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Country profile
Afghanistan flag Population: 25,838,797 (July 2000 Estimate)
Area Total: 652,000 km2
Area Land: 652,000 km2
Coast Line: 800 km
Capital: Kabul
  Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
  Languages: Pashtu, Afghan Persian, Turkic Languages, 30 minor languages

Afghanistan Fact Sheet

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Terrorism profile
Islamic extremists from around the world--including North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia--continue to use Afghanistan as a training ground and base of operations for their worldwide terrorist activities. The Taliban, which controll most Afghan territory, permit the operation of training and indoctrination facilities for non-Afghans and provide logistics support to members of various terrorist organizations and mujahidin, including those waging jihads (holy wars) in Central Asia, Chechnya, and Kashmir.

Throughout 1999-2001 the Taliban continue to host Usama Bin Ladin --indicted in November 1998 for the bombings of two US Embassies in East Africa-- despite UN sanctions and international pressure to hand him over to stand trial in the United States or a third country. In a serious and ongoing dialogue with the Taliban, the United States repeatedly made clear to the Taliban that it would be held responsible for any terrorist attacks undertaken by Bin Ladin while he is in its territory.

In October 2000, a terrorist bomb attack against the USS Cole in Aden Harbor, Yemen, killed 17 US sailors and injured scores of others. Although no definitive link has been made to Bin Ladin's organization, Yemeni authorities have determined that some suspects in custody and at large are veterans of Afghan training camps.

In August 2000, Bangladeshi authorities uncovered a bomb plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a public rally. Bangladeshi police maintained that Islamic terrorists trained in Afghanistan planted the bomb.

In early December 1999, Jordanian authorities arrested members of a cell linked to Bin Ladin's al-Qaida organization--some of whom had undergone explosives and weapons training in Afghanistan--who were planning terrorist operations against Western tourists visiting holy sites in Jordan over the millennium holiday.

On 25 December 1999 the Taliban permitted hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 to land at Qandahar airport after refusing it permission to land the previous day. The hijacking ended on 31 December 1999 when the Indian Government released from prison three individuals linked to Kashmiri militant groups in return for the release of the passengers aboard the aircraft. The hijackers, who had murdered one of the Indian passengers during the course of the incident, were allowed to go free. The Taliban stated that the hijackers, who reportedly are Kashmiri militants, would leave Afghanistan even if they were unable to obtain political asylum from another country. Their whereabouts remained unknown at yearend 1999.
Taliban permitted hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 to land at Qandahar airport

Terrorist Organisations
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
* al-Qa'ida (Al-Qaeda)
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Aum Shinrikyo
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
* Hizballah
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
Kach and Kahane Chai
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE)
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO)
National Liberation Army (ELN)
Palestine Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)
Palestine Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)
Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA)
Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
Usama Bin Laden
Ramzi Yousef
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