If Orlando, Las Vegas or the Caribbean aren’t exciting enough for your next vacation, how about considering the hideout of Osama bin Laden?
Osama bin Laden
The idea is not a joke and is being pushed by Afghan authorities looking to revive the local tourism industry by promoting the terror mastermind’s mountain lair at Tora Bora.
“We have plans to make a tourist site at the Tora Bora caves. Many Americans wish to go there,” Dr. Hassamuddin Hamrah, the man in charge of the concept, told the London Telegraph.
“Our main problem is lack of budget so we are approaching the private sector. We request that anybody, any company, who is interested should contact us.”
Hamrah thinks the name recognition of the site, along with the remains of Russian tanks and crashed helicopter gunships from the 1980s, will prove to be a hit with potential visitors.
But he also complained that scrap merchants from nearby Pakistan were undermining the idea by absconding with some of the military hardware.
“We wished to keep the artillery, tanks, aircraft and also the military posts and front lines. But the Pakistanis have frustrated our plans,” Hamrah told the paper. “They were coming and buying the metal scraps so a lot of people took these things to Pakistan. The things we thought existed have been taken away.”
Three Japanese tour-company executives have already scoped out the site, located high in the White Mountains near Jalalabad.
Tora Bora’s complex of caves and bunkers were created as a mountain fortress by the Mujahadeen in the 1980s, and was expanded in the ’90s at bin Laden’s expense. In addition to barracks and extravagant living quarters, it’s reported to have tunnel systems able to conceal armored vehicles.
The U.S. pounded the site with Daisy-Cutter fuel bombs in October 2001 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom to flush out bin Laden and his comrades.
Osama escaped and remains on the loose, possibly near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.