Afghan National Security forces secure the corpse of a Taliban fighter dressed in a US military uniform following simultaneous insurgent attacks against US bases in Khost province, Aug. 28, 2010. Many of the attackers were dressed in US military uniforms. Photo: Reuters.
On Aug. 1, Afghan authorities led by members of the National Police Force uncovered “a large military uniform-making factory in the Parwane Du area of Kabul,” the Ministry of Interior told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesman Ghulam Seddiq Sadiqi said Afghan police arrested two individuals working at the location and confiscated 222 magazine holsters, garments and materials used in making military uniforms, eight sewing machines, and other production materials. Alarmingly, the Ministry spokesman said those operating the clandestine clothing workshop “might have links to anti-government fighters.” The investigation is ongoing.
Insurgents aligned with the Taliban and the Haqqani Network (and the Kabul Attack Network) have repeatedly used authentic and bootleg copies of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police uniforms to conduct complex assaults against urban targets. On April 18, insurgents wearing Afghan National Army (ANA) uniforms stormed the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Kabul, killing two soldiers and injuring scores of others. As previously reported by The Long War Journal, the suicide bomber, who was wearing an Afghan Army uniform and carried military identification papers, was able to get past several layers of security and enter the main building of the Ministry of Defense in the Afghan capital. According to reports, the bodyguard to the defense minister, and the secretary of the Army Chief of Staff were among the seven people wounded in the attack.
On June 18, three Taliban suicide bombers dressed in ANA uniforms launched an attack against the police station in the 1st nahiya (district) in Kabul, near the Finance Ministry, killing nine people.
Earlier this year, in what may be the most savage attack attributed to Taliban militants disguised as Afghan national security forces, militants from the Haqqani Network dressed in Afghan Border Police uniforms overran the Kabul Bank location in the eastern city of Jalalabad on February 19, killing at least 42 people, nearly all of them civilians. Most of the victims were executed at point-blank range as they were corralled inside the bank building by the gunmen. Over 70 others were injured in the ensuing gun fight and suicide-bomb detonations.
Previously, members of the Taliban and Haqqani Network have used this tactic to raid a series of government buildings in Khost City and Gardez, and have targeted NATO bases at Bagram and in Jalalabad. Yesterday’s seizure of the clandestine military uniform production facility is the latest operation conducted by the Ministry of the Interior against the terror cells active in Kabul City. Afghan authorities have broken up three planned terror assaults against military and civilian infrastructure inside Kabul since last month, nearly all of which included militants to be dressed as Afghan National Army officers.
The replication, manufacture, sale, and possession of Afghan National Army fatigues is illegal in Afghanistan.
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