Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 544 Post(s)
Ex-Taliban enrolled at Yale
A former spokesman for the Taliban, Rahmatullah Hashemi, has enrolled as a student at America's prestigious Yale University where he has taken a class on terrorism, The New York Times magazine reported today.
The ex-Taliban spin doctor and "roving ambassador", who has spent time in the presence of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, is now a Yale "freshman" improving his English through a special non-degree program.
Hashemi, who once publicly defended the Taliban, told the magazine, however, that he started having serious doubts about its harsh moral codes as early as 1998 when women were being lashed with leather strips and executions were occurring in Kabul's football stadium.
He said he fled Afghanistan for Pakistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US fearing an American bombing campaign.
Hashemi, 27, said a former Taliban minister persuaded him to return to Kabul in early 2004 to clear his name with the Americans, despite his fears he would be whisked to the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Following several interviews with two Americans, one of whom only identified herself to him as "Michelle", Hashemi said he was told: "You can go."
An American friend suggested he apply to study at the renowned Yale University, so he obtained a student visa from the US embassy in Islamabad and caught a flight to the United States.
Months later, the dark-haired, bearded Hashemi is trying to adapt to his new academic surroundings, attending Harvard-Yale football games and keeping in touch with his wife and son back in Pakistan, the report said.
"In some ways I'm the luckiest person in the world," he was quoted as saying in the New York Times magazine.
"I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead, I ended up at Yale."
"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon