Afghan intelligence thwarts complex assault plot in Kabul; Pakistani suspect, 4 others arrested
NDS personnel pose with weapons and explosives confiscated during the Aug.1, 2012 raid in Kabul. A similar raid was conducted on Aug.11, 2012 in the Shur Bazaar area of Kabul. Image: Xinhua.
Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel supported by Coalition forces thwarted a major terrorist plot in Kabul City late on Saturday night, preventing coordinated suicide-bomb attacks on the Afghan Parliament and the Afghan Presidential palace and an assassination attempt against Afghan second Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili. The raid is the second major operation conducted by NDS this month that has broken up terror cells linked to the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network.
NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal stated during a press conference that four Afghan suspects and a Pakistani national were arrested when the raiding force stormed a compound in the Shur Bazaar area of Kabul City around 1 a.m. local time on Saturday. Security forces seized an arsenal that consisted of suicide vests, AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers, hand grenades, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Also confiscated in the raid were a Pakistani "Identity card," along with Pakistani currency and a mobile phone, according to Khaama Press.
NDS personnel in the Bagrami district of Kabul arrested three other suspected insurgents, but it was unclear if they were part of the same plot.
Saturday's raid marks the second instance since April in which NDS personnel have disrupted a Pakistani-linked terror plot in Kabul aimed at assassinating Mohammad Karim Khalili, a powerful Hazara figurehead who represents Afghanistan's minority Hazara population, many of whom are Shia Muslims. On April 15, the NDS broke up a plot and arrested three suspects reportedly trained and ordered by senior Haqqani Network commander Badruddin Haqqani to assassinate Khalili in a complex suicide assault.
Saturday's raid also follows the successful NDS raid on Aug. 1 that killed five members of the Pakistan-linked Haqqani Network during a ferocious gunfight against the suspect's safe house located in the Pul-i-Charkhi area of Kabul [see LWJ, Afghan intel kills 5 members of Haqqani Network suicide cell in Kabul]. The operation broke up a plot by the Haqqani cell to take over a high rise building in the Shar-i-Naw area of Kabul. NDS officials also recovered "target maps and telephone numbers" from the compound that had "numbers for the Haqqani Network based outside Afghanistan," Reuters reported.
For previous coverage of NDS operations, see the following Long War Journal and Threat Matrix reports:
- NDS smashes Haqqani Network plots in Kabul, July 31, 2011
- Elite Afghan force destroys insurgent explosives cache, Aug. 22, 2011
- NDS dismantles Kabul Attack Network cell, Aug. 28, 2011
- Afghan NDS continues crackdown on counterfeit uniforms, Sept. 5, 2011
- Afghan intelligence operations take on significant role, Sept. 21, 2011