Taliban militants bungle coordinated multi-province terrorist attacks
Afghan security forces captured a would-be suicide bomber in Jalalabad City on July 1, 2013. Photo source: Parwiz/Reuters.
The Taliban failed to conduct a multi-province terrorist assault planned for today after Afghan security forces shot and killed a suicide bomber in Kabul City, and detained another would-be suicide bomber in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. Additionally, a separate would-be suicide bomber prematurely detonated in northern Kunduz province. The attacks were supposed to have occurred simultaneously along with a massive explosion in Parwan province that rocked the neighborhood near the governor's compound in Charikar City.
"Explosive placed in a car was detonated near the governor office building in Charikar City at around 10 am local time Monday," a provincial official told China's Xinhua anonymously.
The Parwan blast was reportedly caused by a "magnetic bomb" attached by suspected militants to a fuel tanker. Three civilians were injured in the bombing, and there were no further reports of fatalities, a spokeswoman for the provincial governor told ToloNews. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
In today's abortive attack in Kunduz province, a Taliban suicide bomber was killed when the explosives-packed vest he was wearing detonated prematurely. No security forces or civilians were injured in the blast, which occurred in the restive Dasht-e-Archi district, according to district chief Sheikh Sadruddin, who spoke with Xinuha. [For recent security developments in Dasht-e-Archi, see Threat Matrix report, Taliban shadow district governor killed in Afghan security operation.]
Afghan security forces thwart additional attacks
At around 7 a.m. local time in Kabul City, security guards at the Afghan National Directorate of Security shot and killed a suicide bomber in Sedarat Square, an area near the NDS national headquarters. The attacker was reportedly wearing an Afghan security forces uniform but was detected and engaged before he could gain access to the NDS headquarters, according to Khaama Press.
Today's failed attack against the NDS headquarters in Kabul comes one week after Taliban militants nearly succeed in an audacious assault plan against the CIA headquarters and Afghan Presidential palace. [See Long War Journal report, Taliban launch suicide assault on Presidential palace, CIA HQ in Kabul.]
Following a brief shootout in Jalalabad City in Nangarhar province this morning, NDS operatives detained a Pakistani national wearing an explosive vest. An NDS statement on the incident was made available to Khaama Press, which noted that the detained suicide bomber, Safiullah a.k.a. Shamsullah, was a resident of Pakistan's Baluchistan province. The NDS said that Safiullah had been planning to carry out an attack in Jalalabad City but was injured during clashes with Afghan security forces earlier this morning and detained.
A series of photos of Safiullah's capture were made public, including those showing a sapper disarming the suicide vest still strapped to Safiullah's chest after the shootout.
Since late May, the Taliban and their allies, including the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, have stepped up suicide operations against the Coalition, nongovernmental organizations, and Afghan institutions. There have been 10 high-profile suicide attacks in Afghanistan since May 23.
A portion of today's attacks were prevented by Afghan security forces, especially those belonging to the NDS. For previous coverage of successful NDS operations, see the following Long War Journal and Threat Matrix reports:
Afghan intelligence thwarts major attack against Kandahar City, May 26, 2013
Afghan forces thwart unprecedented terror plot in Kabul, Mar. 16, 2013
Afghan intelligence thwarts terror plots in Kabul, Logar, and Parwan, Aug. 31, 2012
Afghan intelligence thwarts complex assault plot in Kabul; Pakistani suspect, 4 others arrested, Aug. 12, 2012
Afghan intel kills 5 members of Haqqani Network suicide cell in Kabul, Aug. 2, 2012
Afghan intelligence thwarts 3rd major terror plot in Kabul, May 3, 2012
Afghan intelligence seizes 11 tons of explosives, thwarts additional terror plots, April 21, 2012
Afghan intelligence captures 3 members of northern assassination cell, Feb. 7, 2012
Afghan intelligence operations take on significant role, Sept. 21, 2011
Afghan NDS continues crackdown on counterfeit uniforms, Sept. 5, 2011
Haqqani Network directed Kabul hotel assault by phone from Pakistan, Sept. 3, 2011
NDS dismantles Kabul Attack Network cell, Aug. 28, 2011
Elite Afghan force destroys insurgent explosives cache, Aug. 22, 2011
NDS smashes Haqqani Network plots in Kabul, July 31, 2011