Searching Tora Bora
Story by Sharon Adams
Photography by Stephen J. Thorne
Just shy of three months after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the United States believed it had found the lair of the al-Qaida mastermind, Osama bin Laden, in the Tora Bora cave complex in the Safed Koh mountains in eastern Afghanistan. Reports of smoke coming from a mountaintop after a previous bombing raid had focused U.S. attention on one area of the cave and tunnel network. They bombed it but failed to capture the terrorist.
In May 2002, Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Stogran led an international task force, including 400 Canadians, in Operation Torii, a three-day mission beginning May 4, 2002, to find and destroy the complex, preventing it from being used again by the Taliban and al-Qaida.