In 2001, on this day Osama Bin Laden's attempt to flee to the safety of the unguarded Pakistani border was thwarted by the use of air-dropped, timed GATOR mines which sealed his Al-Qaeda forces inside the caves of the Tora Bora area.
Game ChangerDelta Force Commanders had been monitoring his increasingly desperate radio calls for three days. Clearly under duress, Bin Laden had told his fighters, "Our prayers were not answered. Times are dire and bad. We did not get support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers. Things might have been different. I'm sorry for getting you involved in this battle, if you can no longer resist, you may surrender with my blessing".
Bin Laden was right, Islamic countries had universally condemned the September 11th attacks with public demonstrations of support for United States in capital cities such as Tehran. And just one week later, a long missive from Tim Guldimann, the Swiss Ambassador to the Iranian Government showed up on a fax machine at the State Department. It quickly became known as "the offer", a proposal to restore a formal diplomatic relationship between the United States and Iran.