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[] Mullah Dadullah kapituliert per email???,
>From the New York Daily News of November 21, 2001
E-mail From the Bad Guys 
By Michael Daly

The e-mail's subject line read "URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!" and a double
click of a columnist's mouse in Brooklyn produced an offer to surrender
from the Taliban commander in the encircled city of Kunduz.

Of course, the columnist was just one of the incidental addressees, the
more significant including "usa -!
- un -
 int" and "president -!
- whitehouse -
 gov -

Even so, there it was on Saturday night, glimmering on the columnist's
computer screen as his kids put on their p.j.'s and brushed their teeth.

"I, Mullah Dadullah, the commander of the Taliban armed troops in Kunduz
province, Afghanistan would like to surrender my troops."

Northern Alliance soldiers, like this one in Kabul, have encircled
Kunduz, demanding surrender of Taliban forces.  
The columnist's first thought was that this was another Internet hoax,
but Dadullah is indeed the Kunduz commander's name, and the end of the
message included the telephone number of a young man in the Netherlands
who had dispatched the message into cyberspace.

The columnist dialed the number and spoke to Mohammad Wardak, a
peaceable student who hails from the village of Gogar in central
Afghanistan. He described the message's journey from the mullah's lips
to Brooklyn.

"[Dadullah] wants to convey the message to all of the world," Wardak
said. "[The Taliban] have access to the Internet, but they don't know
how to use it for something like this."

The message had first been radioed by Dadullah to Mullah Qasim, whose
job title added a certain embarrassment to his being unable to return
from a trip to Kandahar.

"[Qasim] used to be in charge of air defense in Kunduz, but since Kunduz
is under siege and air strikes, he cannot get back," Wardak explained.

Trip Across Border

Qasim then gave a written version to his brother, Ghulam Nabi, who
resides in the village of Nakhoonai outside Kandahar. Nabi hand-carried
the message across the border to Quetta, Pakistan.

On Nov. 17, Nabi dictated the message over the telephone to Yousuf
Noorzai, an auto body shop owner in the Netherlands. Noorzai showed the
message to his friend and fellow member of the Netherlands Afghan
Cultural Association, the student Wardak.

Wardak is not a member of the Taliban, but he knows that many of their
troops are involuntary conscripts. His own village was forced to produce
at least one recruit from each family. He now discerned an opportunity
to save some of those unwilling warriors, not to mention blameless

"So, we decide to send the message," Wardak said.

Wardak set aside studying for a big exam and translated the message from
Pashto to English. He then logged onto his Hotmail account, typing the
mullah's most important words in upper case.

"About 24,000 armed Taliban forces are still present in Kunduz province.

A click of the "send" box at the top of Wardak's screen dispatched the
message to everyone he could think of, including a Pashtun chat group
that a columnist recently joined to educate himself. Wardak thrice typed
"Urgent!" in the subject box, but when he turned on the evening news, he
saw no mention of the missive.

The only public response from "president -!
- whitehouse -
 gov" and the other
primary addressees was silence.

"I see no reaction, and I don't know why," Wardak said.

Part of the problem may have been a qualification the mullah added to
his offer.


The Taliban, most particularly the non-Afghans, were concerned that the
Northern Alliance would summarily execute them. The message indicated
that the Taliban would surrender to another party, such as a UN
peacekeeping force. The mullah agreed that "if any member of our troops
was to be found guilty of terrorism, he may be tried by a legitimate
international court."

This columnist could not have been the only one who thought that sounded
too much like what the Taliban said about Osama Bin Laden before the air
campaign began. The Taliban's complicity in the murder of thousands on
Sept. 11 caused the columnist's hands to clench on reading solemn talk
in the mullah's message of avoiding "bloodshed and loss of innocent

Shootings Reported

Yesterday, the news carried reports from Kunduz of foreign Taliban
shooting Afghan Taliban who wanted to quit the fighting. Wardak was
heartened to hear that Mullah Dadullah was still alive and attempting to
negotiate surrender with elements of the Northern Alliance viewed as
less hungry for revenge.

In the meantime, Wardak flubbed his big test at school because he had
taken the time to translate and dispatch a mullah's offer of surrender
even to a columnist whose older daughter was heading off to sleep in
this strange new world with a pillow on which she had affixed a photo of
a gallant fire captain who died at the World Trade Center.

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