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The Toba Kakar Mountains (Pashto توبه کاکړۍ) Urdu: توبہ کاکڑ) are a southern offshoot of the Himalayas in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, extending into the Kandahar and Zabul provinces of Afghanistan. The historical route through the mountains is known as the Bolan Pass. The mountains originally received media attention in August 1979; when evidence emerged that Pakistan may be using them as a potential workspace towards development of nuclear weapons. Again in April 1981, the United States government raised concerns, this time with Senator Alan Cranston referring specifically to a nuclear test site, built into the side of the mountains, 40 kilometres from Afghanistan. As a result of this, Congress amended existing legislation that would terminate financial assistance to Pakistan in the event of any nuclear test, so that it could not be waived by the president.
In late 2004, John Lehman announced that the United States now had the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden narrowed down to a 16-square kilometre area in the Toba Kakar mountains; though they were hesitant to enter the area, Lehman using the reference that it would be "another Vietnam". Pakistan's Major General Shaukat Sultan commented the claims of bin Laden being in that mountain range were "ridiculous" and without basis.
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A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets, that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision. Modern cruise missiles are capable of travelling at supersonic or high subsonic speeds, are self-navigating, and are able to fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low-altitude trajectory.
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, also rendered Usama bin Ladin, was a founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda. He was a Saudi Arabian citizen until 1994 and a member of the wealthy bin Laden family.
The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban's leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Tora Bora is a cave complex, part of the Safed Koh mountain range of eastern Afghanistan. It is situated in the Pachir Aw Agam District of Nangarhar, approximately 50 km (31 mi) west of the Khyber Pass and 10 km (6.2 mi) north of the border of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan. Tora Bora was known to be a stronghold location of the Taliban, used by military forces against the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Tora Bora and the surrounding Safed Koh range had natural caverns formed by streams eating into the limestone, that had later been expanded into a CIA-financed complex built for the Mujahedeen.
The following lists events that happened during 2001 in Afghanistan.
Operation Infinite Reach was the codename for American cruise missile strikes on al-Qaeda bases in Khost, Afghanistan, and the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, on August 20, 1998. The attacks, launched by the U.S. Navy, were ordered by President Bill Clinton in retaliation for al-Qaeda's August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people and injured over 4,000 others. Operation Infinite Reach was the first time the United States acknowledged a preemptive strike against a violent non-state actor.
The Bolān Pass is a mountain pass through the Toba Kakar Range of Balochistan province in western Pakistan, 120 km (75 mi) from the Afghanistan border. The pass is an 89 km (55 mi) stretch of the Bolan river valley from Rindli in the south to Darwāza near Kolpur in the north. It is made up of a number of narrow gorges and stretches. It connects Sibi with Quetta both by road and railway.
The United States invasion of Afghanistan occurred after the September 11 attacks in late 2001 and was supported by close US allies. The conflict is also known as the US war in Afghanistan. Its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The United Kingdom was a key ally of the United States, offering support for military action from the start of preparations for the invasion. It followed the Afghan Civil War's 1996–2001 phase between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance groups, although the Taliban controlled 90% of the country by 2001. The US invasion of Afghanistan became the first phase of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present).
The Ras Koh Hills is a range of granite hills forming part of the Sulaiman Mountain Range in the Chagai District in Pakistan's Balochistan province. The word "Ras" means "gateway" and the word "Koh" means "mountain" in Balochi. Ras Koh, therefore, means "Gateway to the Mountains." Pakistan's first nuclear tests were carried out in the Ras Koh Hills on 28 May 1998.
Osama bin Laden, the founder and former leader of al-Qaeda, went into hiding following the start of the War in Afghanistan in order to avoid capture by the United States and/or its allies for his role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and having been on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since 1999. After evading capture at the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, his whereabouts became unclear, and various rumours about his health, continued role in al-Qaeda, and location were circulated. Bin Laden also released several video and audio recordings during this time.
This article covers the Afghan history between the Taliban's conquest of Kabul and their establishing of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on 27 September 1996, and the U.S. and U.K. invasion of Afghanistan on 7 October 2001: a period that was part of the Afghan civil war that had started in 1989, and also part of the war in Afghanistan that had started in 1978.
The Battle of Tora Bora was a military engagement that took place in the cave complex of Tora Bora, eastern Afghanistan, from December 6–17, 2001, during the opening stages of the United States invasion of Afghanistan. It was launched by the United States and its allies with the objective to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant organization al-Qaeda. al-Qaeda and bin Laden were suspected of being responsible for the September 11 attacks three months prior. Tora Bora is located in the White Mountains near the Khyber Pass. The U.S. stated that al-Qaeda had its headquarters there and that it was bin Laden's location at the time.
Pakistan–United States Relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the United States. On 20 October 1947, two months and six days after Pakistan's independence, the United States established relations with Pakistan, making it amongst the first nations to establish relations with the new state. Pakistan allied itself with the United States during the Cold war era against the Soviet Union, and was an integral player in the CENTO and SEATO alliances. Relations worsened in the 1970s following the election of the left-oriented Pakistan Peoples Party under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and then quickly improved and deepened during Operation Cyclone in the 1980s, which was directed against Soviet expansion in Central Asia and South Asia. Pakistan became a logistics hub, supplying and training Muslim mujahideen in Afghanistan to combat the Soviet Union. Relations once again soured after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the United States approved sanctions against Pakistan by passing the Pressler amendment, and made the lifting of sanctions conditional on Pakistan abandoning its nuclear weapons program. Pakistan's nuclear program, which was initiated after the war with India in 1971 and accelerated after India detonated a nuclear bomb in 1974, is a contentious issue since it is seen by the Pakistani administration as the only means by which it can defend itself against an increasingly powerful India. The sanctions were lifted when Pakistan assumed an important role in American geopolitical interests in the region following the September 11 attacks, and the subsequent War on Terror. Relations were strengthened as the United States named Pakistan a major non-NATO ally in 2002—which allowed for the release of over $25 billion of aid to Pakistan. American recovery efforts following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake were widely appreciated by the Pakistani public.
Osama bin Laden, the founder and first leader of the Islamist terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT by United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group. The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a CIA-led operation with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, coordinating the Special Mission Units involved in the raid. In addition to SEAL Team Six, participating units under JSOC included the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)—also known as "Night Stalkers"—and operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC Special Mission Units. The operation ended a nearly 10-year search for bin Laden, following his role in the September 11 attacks on the United States.
It is alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had ties with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda and its "Afghan Arab" fighters when it armed Mujahideen groups to fight the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War.
Since the 1970s, the CIA has engaged in multiple operations in Afghanistan. The first major operation, code named Operation Cyclone, began in 1979. It was a program to arm and finance the mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR. President Reagan had seen an expansion of the Reagan doctrine, which aided anti-Soviet resistance movements. The program also supported militant Islamic groups that were favored by the regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in neighboring Pakistan, at the expense of other resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; costing over $20–$30 million per year in 1980, and rising to $630 million per year in 1987. Funding continued after 1989 as the mujahideen battled the forces of Mohammad Najibullah's PDPA during the civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992). After the withdrawal of Soviet troops, the CIA's objective was to topple the government of Mohammad Najibullah, which had been formed under the Soviet occupation. The three main factions that the CIA supported were: Ahmed Shah Massoud, Gulbadin Hekmatyar, and Jalaluddin Haqqani. Another civil war develops in 1990, as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and CIA-supported Gulbadin Hekmatyar seeks to violently eliminate all rivals, including the CIA-supported Ahmed Shah Massoud. In spite of this internecine warfare, ISI and CIA formulate a plan to topple the Najibullah government in a winter offensive on Kabul. As part of this offensive, CIA pays Massoud $500,000, over and above his monthly stipend of $200,000, to close the Salang Highway, which Massoud fails to do. During this period, the U.S. became increasingly concerned with the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban. Their support of the Taliban escalated tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan, and a careful eye was placed on the interrelations between the two. It was concerning for the U.S. as the Taliban grew to be a more extreme and direct threat to the United States, its citizens, and its foreign dignitaries.
Atomic demolition munitions (ADMs), colloquially known as nuclear land mines, are small nuclear explosive devices. ADMs were developed for both military and civilian purposes. As weapons, they were designed to be exploded in the forward battle area, in order to block or channel enemy forces. Non-militarily, they were designed for demolition, mining or earthmoving. However, apart from testing, they have never been used for either purpose.
The topography of Pakistan is divided into eight geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain, the desert areas, the Pothohar Plateau, Balochistan Plateau, Salt Range, and the Sistan Basin. All the rivers of Pakistan, i.e. Sindh, Ravi River, Chenab River, Jhelum River, and Sutlej River, originate from the Himalayas mountain range. Some geographers designate Plateau as to the west of the imaginary southwest line; and the Indus Plain lies to the east of that line.