Mentor of 9/11 kingpin joins president race in Afghanistan

KABUL (TIP): A former Islamist warlord who is said to be responsible for bringing al-Qaida to Afghanistan and who trained the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, announced he was running for president on October 3, a move likely to be greeted with apprehension by the international community. A conservative Islamic scholar, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf ran paramilitary training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was there he meet al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden . In 1996, Sayyaf helped Laden return to Afghanistan after he was ejected from Sudan . Laden stayed in the country under the protection of the Taliban until the Americanled invasion of late 2001. Sayyaf was named in the 9/11 commission report as the “mentor” of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the key plotter of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Mohammed attended the military camps organized by Sayyaf in Pakistan and from which several of the 2002 Bali bombers graduated. “Today I nominate myself in order to serve my countrymen and my nation — I want to stand alongside the true servants of Afghanistan,” Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf said before he registered at the offices of Kabul’s Independent Election Commission. Western diplomats have previously talked of their concerns regarding Sayyaf ‘s nomination, given his deeply conservative views regarding women’s rights and social freedoms, and his deep ties to militant Islam. Sayyaf ‘s nominee for first vice president, Ismail Khan, will also worry the country’s Western backers.

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American Scientist Peter Wolynes elected to Indian National Science Academy

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