ISLAMABAD: International Terror Network Al-Qaeda carried out hijacking of Indian plane in 1998 to secure release of Pakistani militant Maulana Masood Azhar, Abu Jandal former guard of Osama Bin Laden disclosed this in a one and a half hour movie documentary aired by Al-Jazeera on Saturday.
Guard of the most wanted terrorist recalled in the TV documentary that Bin Laden welcomed Maulana Masood Azhar after his release from an Indian jail preceding hijacking of a plane that landed in the Afghan city of Kandahar and was threw a lavish party in honor of the Pakistani militant.
Abu Jandal mentioned the original strategy by Osama Bin Laden to target US Cole in the international waters failed to work in 1998 and instead Al-Qaeda blasted Cole by mistake in Yemen seawaters, something he pointed out was against the then policy of Al Qaeda to undertake militant acts causing embarrassments for Muslim countries.
He also brought on the record precise details on the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood who he recounted was killed by Al-Qaeda almost a day before 9/11 on the request of Taliban.
Abu Jandal giving details of the release of Maulana Masood Azhar he mentioned on the day of the operation of the hijacking of the Indian plane at the Kandhar Airport the Sheikh told me to get my missiles ready. We had stinger missiles. Within half an hour we declared emergency in the area. The plane was flying over the airport building and than it landed at the Kandahar Airport. When I observed the sign at the plane the word ‘Indian’ was written on it. At that moment I realize that what was happening. When the plane landed then the Taliban forces were seen moving towards the area.
The Al-Qaeda Chiefs guard maintained, I was told that other planes will also follow this plane and there is a danger of the situation getting further worse. They told me that 4-5 persons have been released from India. We were watching all this through telescope. We saw a grand welcoming party for receiving the persons and heard loud noise of firing. After 2-3 days Osama bin laden invited Maulana Azhar and some Taliban authorities at the Kandahar airport at a lavish party at the Kandahar airport. He introduced Mulla Masood Azhar to us and then we sat together.
He told that it was astonishing for us that Maulana Masood Azhar and Osama Bin Laden had old relations.
He was of the view that Osama bin Laden was in favor of targeting US fleets in the international waters but he doesn’t want to do it near an Arab country as the fight was with the West. That is why he doesn’t want to push any Muslim or Arab or any of the Middle East country in the fight.
Abu Jandal told, the purpose of targeting the US fleet in the international waters was to reduce pressure over the Yemenis or any other government as the US Cole use to cruise through many Arabian countries starting from Jabal Tariq, Suez Canal, Al-Mandib Strait and Cyprus. Here it was tried not to attack the fleet but a small mistake took place that was specific to that time