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.
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.