In the immediate aftermath of Ahmed Wali Karzai’s assassination, Afghan officials and the Western press were quick to dismiss the Taliban’s claim that it was responsible for his murder. But just two days later, Afghan officials and Karzai family members are changing their tune and saying it appears that the assassin, a local police commander known as Sardar Mohammad, was either a Taliban sleeper agent or had recently switched sides after years of opposing the Taliban. Mohammad is even thought to have traveled to Quetta, where the Taliban’s top council (the Quetta Shura) is based. From The Washington Post:
The reasons behind the dramatic switch that turned the 35-year-old officer against Ahmed Wali Karzai, perhaps the most powerful figure in southern Afghanistan, are still not understood. But one of Karzai’s brothers and a senior Afghan official said they were now convinced that the Taliban somehow won Mohammad’s allegiance in recent months and convinced him to carry out an assassination on the group’s behalf.
The official said that investigators are trying to determine whether Mohammad was a long-term Taliban sleeper agent or just recently joined the insurgents. A NATO spokesman in Afghanistan referred questions about Karzai’s killing to Afghan authorities.
Mahmood Karzai, one of the president’s brothers, said the family has learned since the assassination that Mohammad traveled to the Pakistani city of Quetta within the past three months to meet with Taliban insurgents. He had also acted erratically in recent weeks, sleeping poorly, changing houses at night, acting suspiciously toward his men and demanding to know who they were talking to on their phones.
“All of a sudden, he changed,” Mahmood Karzai said in an interview Thursday. “This is the work of the Taliban.”
The senior Afghan official, interviewed separately, said he had heard about the Quetta visit but could not confirm its accuracy. He said Mohammad had attended a Pakistani madrassa in his youth before returning to Afghanistan. The senior official said that “the Taliban and the forces behind Taliban” were responsible for the killing.
In a statement released on the Taliban’s propaganda website, Voice of Jihad, they again claimed credit for the assassination, and issued a threat to other Afghans who cooperate with the government and the Coalition. The Taliban also called on Afghans to oppose the government and ISAF forces:
Those Afghans who cooperate with the invading forces in Afghanistan in contravention of their religion, country and indigenous values, should take a lesson from the incident that happened the other day. They should reconsider their demeanor and actions and should know these people (Afghans) are religious and patriotic. No one of them is ready to tolerate cooperation with and presence of the foreign infidel invaders on this soil. If these subservients maintain to protect themselves from open offensives of Mujahideen by dent of barbed wires, cemented walls, sand sacks and foreign forces, they will never protect themselves from the said revenge of the believing people. Sooner or later, each of them will meet the fate.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on those Afghans who work in the ranks of the invaders of Afghanistan, particularly, this call is directed at those influential, educated and experienced Afghans to rethink and abandon their subservience to the non-believing invaders. Stand with your people and support the Mujahideen. If you are not able to do this, then at least leave the support of the non-believers and start ordinary life. With all these, if you are intent on continuing your submissive work, then every one of you will meet the same like general Doud and Ahmad Wali Karzai, with the help of Allah, the All-powerful. You will face loss in this world and in the world to come.
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