A published report says U-S intelligence officials say associates of accused terrorist Osama bin Laden may have killed Afghan opposition military commander Ahmad Masood earlier this month.
The New York Times says (in its Saturday edition) that according to U-S intelligence officials, the assassination may have been intended to destabilize Mr. Masood's forces in anticipation of possible U-S military strikes against Afghanistan after the attacks in the United States.
Mr. Masood, whose Northern Alliance forces have been battling Taleban troops in northern Afghanistan, was killed at his headquarters by suicide bombers posing as Arab journalists on September 9th. Two days later, suicide hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
It is estimated that the Northern Alliance controls about five percent of Afghanistan's territory, including provinces in the northern part of the country and areas near the capital, Kabul.