Shooting at compound in Kabul used by contractors and CIA

A building in Kabul that is rumored to be used by the Central Intelligence Agency came under attack this evening. The attack is the latest in a string of high-profile strikes in the Afghan capital.

Gunfire and at least one explosion were heard near the complex, the former site of the Ariana Hotel, according to eyewitnesses in Kabul. The building is located in a high-security zone near the Presidential Palace and the US Embassy. The complex houses large Western contracting firms and is also thought to host a CIA office as well.

An Afghan security guard opened fire in all directions, sparking a shootout that lasted for nearly 10 minutes. The attacker killed a US citizen before being killed himself, the BBC reported. Two Afghan soldiers, a presidential guard, and “one CIA guard” are said to have been injured.

The motivation for the attack is unclear. The Taliban and allied terrorist groups are known to have conducted similar attacks by infiltrating or recruiting from security forces and contracting groups.

The Taliban have conducted two other major attacks in Kabul this month. On Sept. 20, a Taliban suicide bomber killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, the chief of the Afghan High Peace Council and former president of Afghanistan. And on Sept. 13, the Taliban launched a complex attack on the US Embassy and ISAF headquarters, as well as several police stations.

The Taliban and their allies have executed several high-profile attacks in the Afghan capital this year. Since the beginning of the year, the Taliban appear to have attempted to conduct at least one high-profile attack a month in Kabul. On Aug. 18, a suicide assault team killed eight people at the office of the British Council. On June 28, a suicide assault team stormed the Intercontinental Hotel and killed 13 people. On June 18, a suicide assault team attacked a police station near the Interior Ministry, killing eight people. On May 21, a suicide bomber killed six people in a hospital. On April 28, a suicide bomber penetrated security at the Ministry of Defense, killing two soldiers and wounding several senior officials. On February 24, a suicide bomber detonated outside of the Safi Landmark hotel, killing two people. And on January 28, a suicide assault team killed eight people at the Finest grocery.

The US has blamed the Haqqani Network, the al Qaeda-linked Taliban subgroup, for the Embassy and ISAF headquarters attack. In addition, US officials have implicated the Pakistani military and its Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate in sponsorship of the Haqqanis and aiding in that attack.

The public accusations by US officials have brought relations between the two countries, already strained over the past year due to US Predator strikes and the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, to an all-time low. US claims that Pakistan sponsors the Haqqanis have been met with denials from Pakistani officials.

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

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  • LKP says:

    Hmm, is Pakistani ISI going after CIA and Afghan intelligence services?

  • Paul says:

    Why are we being coy about this?

  • Devin Leonard says:

    The US needs to bring the hammer down on the haqqani network with both a mixture of drone attacks and Spec Ops assaults. Only when these haqqauni scum are brought to heel, will the US be able to win in Afghanistan. We can certainly do it. There is no way the Haqqani’s can stand up to the most lethal military machine in history if we go all out against them, so Obama needs to do that!
    PS. And if some ISI boys get killed in the process, oh well:)

  • Soccer says:

    The Taliban have claimed responsibility for this incident.
    Also, I read on AMEF forums that a “massive martyrdom attack” started the fighting which killed 70 Afghan police and army, followed by “dozens of mujahideen” raiding the complex area, killing a total of 14 Presidential Guards, 17 CIA guards and employees, 24 US soldiers and “various high ranking puppet and invader officials, including an ebony skinned US general, a puppet militia commander named Ghor Ahmad, and a very important CIA commander by the name of Mark.”
    They say “Mujahideen also shot down 7 spy planes along with the destruction of 3 tanks and 7 armored fighting vehicles, and a huge US weapons armory was set on fire after the Mujahideen missiles slammed into it. 8 of the enemy trained dogs were also brutally murdered by the Mujahideen.”

  • David says:

    This reeks of cross border penetrations by the ISI and their minions. I have always been against the Iraq war, but we must clear out these scumbags in Afghanistan as much as possible. Losing lives is part of it unfortunately and this is a war that is going to last for a long time. We must outsmart them on many different fronts.

  • mike merlo says:

    Thanks soccer. I wonder how the dogs were killed. Were they subject to a trial? Was is it summary execution? Were they allowed to cross examine their accusers? Have any ‘enemy’ dogs been taken prisoner?

  • Soccer says:

    I asked on the forums about the dogs. They say that the dogs were killed “because they were vile puppet lackeys for the apostate Karzai administration and the scummy KUFFAR invaders known as ISAF/NATO/US.”
    They explained the incident by saying “a small team of mujahids were making their way through the back alleyways near the complex when other mujahid teams were slaughtering the invaders around the open complex area, when they were spotted by 3 US invaders. A brave hero mujahid threw a grenade over the wall that killed the 3 US invaders as well as 3 enemy trained dogs. Then, one mujahid ducked down and gave a boost to another mujahid who peered over the high wall and started spraying his machine gun everywhere, slaughtering the 5 remaining enemy dogs.”
    So, not only did they say they had frontal assault teams, but they also had suicide squads as well as their own version of special forces. They say that “in conclusion, about 120 important invaders, contractors, puppets, guards enemy trained dogs, and important generals and commanders were killed in this blessed assault. 32 mujahideen were involved in the assault, of which 13 embraced martyrdom while the other 19 safely left the area.”
    No, they would not capture the dogs. They despise the dogs not only because Prophet Muhammad apparently hated dogs, but also because they blame the “enemy trained dogs” for many brutal raids on weddings and social gatherings which they say has killed “dozens and hundreds of innocent Muslims”.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    @David: You might be interested in this Commentary Magazine analysis of the GWOT, and the centrality of Operation Iraqi Freedom, to the struggle against al-Qaeda and the Wahabbis.

    What We Got Right in the War on Terror


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