Taliban Leader Vows To Force U.S. Out

logan
logan
CBS

Mullah Dadullah is the Taliban's most bloodthirsty commander, and there are few people in the world the U.S. wants to capture more than him, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan reports.

In an exclusive interview filmed for CBS News on the Afghan-Pakistan border, the one-legged leader promises to go beyond the battlefields of Afghanistan and hunt down Americans at home.

"Even if they go back to America, we will have to take revenge," he says. "America has humiliated our country and our people. We will never negotiate."

Mullah Dadullah is the military mastermind behind the bloodiest year ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. His ultimate goal is to overthrow Afghanistan's pro-American government.

In spite of heavy casualties inflicted by U.S. and NATO forces, Dadullah claims that Taliban success has led to a surge in morale and strength in recent months.

"In every province, district and village, the believers have risen in revolt against enemies of Islam," he says. "So the exact number of fighters today is many and cannot be precisely ascertained."

His reputation for cruelty on the battlefield was earned in the Afghan civil war, when he massacred so many civilians that the Taliban leader Mullah Omar relieved him of his command.

In 2001, he fled the U.S. invasion and found safe haven across the border in Pakistan. From there, he helped rebuild and reconstitute the decimated ranks of the Taliban, who, he says, are now stronger than ever.

In the interview, he offered rare insight into the fate of America's No. 1 enemy.

"Osama Bin Laden, thank God, is alive and in good health," he said. "We are in contact with his top aides and sharing plans and operations with each other."

CBS News is not able to independently confirm his claim, but intelligence sources say there's no evidence to suggest otherwise.

What is evident in the newest Taliban recruitment video is how similar Dadullah's tactics are to al Qaeda's. In one video, he can be seen blessing a succession of suicide bombers.

Like Osama Bin Laden, Dadullah has managed to elude U.S. troops. As long as he remains free to continue the fight inside Afghanistan, his brutally effective guerrilla tactics will claim more American and Afghan lives.