In an effort to dismantle the terror networks, Afghan and US forces have killed or detained 23 senior and mid-level Taliban, Haqqani Network, and al Qaeda leaders in eastern Afghanistan since late last year.
The joint forces killed or captured “23 key insurgents … known for leading the planning and undertaking of deadly attacks directed towards Afghan citizens, Afghan government officials, ANSF and Coalition forces, as well facilitating the trafficking of fighters, weapons, explosives and money to support their terrorist activities,” according to information released by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO command in Afghanistan. The insurgent leaders were reported to have been killed or captured between Nov. 16, 2009, and Dec. 25, 2009.
ISAF has listed 19 of the 23 key insurgent leaders as being killed; the status of the other four is unknown. ISAF rarely releases the names of those in detention. Of the 19 killed, one was a senior al Qaeda security commander, four were Taliban commanders, four were Taliban sub-commanders, eight were Taliban facilitators, and two were Haqqani Network facilitators.
Of the 19 insurgent leaders killed, five were based in Laghman province, four in Kunar, four in Wardak, two in Khost, one each in Nuristan, Paktia, and Khost, and one based in both Logar and Wardak.
The al Qaeda security chief, known as Qari Masiullah, appears to be the most dangerous of the leaders killed during the time period. According to ISAF, Masiullah “ran a training camp that taught insurgents how to use and emplace IEDs that were used in attacks on Afghan civilians, ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] and coalition forces throughout the Nangarhar, Nuristan, Konar and Laghman provinces.”
The Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and al Qaeda remain entrenched in the Afghan East. The Taliban and allied Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, are strong in Nuristan, Kunar, and Laghman provinces. US forces pulled back from several combat outposts in the remote, mountainous regions in Nuristan and Kunar, ceding ground to these groups.
The Haqqani Network controls Khost and Paktia, and also has a presence in Ghazni, Logar, and Wardak along with the Taliban. The Haqqanis are based in both Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal agency. The Haqqanis are closely allied with al Qaeda.
The 19 Key insurgent leaders killed by Afghan and Coalition forces between mid-November and the end of December 2009, listed by ISAF:
Malawi Abdul Qadir, a Taliban sub commander under Hajji Ghafour in the Do Ab District, Nuristan province, was killed Nov. 14 in Kalagush, Nuristan. Qadir commanded up to more than 100 Taliban fighters and was involved in planning future attacks on coalition forces.
Qari Farooq, killed Nov. 19, was a Taliban commander and IED facilitator in Chowkay, Kunar province, known for participating and carrying out attacks against coalition forces within the region.
Ishaq, a Haqqani facilitator known for trafficking weapons, IEDs, and VBIEDs was killed Nov. 19 in Sabari District, Khost province.
Dowron, the Taliban commander of the Pech River Valley was killed Nov. 26 in Kunar province. Dowron had ties to multiple al Qaeda members and was involved in attacks on ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] and coalition forces and bases, as well as Afghan civilians.
Qari Masiullah, the al Qaeda chief of security for Kunar province, was killed Dec. 1. Masiullah ran a training camp that taught insurgents how to use and emplace IEDs that were used in attacks on Afghan civilians, ANSF, and Coalition forces throughout the Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar, and Laghman provinces.
Noor Akbar, a HQN [Haqqani Network] enabler in Sabari District, Khost province, was killed Nov. 18, 2009. Akbar was directly involved with coordinating and participating in attacks against CF [Coalition Forces].
Khatib, a Taliban-affiliated facilitator of suicide bombers, IEDs, and large quantities of explosives into Laghman province, was killed Dec. 6, 2009. Khatib specialized in coordinating suicide bombings and VBIEDs.
Dr. Zakir, a Taliban facilitator and IED cell member in Laghman province, was killed Dec. 6, 2009. Dr. Zakir facilitated suicide bombers from Pakistan.
Ehsanullah, a Taliban-affiliated facilitator of suicide bombers, IEDs, and large quantities of explosives into Laghman province, was killed Dec. 6, 2009.
Mullah Buzorg, a Taliban facilitator and IED cell member in Laghman Province, was killed Dec. 6, 2009.
Mohammed Hussein, a Taliban-affiliated facilitator of suicide bombers, IEDs, and large quantities of explosives into Laghman Province, was killed Dec. 6, 2009.
Engineer Hikmat, a Taliban commander/facilitator in Logar and Wardak provinces, was killed Nov. 16, 2009. He was responsible for multiple attacks, specifically rocket and IED attacks on Election Day.
Baryali, a Taliban enabler in Wardak province, was killed Nov. 17, 2009. He was involved in numerous anti-CF activities, to include coordinating several attacks against CF.
Maulawi Sharif, a Taliban facilitator in Wardak province, was killed Nov. 18, 2009. He was responsible for the planning and execution of numerous attacks against CF, as well as the local population.
Mohammad Baryali, a Taliban sub-commander in Wardak, was killed Dec. 20, 2009. He was responsible for numerous attacks on CF and ANSF.
Ahmad, a Taliban sub-commander in Ghazni province, was killed Dec. 21, 2009. He was responsible for the planning and execution of numerous attacks on CF.
Abdul Wali, a Taliban sub-commander operating in Paktya, was killed Dec. 22, 2009. He was responsible for multiple attacks on CF.
Ghulam Farouq, a Taliban/HIG commander in the Konar River Valley, was killed Dec. 23, 2009. He was an associate of Bakht Ali and was involved in numerous attacks on CF and ANSF.
Rohullah, a Taliban sub-commander in Wardak province, was killed Dec. 25, 2009. He was involved in numerous attacks on CF and was a close associate of Mohammed Baryali, killed Dec. 20, 2009.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.