Yunus Khales with President Ronald Reagan at the White House on 12 November 1987 (Photo: Dirck Halstead / Getty Images)

MI6 helped Bin Laden ally get medical treatment

When Osama Bin Laden fled Afghanistan after 9/11, an old friend helped him escape the US manhunt. Yunus Khales, the veteran commander of Afghan mujahideen group Hezbi Islami (Islamic Party), had long supported Al Qaeda’s leader.  In 1996, when Bin Laden was expelled from Sudan, it was Khales who welcomed him to Afghanistan, giving him […]

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UK defence secretary Ben Wallace and Saudi ambassador to the UK Khalid bin Bandar at the DSEI arms fair in London, 15 September 2021. (Photo: Phil Miller / Declassified UK)

“Nothing to hide here”: Inside the world’s largest arms fair in the heart of London

“Controversial depends on your point of view, really. There are plenty of high-level political viewpoints that would say that it’s not.” Major General Roddy Porter has just bought us a coffee and is telling us why the world’s largest arms fair – being held in the heart of London – isn’t controversial, despite being opposed […]

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Britain supported Pakistan as it helped the Taliban kill UK troops

Last week, British foreign secretary Dominic Raab made his first trip to Pakistan after the botched withdrawal of troops and civilians from neighbouring Afghanistan in August. Raab described Pakistan as a “vital partner” as he sought with his Pakistani counterpart to “prevent Afghanistan becoming a hub for terrorist groups.” Yet known to the British Foreign […]

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British intelligence backed Afghan mujahideen from Jamiati Islami in the 1980s.

How MI6 backed ‘right-wing religious fanatics’ in Afghanistan

In 1980, journalist John Fullerton sat down for lunch in London with members of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), better known as MI6. The spooks asked the restless reporter to name five cities where he would like to work. He scrawled the answers unhesitatingly on a paper napkin. “The top one was Peshawar in Pakistan,” […]

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Britain’s seven covert wars: An Explainer

The United Kingdom is fighting at least seven covert wars largely outside parliamentary or democratic oversight.

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