The gentlemen in our Pic of the Day were CIA officers from the Special Activities Division (SAD). This photograph was taken in the back of a Russian Mi-17 helicopter designated 91101. Get it? September 11th, 2001. The chopper was part of Operation Jawbreaker, which put the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan only 15 days after the attacks of 9/11.  They used the modified Russian helicopter as there were many of its type already operating in the area, and a Chinook in Afghanistan at that time would be the ultimate RPG magnet.

The boxes the officers are sitting on are filled with $100 bills totaling $3 million dollars. The money was intended to pay off locals and the Northern Alliance in order to get intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and to help in fighting the Taliban.

The CIA in Afghanistan

Operation Jawbreaker

Operation Jawbreaker was a mission conducted by the United States in the early stages of the War in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The operation was aimed at capturing or eliminating Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, as well as other high-ranking members of the terrorist organization.

The operation involved Special Forces units, including the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, along with other U.S. military elements and Afghan allies. The operation took place primarily in the mountainous region of Tora Bora, located in Eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan, where it was believed Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda members were hiding.

While Operation Jawbreaker resulted in significant pressure on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Osama bin Laden ultimately evaded capture during this operation. He remained at large until he was located and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011 during Operation Neptune Spear.