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Thursday, December 30, 2010
 

Secret British Documents From 1980 Detail Origins Of Western Covert Aid To Afghan Mujahideen

The British National Archives recently released hundreds of pages of previously classified documents pertaining to Afghanistan, including early moves by the U.K. and the United States to provide covert aid to the Afghan mujahideen following the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.

According to the documents, dated from 1980, the U.S. proposed supporting Pakistani refugee camps being used as operating bases by the mujahideen. Some of these bases would later be used by Arab volunteers in the Soviet jihad, including Makhtab al Khidmat, the predecessor group to Al Qaeda.

The documents include suggestions that the mujahideen would need surface-to-air missiles, which would later be supplied by the CIA.

INTELWIRE has obtained the documents and posted them below. These are very large PDFs, so I recommend downloading them and viewing them locally rather than trying to open them in a browser window, or using Google's QuickView.

U.K. Afghanistan Documents, 1980, Vol. 1

U.K. Afghanistan Documents, 1980, Vol. 2

For more about the documents, see this story from the Telegraph.

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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