ISAF captures Taliban leader linked to Musa Qala suicide attack

Coalition and Afghan special operations forces have captured a Taliban leader who was involved in last month’s assassination attempt against Haji Abdul “Koka” Wali, the chief of police for Musa Qala in Helmand province. Although the ISAF press release does not explicitly state it, Koka was the target of the April 10 suicide attack that is mentioned. From the ISAF press release:

An Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban leader and several subordinate insurgents during an operation in Washer district, Helmand province, today.

The leader was the senior Taliban insurgent in Kajaki district, responsible for roadside bombings, suicide attacks and other operations against Afghan and coalition security forces in Helmand province.

He was also one of the principle planners of the April 10 suicide attack against the district police headquarters building in Musa Qal’ah. In addition, the leader attempted to implement Taliban law on Afghan civilians and operated a Taliban prison.

Bill Ardolino discussed the assassination attempt here, and also interviewed Koka during his 2010 embed with the US Marines in Musa Qala.

The Taliban commander who was captured today also led Taliban forces in Kajaki, and given his usage of suicide attacks, is likely associated with the Mullah Dadullah front, a radical Taliban faction allied with al Qaeda.

For an excellent report on the situation in and around Kajaki, this New York Times report by Luke Mogelson from February is a must read. It explains the limitations to the ‘surge’ and reliance on Afghan security forces to hold these gains, and how areas of Helmand remain under Taliban control even after the surge of US troops there.

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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1 Comment

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Having briefly met “Koka” during my time with the 1st Battalion of the Marine Corp’s MSOR, I am damn glad they got the SOB who tried to kill him. Personally I wish they had waxed his yellow hide, but maybe he has important info they need.
    Koka is a patriot and a tuff mother, he will pull through!


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