Posts Tagged ‘assassination’
Dear Sir David Cameron,
I have served in the British army and the British foreign office as an interpreter for five and half years. As a result, I have received death threats from the Taliban. My brother was nearly assassinated and the Taliban fired a rocket at my house as a warning. Many times insurgents have threatened to kill me and my family. I tried to tell the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand about my life being in danger. But they ignored me.
Two weeks ago, the PRT officials told me I could no longer work for them because they wanted to cut their budget in Helmand. They said the threats to my life were not their problem because I no longer worked for them and so they were no longer responsible for what happens to me. I lost my job a few days after I gave an interview with Sunday Times, highlighting my troubles.
The PRT has treated me like a person who has never worked for her majesty’s government. It took them two hours to get rid of me from the base in Helmand despite the dangers they knew I will face if I return home.
I risked my life for British forces and the British government. I believed in making a difference in Afghanistan on behalf of the British. Yet how do they repay me? They took my job, which means they repay me by sending me to die at the hands of the Taliban. I feel like they have condemned me to death.
I am frightened, alone and in hiding. I cannot leave my house to find a job because of the fear. I beg you sir to help me and my young family escape the death that waits for us. No amount of money can change the dangers that face us if we stay in Afghanistan.
I would be forever grateful if you would help me on behalf of the British people. Thank you for listening.
SITTING on the floor of a house on the outskirts of Kabul, the Haqqani network commander sipped green tea as he calmly explained the chaos his organisation set out to cause with an elaborate plot to blow up Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace.
The operation would have begun with an explosion set off in the grounds by a security guard from Karzai’s home village who had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cash to betray him, according to Malim Asrallah, 46, a stocky veteran of 30 years of insurgencies.
The blast would have drawn other guards away from their posts on the perimeter of the palace, in the heart of Kabul.
“After he [the guard] had detonated the explosives, eight truck bombs were meant to hit the different entrances to the palace,” Asrallah said.
Small teams of gunmen would then have arrived to finish off the survivors.
If Karzai had escaped the bombings, which were planned to coincide with a cabinet meeting, these gunmen would have killed him and his most senior ministers, Asrallah concluded with a flourish.
In the event, the plot — which had been planned for nine months — was foiled. Two weeks ago, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) arrested six men for their alleged roles. Among them was the director of microbiology at Kabul University, who is accused of recruiting students and other conspirators.
At the time, the NDS said simply that the plan had been to assassinate the president, perhaps on a trip to one of the provinces.
However, The Sunday Times has pieced together information from Afghan intelligence sources, government officials and the Haqqani network itself to establish that the plot was intended not only to destroy the government, but to trigger prolonged ethnic conflict.
Asrallah’s account, which has been corroborated by NDS sources, reveals that the Haqqani network, Afghanistan’s most lethal and sophisticated insurgent group, was planning simultaneous attacks on the ministries of defence and the interior, and on the headquarters of the NDS itself.
The network also planned to assassinate leaders of the Hazara and Tajik communities, including the governor of Balkh province in the north of the country, with the aim of provoking inter-ethnic war, two senior NDS officials said.
The NDS believes that up to 100 people, including government officials, were involved in the conspiracy. Asrallah put the number even higher. Read the rest of this entry »
Ahmad Wali Karzai, the half-brother of the Afghan president, lived under constant fear of assassination. His death last week was the latest of 10 attempts to kill him.
“The seventh bomb to target me was so big that hundreds of cats fed on human flesh for days afterwards,” he told me last July.
The man who finally killed Karzai was someone he trusted with his life. Not only was Sardar Mohammed a close confidant, but he also worked as an informant for the CIA, according to relatives, Karzai’s friends and the Afghan intelligence agency.
Mohammed, who shot dead Karzai, 49, at his home on Tuesday, ran a network of spies who passed information to the CIA, according to Mohammed’s brothers-in-law, two of whom work for the CIA.
Karzai, known as the “King of Kandahar” for the iron fist with which he ruled the southern province, was himself working for the CIA, according to his brother Mahmoud.
Karzai, likened to the gangster Al Capone by US officials for his alleged links to the drug trade, helped the US spy agency run a clandestine paramilitary unit called the Kandahar Strike Force. The CIA uses the unit to conduct covert counterterrorism operations in the city. Some members of the strike force are in prison in Kabul for shooting dead Kandahar’s police chief in 2009. Critics say that Karzai used the militia to kill off his rivals.
“If there was something Sardar could do that the Americans couldn’t, then they would ask him to do it,” said Abdul Malik, one of Mohammed’s brothers-in-law. “The Americans were very happy with his performance.”
One of Malik’s brothers carried an identity card with the words “Qandahar Strike Force” emblazoned in red ink on the back.
Afghan intelligence officials confirmed they knew of Mohammed’s links to the CIA, but insisted there was no evidence that the agency had ordered the hit on Karzai.
“It would be crazy to think the Americans could do this to my brother,” said Mahmoud Karzai, another Karzai brother who is under investigation for tax evasion in the US, where he used to live. Karzai’s family believe Mohammed’s Taliban informants may have persuaded Mohammed to switch sides.
Ahmad Wali Karzai had no shortage of enemies in the city. His foes accused him of assassinating and imprisoning his rivals, exploiting American military contracts and running drugs. His supporters said his powerful oratory and deft political skills held the south together.
Mohammed’s motive continues to baffle the police, the Afghan intelligence service and the government’s national security council. All three agencies have launched investigations into the murder.
At the heart of the mystery is the close relationship between Karzai and Mohammed — the men had been allies and friends for seven years. Read the rest of this entry »
Gunmen wearing suicide vests shot dead a presidential advisor and an Afghan politician at a house in Kabul last night.
The two gunmen stormed into the house of the former governor of Uruzgan, Jan Mohammed Khan, at 8pm on Sunday night as both men were sitting down to dinner.
The attackers shot and killed the governor’s bodyguards at the gate before storming into the house and executing Mohammed Khan and the MP, Mohammed Watanwal as they sat talking together on the floor of one of the rooms, according to a detective who arrived at the scene shortly after the killings.
Police then surrounded the house in Kabul’s peaceful Kart-e-Char district, triggering a gun battle that raged into the early hours of Monday morning.
Policemen shot and killed one attacker before the other blew himself up. Three policemen were also killed in the fire-fight.
President Hamid Karzai relied on Mohammed Khan, who was a close friend of his, for advice.
His death comes less than a week after Ahmad Wali Karzai, the president’s half-brother, in Kandahar City.
“We are under siege,” said Mahmoud Karzai, the president’s brother, speaking shortly after escaping a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kandahar last week.
The bomb, which the attacker placed in his turban to avoid security, exploded six metres from Mahmoud and three of his brothers at the funeral ceremony of their half-brother, Ahmad Wali, who was killed on Tuesday by a close friend.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of Mohammed Khan and the MP Watanwal, accusing the former of passing information about insurgent locations to Nato troops.
Mohammed Khan was a former mujahideen and militia commander in the southern province of Uruzgan. He was a close friend of the president’s father. Khan, with the help of American Special Forces, was also instrumental in helping President Karzai return to Afghanistan after 9/11.
For more information on Khan’s past and his ties to the Karzai family read this blog on the Afghan Analysts Network website.