The Afghan Connection

Afghanistan was a powerful catalyst in activating fundamentalist Muslim youth, inspiring if not actually training many militants. During the 1980s, thousands of volunteers from 50 countries rallied to the rebel mujahedin. Most of them worked for relief organizations or in hospitals and schools. A few thousand actually went into the field to fight. Some returned home to cause serious trouble for their rulers. Several of those arrested in the World Trade Center bombing were veterans of the Afghan campaign. The now imprisoned Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman made at least three trips to Afghanistan during the war, and two of his sons...

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