ISAF, Afghan forces kill Taliban suicide network leader in Kunduz

In a recent raid, Coalition and Afghan special operations teams killed a Taliban commander who led a suicide attack network in the north and who was responsible for several recent deadly attacks.

The Taliban commander was named Shamsullah, the International Security Assistance Force told The Long War Journal. He and another Taliban fighter were killed during a raid in the Imam Sahib district in Kunduz province on April 2, ISAF said in a press release.

Shamsullah directed a Taliban suicide attack network that “conducted multiple suicide attacks throughout Kunduz province,” including three major attacks since the end of February, ISAF stated.

He was “directly responsible for the organization and directing of the Feb. 21 suicide attack” that targeted the provincial branch of the national statistics department in Imam Sahib. More than 30 Afghans, most of them civilians, were killed in the attack.

Shamsullah’s network also was responsible for the March 10 suicide attack that killed General Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili, the provincial chief of police and six of his bodyguards; and for the March 14 suicide attack at an Afghan Army recruiting center that killed more than 37 Afghans, including children. Both attacks occurred in Kunduz City.

Shamsullah was described by ISAF as “an improvised explosive device and suicide vest expert” who “coordinated closely with Taliban leadership and attack-coordinators in Wardak and Kabul provinces as well as in Pakistan.” His linkages to Kabul and Wardak provinces means he was associated with the Kabul Attack Network, a group that is assigned to strike in and around the Afghan capital. The Kabul Attack Network is comprised of members of the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, HIG, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and al Qaeda.

Since the beginning of March, ISAF and Afghan special operations teams have been heavily targeting the Taliban and the allied Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the Afghan north. Both terror groups have established suicide training camps in the north over the past several years. ISAF has identified the presence of camps in Sar-i-Pul and Samangan province. On March 22, the special operations team captured an IMU commander who ran camps in Samangan.

ISAF has also described the district of Burkah in Baghlan province as “a Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan safe haven.” During the month of March, ISAF targeted IMU commanders in Burkah six times.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: , ,


  • Mr T says:

    I wonder how many people die during training in a suicide training camp. Who wants to show the new recruits how this works?
    It takes a lot more than one guy to do a bombing. They have scouts and procurers, bribers and builders, and a lot of other logistics to make them successful. They also have remote control triggers in case one tries to bail.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    I wonder how many of these suicide squads are filled with opium addicts or under the influence of other drugs?

  • Cordell says:

    The Taliban’s increased use of suicide bombers clearly indicates that they are losing and that they KNOW they are losing. The Japanese adopted a similar strategy of suicide attacks late in World War II when they realized they had little hope of prevailing in the conflict.
    Moreover, in this conflict the Taliban have definitely decided that they cannot win the hearts and minds of the local population. Hence, suicide attacks that kill innocent civilians are permissible. In part to compensate for their own growing unpopularity, the Taliban will use any excuse, like Koran burnings and ISAF’s accidental killing of civilians, to stoke anti-American, anti-Western hatred. No doubt they are hoping to appear as the lesser of two evils to the locals despite their bombings.
    While Karzai is quick to criticize ISAF’s mistakes to win points with the Afghan public, he is ultimately supporting the Taliban’s PR campaign here. One would think he would take a less shortsighted approach given that his fate is entirely dependent upon ISAF prevailing. As Benjamin Franklin said to his Congressional counterparts during the American Revolution, “We should all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately.”
    Shamsullah’s death suggests that locals ratted him out. After a decade of war in Afghanistan and hundreds of ISAF-caused civilian casualties, ISAF troops may not be the most popular people around, but Afghans likely see THEM as the lesser of two evils.

  • GL ONEAL says:

    It’s a shame how much money the USA is spending on all of this in Afghan.

  • YZ says:

    Sometimes reading these articles I get the same feeling of when I kill cockraoches in my house, there are always more cockroaches than you can kill.

  • Soccer says:

    Or like when you played Whack-A-Mole as a kid.

  • Tr?n V?n V? says:

    Very good article, I thank you

  • Tr?n V?n V? says:

    Very good article, I thank you

  • Bill Roggio says:

    That is how I feel often when writing about it….

  • Render says:

    Space Invaders.



Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram