Taliban assassination attempt injures Afghan spy chief


A Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace envoy detonated his explosives today as Asadullah Khalid, the chief of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, was welcoming visitors at an NDS guesthouse in Kabul.

NDS spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri said that "[t]he bomber was a peace messenger sent by the Taliban to the Afghan government" for a meeting that afternoon, according to Reuters. The spokesman also said the Afghan spy chief is in "good" condition after surgery.

Two hours after the attack, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP in an email that Khalid was the primary target of the attack, and also claimed that "[a]s a result of a suicide attack carried out by hero mujahedeen Hafiz Mohammad inside a guest house, a large number of intelligence officials were injured."

Khalid, who had survived an assassination attempt in 2007 when he was serving as governor of Kandahar province, was known for strong anti-Taliban measures and had only recently been appointed to the top post at NDS.

The NDS chief had reportedly been expecting an important emissary from the Taliban to the meeting today. Pajhwok News reports: "Khalid had told two women Wolesi Jirga lawmakers that he would be meeting a key individual of the armed opposition on Thursday. And, the lawmakers advised Khalid to be very careful when meeting the person."

According to AFP, Afghan police described the attack on Khalid as a grenade attack, and officials said the attacker had been searched before entering the guesthouse. The NDS spokesman told Pajhwok News that "[the man detonated his explosives when he was meeting the NDS chief." TOLONews reported that the blast wounded two other people besides the NDS chief, who is said to be in stable condition.

Today's assassination attempt bears a strong resemblance to the Taliban's assassination of Afghan High Peace Council head Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed in September 2011 by a Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace envoy. The Taliban suicide bomber hid a bomb in his turban and detonated it as he hugged Rabbani in his home in Kabul.

The Taliban claimed credit for the assassination of Rabbani. Afghanistan's Interior Minister and Khalid directly linked Rabbani's assassination to the Taliban and its Quetta Shura, as well as to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI.

There is "no doubt the ISI is involved" in Rabbani's assassination, Interior Minister General Bismellah Mohammadi told the Afghan House of Representatives shortly after the attack.

Another member of the Afghan High Peace Council was assassinated by the Taliban in May. The Mullah Dadullah Front, a Taliban group closely linked to al Qaeda, claimed credit for the assassination of Arsala Rahmani, a senior member of the Afghan High Peace Council. Rahmani, who had served as a deputy education minister during Taliban rule in Afghanistan, was gunned down in the Afghan capital. The Mullah Dadullah Front said he was killed for negotiating with the Taliban on behalf of the Afghan government.



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READER COMMENTS: "Taliban assassination attempt injures Afghan spy chief"

Posted by Susan Kabir at December 6, 2012 2:40 PM ET:

It show how weak he was, his behavior was more like Jihadi commander rather then an profisional chief. He was appointed for comming election. Can you emagine when chief spy share his plan with women, who are not part of NDS. I am afraid that attack on him would be the secret drug war, due to his close relation with late Ahmad Wali Karzai, who was also not killed by Taliban, and he was killed by long time freind. According to several internatinal sources, he was involved in drug trafficing.

Farid Kohistani from Kabul.

Posted by jean at December 6, 2012 3:06 PM ET:

Is this the outspoken Panshir guy that was going to run against Karsi in the last election?

Posted by mike merlo at December 6, 2012 3:08 PM ET:

one would think that by now a more thorough search of these individuals would be conducted. I wonder where the grenade was stashed? Did the suicider just reach into his underpants & pull the pin?

Posted by Paul D at December 6, 2012 4:31 PM ET:

The Paks are really upset we targeted Nasir it seems!

Posted by mike merlo at December 6, 2012 4:43 PM ET:

@jean
No. That was Amrullah Saleh

@Susan kabir
its known as a Democratic Republic. If you find this to be a weakness then feel free to resurrect the Medieval system once 'popularized' by the Taliban. Senator Diane Feinstein(Female) is Chairperson of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence & regularly monitors & is consulted by the different agencies she 'oversees.'

Posted by Kent Gatewood at December 7, 2012 12:20 AM ET:

How many suicide bombers can the Taliban produce a year?

I'm hoping there is an upper limit of less than 100.

Posted by Neonmeat at December 7, 2012 4:57 AM ET:

“A Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace envoy“

“suicide attack carried out by hero mujahedeen Hafiz Mohammad inside a guest house”

It sickens me that we are going to make peace with these people. When the ‘peace’ envoys they send to our allies carry bombs how can we fool ourselves these people will be part of a democratic system.

Also I was of the understanding that Afghans have a strong tradition of guest right and treating any guest, even an enemy respectfully and honestly while they share a roof and food. It is apparent the Taliban do not respect this belief and the traditions of the ancient Afghan people.

Posted by JimBoMo at December 7, 2012 11:35 AM ET:

A direct attack on the head of the NDS. That's a very short step from a direct attack on the head of state. The ANG could see this as an escalation. If a plausible trail (seems to) lead back to ISI, would the NDS/ANG will retaliate with an attack on the ISI?

Posted by mike merlo at December 7, 2012 3:35 PM ET:

Its been determined that the suicide bomber targeting Afghanistan's NDS Chief had the bomb 'wrapped around' his genitals. How quaint. So it looks like he did reach into his underpants to pull the pin. Does TLWJ offer up some kind of prize for correctly guessing a bombers choice of explosives placement? If so I'd like a free life time membership to LegoLand.

Posted by blert at December 7, 2012 6:57 PM ET:

The opfor is now stooping to tabooed warfare.

By Pashtun norms, one's turban/hair and crotch/genitals are utterly tabooed search zones.

As AQ has previously demonstrated, they are focusing their talents on weaponizing such personal spaces.

An attempt to murder a high Saudi official was made by AQ with a rectal bomb. It was an own goal.

An 'attempt' to down a Detroit bound airliner was made by AQ with an underwear bomb. It failed in its apparent goal. However, it's true intent: to have TSA grope every passenger has been a strategic success. This last matter is still not comprehended by officialdom. The growth of government is a narcotic all its own.

And, who can forget the peace ambassadors murdered by turban grenades?

That last gambit is tabooed on multiple levels. If you assassinate peace envoys, how can war be terminated? You'll very, very quickly find that no-one will meet your own envoys -- ever.

That's a telling strategic message: the opfor demands extermination -- for it is the only end-game on offer.

Such extremism must be a product of a faction that has no skin in the game. That is, it's the classic:"Let's you and him fight, forever."

That faction would have to be the ISI, known to be willing to fight the ISAF; to the last Pashtun warrior, that is.

As for ISI's own taboo: under no circumstances can it contemplate bringing civility to the FATA. In his way, the Pashtuns are kept perpetual third-class citizens in Pakistan.

That political drive is as much a part of the conflict as any other.

======

On another front: Afghanistan may well become an oil power. A commercially viable deposit has already been found -- and is being drilled right now.

Any refined products, so sourced, are going to have a material impact on ISAF logistics. Perhaps, sooner than anyone can imagine.

Posted by Ahmad at December 8, 2012 5:11 AM ET:

i am sure he is brought inside guest house by some one powerfull...