A day after Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials broke up a Taliban plot to attack the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) office in eastern Nangarhar province, NDS operatives captured five suspected Taliban insurgents and 560 kilograms of explosives packed into a minivan near the outskirts of Kabul International Airport. The raid took place around May 23; it remains unclear if the insurgents had intended to attack the airport.
The successful raid marks the second time NDS officials have prevented a terror assault in the vicinity of the sprawling international airport grounds in Kabul. Last summer, NDS broke up a series of Taliban and Haqqani Network terror plots that sought to wreak havoc in Kabul, including a complex assault against the airport grounds. [See Threat Matrix, NDS smashes Haqqani Network plots in Kabul.]
In addition, NDS officials in Helmand province announced on May 27 that Afghan authorities arrested a “senior Taliban leader Nematullah” during a recent operation. Nematullah was allegedly responsible for conducting attacks in the greater Lashkar Gah area. NDS officials also confiscated a variety of weapons and communications equipment during the operation that nabbed Nematullah.
NDS has been aggressively pursuing Taliban leaders and suspected Taliban and Haqqani Network cells throughout Afghanistan, in an effort to further erode the military capabilities of the insurgent infrastructure and prevent major terrorist attacks both within the greater Kabul city area and in other urban centers across the country. In early May, the Taliban announced the launch of their spring offensive, dubbed Al-Farooq, and threatened to target foreign and Afghan security forces, Afghan political and government officials, the Afghan High Peace Council, and anti-Taliban militias.
For previous coverage of NDS operations, see the following Long War Journal and Threat Matrix reports:
- NDS smashes Haqqani Network plots in Kabul, July 31, 2011
- Elite Afghan force destroys insurgent explosives cache, Aug. 22, 2011
- NDS dismantles Kabul Attack Network cell, Aug. 28, 2011
- Afghan NDS continues crackdown on counterfeit uniforms, Sept. 5, 2011
- Afghan intelligence operations take on significant role, Sept. 21, 2011
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