with a faint smile accompanying a twinkle in his eyes he began actually without any preamble:
“The Americans captured Osama from a remote Afghan village as he was coming out of a mosque after having offered Friday prayers. This was late December 1997. Osama does not remember the exact date of his capture because of the long drawn torture and the terrible suffering he underwent from the day he was captured. He was undressed, his signature beard was shaved off and thrown onto a helicopter for an almost 5-hour long flight and thrown into Guantanamo prison.
He doesn’t even remember for how long his mind was in the twilight zone, until he woke up one fine morning somewhere he still does not know where and has been there all these years in almost total isolation and living as a guest of one old man who does not talk much but cries a lot.”
When Khan finally finished after about 90 minutes of largely uninterrupted narration, it indeed sounded like one long drawn but exciting fairy tale, a product of a fertile mind. It was too unconvincing to be taken seriously or requiring further exploring.
But when only three days after his visit to my house my servant informed me that the gentleman had passed away and that some half a dozen or so men not known to anybody in our neighborhood (it seems he lived all alone in the house with no family) had taken away his body after having offered his Namaz-i-Janaza in the nearby mosque, nobody knows where. It was then I began toying with the idea of at least penning down what he had told me because of some of the parts of his narration were contemporary and had nothing to do with Osama fiction.
So, here it is:
Sometime around mid-1995 Osama had shot dead an FBI agent over an altercation between the two regarding the latter’s instructions delivered rather rudely. The US went after Osama declaring that Americans considered the blood of their dogs to be more valuable than that of any non-American human being.
The chase ended with the capture of Osama from a remote Afghan village. Osama regretted showing himself in a Friday prayer congregation in a town of a couple of hundred people. He considered it one of his major blunders.
But the biggest blunder of his life, he says, was working for the CIA for almost 30 years!
A youthful Osama in his teens and largely unschooled was chosen along with about 75 or so shoeless Bedouins around late 1960s by the CIA and flown to the US for studies. They were lodged in a guest house near the Whitehouse in Washington. By the end of the first fortnight about 7 of them were separated from the rest and accommodated in a 7-Star hotel (3-Star in today’s consideration) where young girls almost in their birthday suits received them. A couple of them fell victim to the temptation and were discarded at this stage. After months long training during which they were introduced and became familiar with important officials of US administration, the survivors of the rigors of training—no more than a couple — were flown back home. Osama went back to school to finish his education.
A couple of weeks after his return, the American embassy contacted him and offered to help him in his education and business. The family which had a camel farm and dealt in a small camel milk business was offered money to expand the business and also to branch out in other businesses as well including retailing, oil and construction etc. The family house was also renovated into a huge, beautifully designed villa. With the oil boom of early 1970s, the Kingdom was rolling in dollars and Osama family had become one of its leading business families.
Soon being seen as a scion of a billionaire family Osama got access to the top decision makers of his own country and the ruling classes of many other as a he travelled a lot.
First Afghan war
By the time the first Afghan war began in early 1980s Osama had become the lynchpin of the CIA’s Afghan campaign. Throughout the war which actually ended in 1986 but with the final withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan getting underway in 1989, Osama would be travelling between Afghanistan and Pakistan, collecting information for the CIA and funding the Jihad wherever needed.
During this period, he had had several meetings with the then ISI chief Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Akhtar Abdur Rehman and one or two recorded meetings with President General Ziaul Haq.
As the first Afghan war hurtled towards a seemingly gradual closure with the Soviet troops taking their time to withdraw which actually happened sometime in the middle of 1989, the CIA simply walked away leaving the post-war Afghanistan up for grabs with each of the seven factions of Afghan Mujahideen and Pakistan ISI vying against each other as rivers of blood flowed through the nook and cranny of what is rightly called the grave yard of empires.
The CIA had assigned the job of investment and rehabilitation of the war torn Afghanistan to Osama.
But perhaps feeling betrayed and disillusioned having realized that he and the very concept of Islamic Jihad was exploited by the Americans to get rid of USSR and once having succeeded they went away abandoning the messy aftermath of the war in the region, Osama started using, his money and mobilization skills to wage war against America and its world-wide interests. He had started to play what he called a double game. During this period, he said he had provided financial assistance not only to Pakistan but also other Muslim countries as well, including Malaysia (he called Mahatir Mohammad his friend).
He claims he knew nothing about the 9/11 event or for that matter about why Taliban were created. In fact, he claims he and Mullah Omar had differed on a lot of issues.
He admits that he gave around $300 million or even more to the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (1990-93) of which he says the then Information Minister Sheikh Rashid had personal knowledge, not for, as is being generally alleged, to keep Benazir Bhutto out of Pakistan’s political arena but to help Pakistan continue its nuclear program without any hiccups for want of funds. He remembers funding Maulana Samiul Haq’s madrassahs as well.
It seems either just before or soon after 9/11 Osama had escaped the Guantanamo prison. But the exact date of his escape and how it happened he does not disclose or perhaps does not know. He himself says that his incarceration period had lasted for about seven, eight or even ten years. That would mean he was in the Guantanamo prison until at least 2005 or perhaps until 2008.
He believes the Americans had wanted for its own unknown reasons the world to believe that Osama was behind the 9/11 massacre. That is why he says, the US enacted the drama of sending a missile just before 9/11 into Afghanistan ostensibly targeting Osama. Next they asked Mullah Omar to hand over Osama knowing very well that he did not have him. But according to Osama the Mullah perhaps thought that if he said he did not have Osama, it would betray his weakness, he gave a macho response saying he would not give up Osama but would try him inside Afghanistan. And the Americans took this answer as god-sent excuse to invade Afghanistan.
Osama says he has no future plans, but sees the wave of religion, especially Islam that had swept the world in the 1980s disappearing gradually and tapering off sooner than later. Health-wise he said he is improving as both his kidney and lung ailments are on the bend, largely because of diet which included a lot of uncooked fresh vegetables.
He recalls that during the post-World War II period and until the early 1980s it was a world engaged in an ideological contest between Communism and Capitalism and religion including Islam existing only in margins. But suddenly as if with a snap of fingers, the so-called free world, the capitalist world in fact was swept off its feet by a wave of religion, especially Islamic jihad.
Jihad labelled as terrorism
This, according to Osama was the handiwork of the American CIA. And after the collapse of the Soviet Communism, the CIA wanted to destroy Islam which they did by conveniently labeling the Islamic Jihad (even the intifadas in Palestine and Occupied Kashmir) as terrorism which had manifested in the shape of the so-called Taliban and other such movements like Daesh and ISIS that had emerged in various Muslim countries, mainly in post war Iraq and Syria. In the opinion of Osama, the CIA was the actual architect of all these ultra-terrorist Islamic Jihad groups as well.
And now, in the immediate future Osama expects this so-called Islamic terrorism to taper off giving way to another ism that the CIA is busy in designing to be launched he says with the world-wide advent of 5G. In his opinion, this new era is going to be a free-for-all, especially in the context of morals.
After completing his Osama saga my guest turned to Pakistan and warned me that by December this year (2020) the country would suffer from serious political upheavals which would last until about the middle of next year when the PTI-led government would have a new Prime Minister, either Shireen Mazari or Shibli Faraz who would remain in saddle until the next general election expected most likely in the third quarter of 2021.
He said Nawaz Sharif is in command of the situation as he is getting help from the ‘right’ quarters. He would set the stage for next election preceded by riots in the streets. In his opinion Kashmir will continue to remain a problem between India and Pakistan as long the people of the two countries don’t realize that the problem is only adding to the strength of their respective armies.
He was certain that the US would never withdraw from Afghanistan and also revealed that thousands of US intelligence agents were roaming in the region.
He said Pakistan needs to manage its share of water from IWT rather more efficiently and suggested that the government should send some experts from Pakistan to the US to study how various states there were managing their share of water from upper riverine partners.
He saw most of the religions disappearing from the face of the earth in the next few years with a few being marginalized into insignificance.
He claimed that Taliban, Daesh, ISIS and other such groups were created by the American CIA and they would be, he said, made to disappear by the CIA whenever US foreign policy makers would deem it appropriate.
He further claimed that some 17 US marines were shot dead as a punishment for their failure to prevent Osama’ escape from Guantanamo prison.
The author is a senior journalist and editor.