A photograph from the 80’s has caused a stir in Washington after its publication by several media outlets. It was erroneously assumed that it was Jalaluddin Haqqani shown with President Ronald Reagan.

Beginning September 2011, the US military intelligence had been tipped about a major attack in Afghanistan being prepared by Jalaluddin Haqqani. To prevent it, they sought the help of their Pakistani counterparts. All efforts were in vain and on September 11 (the anniversary of the attacks in the United States which served as a pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan), a truck bomb exploded at the entrance to a NATO base, killing two people and injuring 80 others.

At first, the White House spokesman accused Pakistani secret services of laxity. Then, at a later stage, the head of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen raised the tone and accused them of having instrumented the Haqqani network.

Even if it’s not Haqqani in the photo unearthed from the Getty Image archives, it is nevertheless instructive. President Ronald Reagan is seen receiving at the White House a hero of the anti-communist struggle, Yunus Khalis, who just happened to be a mentor to Haqqani. To the left of the photo is famous CIA operative Zalmay Khalilzad, then presidential Asia adviser. Subsequently, George W. Bush named his neocon aide ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations.

And yet, the George W. Bush administration accused Yunus Khalis in 2001 of having organized Osama bin Laden’s escape during the battle of Tora Bora.