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Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (born 1947 in the Kunduz province[?] of Afghanistan) is an Afghani rebel who has tried on numerous occassions to topple the Afghani government. He is currently suspected by the United States to be among key allies to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and he has been labeled a war criminal by members of President Hamid Karzai's government. He is also a suspect behind the September 5, 2002 assassination attempt on Karzai that killed more than a dozen people.

Hekmatyar is a Ghilzai Pashtun, speaks several languages (including English), and has three wives and several children.

Hekmatyar went to a military school, but he switched to the Kabul University[?]'s engineering department in 1968, earning the nickname of "engineer Hekmatyar" among his followers. He was a member of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan[?] (PDPA) until he was accused in 1972 of the killing of a Maoist student. He was found guilty and sent to jail.

After that, he went to Pakistan, where in 1975, he founded the Hezbi Islami[?] party. It has been said that it was Hekmatyar who began the anti-Daoud movement's resurgement in the area of Panjshir[?]. Members of Hezbi Islami and Hekmatyar himself denied he was ever involved with the communists.

Hekmatyar is said by some to have had some connections to Pakistan's ISI[?], and that he was heavily trained by them. He was described as power hungry, ruthless and cunning by the Pakistani government.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, Hekmatyar became an ally of the United States, receiving billions of dollars in U.S. military assistance to oust the Communism regime, but it has been said that he killed more Mujaheedin[?] people than communists.

After the fall of Communist Afghanistan, Hekmatyar was offered a gubernamental position as Prime Minister by the Muhaheedins, but he refused. Instead, he aligned himself with Abdul Rashid Dostum and Hezbi Wahjat[?]. Together they layed siege to Kabul, fighting Burhanuddin Rabbani and his Defense Minister Ahmed Shah Massoud. From 1992 to 1996, the warring factions destroyed 70% of Kabul and killed 50,000 people, most of them civilians.

The devistation and factionalization allowed the Taliban to take control in 1996. Hekmatyar fled to Iran where he continued to lead the Hezb-e-Islami[?] party.

After the fall of the Taliban, Hekmatyar (still operating in Iran) rejected the U.N.-brokered accord of December 5, 2001, saying the pact negotiated in Germany amounted to a U.S.-imposed government for Afghanistan.

In early 2002 Iran closes Hekmatyar's offices, and his whereabouts became unknown.

The United States accuses him of urging the Taliban to re-form and to fight the United States. He is also accused of offering rewards for those who kill U.S. troops.

Some reports have located him inside Tunisia, but in May 2002 the U.S. claimed that a CIA operated Predator drone attacks Hekmatyar near Kabul, missing him but killing some followers.

In September 2002, Hekmatyar released a taped message calling for a jihad against the United States.

On December 25 of 2002, the news broke that American spy organizations had discovered Hekmatyar attempts of becoming a member of Al Qaeda. According to the news, he had said that he was available to aid them.

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