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Amin: Northern Alliance will support U.S.

Haron Amin
Afghan Northern Alliance spokesman Haron Amin  

(CNN) -- The Afghan Northern Alliance has been fighting since 1995 to end the Taliban's rule over Afghanistan. The group controls at least 10 percent of the country.

Northern Alliance spokesman Haron Amin spoke Saturday to CNN.

CNN: How much of a threat right now is the Northern Alliance to the Taliban? I mean, they have now been in power -- entrenched in power for five, six years.

AMIN: They have tried for the last three years to be able to capture the territories that we have. And if you look at the trend of things, we have been able to only expand and the Taliban have not been able to expand. But right now ...

CNN: But they're still in power.

AMIN: The Taliban have occupied parts of Afghanistan with the help of the Pakistani military intelligence and the assistance they receive from al Qaeda, from Osama bin Laden.

CNN: Based on what you know of Osama bin Laden, do you believe he is implicated in what happened in the United States last week?

AMIN: We have no doubt about that.

CNN: Why?

AMIN: Because we think that his prime enemy is the United States of America. He had said that, and we had, throughout our meetings in the West, said that Osama bin Laden will do something. But he is a man that has done everything against us, and we are Muslims. But when he goes around and talks about Islam and talks about social justice and things like that, he has got his own agenda. And, of course, the assassination of our legendary commander, Ahmed Shah Massoud, is directly linked to what happened here in the United States on September 11.

CNN: Well, let me ask you about that. Your leader, General Massoud, was assassinated on what date?

AMIN: He was -- the assassination attempt was on September 9.

CNN: Which was two days before what happened in the United States.

AMIN: Exactly.

CNN: Do you believe that there was a connection?

AMIN: Here is what I think was the connection: In the mind of Osama bin Laden, elimination of Massoud from Afghanistan, in the event of an attack on Afghanistan by the international community, would have created an environment that Massoud could not have used to his advantage. In other words, with him gone, there would not be a push on our side against the Taliban.

CNN: That it would so weaken your organization ...

AMIN: Yes.

CNN: ... that it would make it very hard. So the Osama bin Laden organization, the al Qaeda, has been successful from that standpoint?

AMIN: From that stand -- yes. I mean, the two men that assassinated Commander Massoud were two Arabs posing as cameramen. And that's when the incident occurred.

CNN: Based on what you know about your country, and about the vulnerability of the al Qaeda organization, how successful do you believe a U.S.-led force will be in going after Osama bin Laden and any of the leaders of his organization?

AMIN: I can tell you, I fought under Commander Massoud from '88 to 1990. I have worked with Commander Massoud. We knew the terrain, we knew the turf. We speak the language. We can be of maximum use in Afghanistan, and I think that's something that the international community needs to really look at -- capitalize on that. We can do a lot of the groundwork. Most of the territory of Afghanistan at one point was under our control.

CNN: Do you believe we can be successful, is what I'm saying?

AMIN: I believe that when the international community's effort will be coordinated with us on the ground, I think there will be success.

CNN: You're saying they would have to work through the Northern Alliance?

AMIN: They have to work through us, because we have fought the Soviets there. We have fought the Pakistanis there. We have fought al Qaeda there, and we fought the Taliban there.

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