NDS dismantles Kabul Attack Network cell

ANP waves off reporters June 18.jpg

An Afghan Policemen waves off photographers following a multi-pronged suicide assault against the Police Headquarters in District 1 on June 18, 2011. Photo: Vancouver Sun.

Senior National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials confirmed that the Afghan agency dismantled a suicide-attack cell on Sunday that bore responsibility for the June 18 attack against a Kabul district police headquarters (1st District) that killed nine people; mostly civilians. The cell, composed of three militants from Wardak and Paktia provinces, was actively planning a complex assault against the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul, according to a report by Pajhwok Afghan News. Afghan authorities apprehended the three militants in the Nyazbik area of the 5th police district and seized AK-47s, hand grenades, and suicide vests.

NDS operations have previously disrupted a series of planned urban assaults in Kabul in July. The total of three plots, all allegedly tied to the Haqqani Network and the Kabul Attack Network, a cell of militant commanders under the leadership of Taj Mir Jawad and the Taliban shadow governor for Kabul Province (Dawood), were discovered in the later stages of operational planning. These plots included a planned complex assault against the Kabul International Airport, the Afghan Defense Ministry, and ISAF headquarters.

The Taliban were quick to claim responsibility for a wide range of summer attacks in Kabul, including the Aug. 19 complex assault against the British Consulate in the Kart-e Parwan neighborhood. At least two suicide attackers breached the perimeter of the heavily guarded compound while additional militants dressed as Afghan women wearing the all-encompassing burka stormed into the consulate’s inner perimeters, killing at least eight people and injuring over a dozen.

Besides the Aug. 19 attack, the last major attack in Kabul took place one month ago, on July 17, when a suicide team targeted and killed a key ally of President Hamid Karzai. Jan Mohammad Khan, the former governor of Uruzgan province who had become one of Karzai’s top advisers, and Mohammad Hashim Watanwal, a parliamentarian from Uruzgan, were among several people who were killed during the terror assault at Khan’s home.

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