Afghan NDS thwarts terror plot near Kabul airport, arrests Taliban commander

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:

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  • chris says:

    And this was the very same NDS that told us that OBL was in Abottabad in 2004.If only CIA could be as good as these people.

  • Nic says:

    Being metrically challenged, I learned that 1 kilogram = 2.20462262 pounds. A metric converter said that 560 kg = 1,234.588 lbs. Next, what was the type of the explosives found? Was it a “home brew” at the bottom end of the spectrum, military grade at the top end or something in-between. If the explosives were military grade, what was the source country? Was it captured NATO stuff or explosives manufactured by our ever faithful and trustworthy ally, Pakistan? Is there another story here that needs to be told?

  • mike merlo says:

    For all the criticisms leveled at the Soviets during their occupation NDS’es predecessor, KHAD, was actually quite effective. It appears that NDS has reached & surpassed that same level of proficiency. Definitely a most welcome development.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    The CIA has been teaching the NDS well, and it’s starting to show great benefits. Well done NDS boys.

  • Vyom says:

    They are getting consistent.

  • cj says:

    To the point of “where did the ordinance come from”? If it was stolen, thats a huge cluster… No way dod will admit it if they can help it.
    Second, The sheer volume and secrecy involved would have to point me to foreign military. It would be a luxury to find out ord. was home-brew. I agree we need more answers to these questions. Certainly if we have more eyes because of improved security and better economy.
    ppl will be more willing to come forward. It shows a job well done for everyone involved in busting their butts over there.


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