Afghanistan: December 25, 2002


  Gulbadin Hekmatyar, an Islamic fundamentalist warlord who was driven into exile in the mid 1990s, has announced, to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, that he is joining with al Qaeda and the Taliban to fight the Americans. Hekmatyar has spent most of the last seven years in exile in Iran, which expelled him earlier this year. Hekmatyar does not appear to have many followers anymore, but he does have name recognition. He is thought to have forged alliances with like minded warlords and tribal chiefs in the southeast. Some of his followers were arrested last month and interrogated by FBI officials in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar is thought to be responsible for some of the terrorist activity in Afghanistan, but he has not been taking credit for specific acts.



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