Asharq Al-Awsat has obtained a rare manuscript entitled, 'The Story of the Afghan-Arabs: From the Entry to Afghanistan to the Final Exodus with Taliban', written by a man who lived in close proximity to the most important moments of the drama. The writer reveals a number of secrets and explains many ambiguities in the activities of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In thorough detail, he recounts the struggles of the "hawks and the doves" within the organization, on issues such as weapons of mass destruction and the desperate efforts made by Osama bin Laden to obtain a "dirty bomb" from the Russian arsenal, through his correspondence with Khatab, the leader of the 'Arab Mujahideen' in the Caucasus.
Asharq Al-Awsat has obtained the manuscript through a mediator, but only after difficult and protracted negotiations.
The author, who is considered by fundamentalists in London to be the leading ideologue of Al-Qaeda, and one of the first batch of "Arab Afghans" who lived and worked in Qandahar, exposes the widely conflicting perceptions of Bin Laden's inner circle with regards to weapons of mass destruction and the most suitable methods to be adopted in the confrontation with America.
Asharq Al-Awsat is certain that the author had documented his experiences as they unfolded in front of him, from the vantage point of his membership to the Shura (Consultative) Council which constituted Bin Laden's inner circle and his close relationship with Mullah Omer, the deposed ruler of the Taliban. In deference to a request from those close to the author, Asharq Al-Awsat would not disclose his name, under the present circumstances.
Parts II, III, and IV.