Insider attack by Afghan intelligence employee kills 6 in Kandahar

In the first fatal green-on-blue, or insider, attack by an employee of Afghanistan’s intelligence service this year, a uniformed member of the National Directorate of Security detonated a suicide vest at a district office in Kandahar province on Saturday, killing an American soldier and a former US military officer as well as four Afghans. [For detailed information on the insider attacks, see LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data.]

The attack took place as Coalition and Afghan intelligence personnel were delivering new furniture to an NDS office in the remote Maruf district of eastern Kandahar province, according to The New York Times.

Killed in the attack were US Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Dario Lorenzetti, of Fort Worth, Tex., a former US military officer now serving with the US State Department in Afghanistan. The number of wounded was not reported.

According to the New York Times, the bombing also killed Ghulam Rasool, the deputy intelligence director for Kandahar province, along with two of his bodyguards and another NDS employee.

In the view of the Maruf district chief, the suicide bomber, a local man named Abdul Wali from Zirak, thought he was attacking an Afghan delegation and was unaware that Coalition members were present, the New York Times noted. A NATO official concurred, saying “[i]t was an N.D.S. attack on N.D.S., and we happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

An Afghan official said, however, that the attacker, who had worked for eight years at the NDS, “knew that a delegation including coalition officials was visiting from Kandahar city,” according to Dawn. “He set himself off as he met the Afghan and coalition delegation getting off from a helicopter,” he said. Dawn also reported that the bomber had moved his wife and children to Pakistan the week before the attack.

Following the attack, a brother of one of the slain Afghans took revenge, killing the suicide bomber’s 9-year-old brother in front of his parents.

Shafiqullah Tahiri, a spokesman for the NDS, denied that the attacker was an employee of the NDS, and claimed instead that the bombing “was carried out by an individual who had disguised himself in Afghan intelligence forces uniform.” As reported by Khaama Press,, Tahiri also denied that NDS officers had been involved in such attacks in the past. However, the Khaama report notes, “an Afghan intelligence official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the attack was carried out by a member of the Afghan intelligence, which was also confirmed by NATO-led coalition officials.”

Today the Afghan Interior Ministry issued a directive to police across the country to be vigilant against attempts to infiltrate Afghan security forces, ToloNews reported.

ISAF stepping up raids against insider attack planners

As insider attacks continue to spike, Coalition officials are starting to acknowledge that the Taliban are behind a larger proportion of the attacks, and ISAF has intensified its efforts against the perpetrators. Many of the attackers appear to come from the eastern Afghan provinces, a BBC reporter wrote in September, where Taliban influence is prevalent. And in early October, ISAF commanders admitted that attackers from Pakistan with links to the Taliban and its subgroup, the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, were significantly involved in the attacks, the Associated Press reported.

Today ISAF announced that it had arrested a Taliban leader in Nangarhar province who “commanded Taliban fighters, and is directly associated with facilitating the movement and escape of an insider-attack shooter across Afghan borders.” According to the ISAF press release, a number of suspected insurgents were detained and multiple weapons and mortar components were seized in the raid.

On Sept. 21, ISAF captured two “insider attack planners” during a raid in the eastern province of Logar. The detained insurgents were known facilitators for the insider attacks in the province, and at the time of their capture were involved in ” were in the advanced stages of preparing for a strike against a coalition base, which included … the attempted infiltration of Afghan security forces.”

On Sept. 15, ISAF killed a green-on-blue attacker named Mahmood and “more than a dozen armed insurgents” in an airstrike in the Bar Kunar district of Kunar province. Mahmood executed the May 11 insider attack in Kunar that resulted in the death of one US soldier; two other soldiers were wounded. Mahmood fled to the Taliban, and on Aug. 7 the Taliban released a video showing him being welcomed as a hero [see Threat Matrix report, Observations on Taliban video ‘welcoming’ rogue ANA soldiers].

And on Aug. 30, security forces arrested a Taliban fighter wanted for killing two British ISAF members in a green-on-blue attack on May 13 in southern Helmand province. He was attempting to join the Afghan National Army at the time of his capture (he was a member of the Afghan National Police when he killed the British troops).

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.


  • Charu says:

    “the bomber had moved his wife and children to Pakistan the week before the attack”
    This should have been a tip-off. But only if the Afghans were monitoring him as a suspect.
    “killing the suicide bomber’s 9-year-old brother in front of his parents”

  • Nic says:

    “Dawn also reported that the bomber had moved his wife and children to Pakistan the week before the attack.” For an intelligence employee to move his family to enemy territory should have been a “red flag.” On second thought, with all of the traffic to and from enemy territory, the action would probably be just another normal day at the leaky sieve that is the Afghan intelligence service.

  • tez says:

    The bit about the attacker’s nine-year-old brother really is the cherry on this particular crap sundae.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    I agree with you, but it’s how the culture of that region works. Revenge is one of the most important things to them. They are tired of being bombed to pieces all the time.
    And, I may sound like a jerk for saying it, but the way their culture also works, is that “martyrdom” is one of the highest honours. Therefore, the parents and the 9 year old child very well could have been proud of what the suicide bomber did. And why were they just standing there, near the blast site as well?
    Hate to say it, but I don’t blame the Afghan who killed the child. That’s the way they live.

  • mike merlo says:

    whatever happened to “CounterIntelligence?”

  • Geez says:

    “but it’s how the culture of that region works. blabla… They are tired of being bombed to pieces all the time.”
    bla, bla
    “I don’t blame the Afghan who killed the child. That’s the way they live.”
    I’m so grateful for know-it-alls like you that can clarify these events for us simple folk. Please feel free to post links, ad nauseum, that “prove” your point. Do you actually think this somehow justifies the act? Jerk is too mild a description.

  • joeamerica says:

    Sundoesn’t –
    Revenge murders of children, defecating on one’s own floor, executing schoolgirls, rampant pedophilia, mandatory dishonesty, incapacity for loyalty do not a “culture” make. Anarchy, brutality, ignorance, laziness, sepsis, enslavement,corruption – the pathetic morass that exists as the daily social fabric in a significant part of this region is a stone age throwback, a replicating mass devoid of dignity, moral fabric, functional institutions, hope. Little here is worthy of American lives. The real war is Islam vs. Islam – will it be a living faith of functional, morally guided, educated and successful citizens, or shall it be overwhelmed by ignorance, corruption, hatred, anarchy, disfunction, neanderthal stupidity and the celebration of institutional ignorance and incompetence. Which side shall prevail? A question for the next 20 years, Allah willing.

  • Witch Doctor says:

    I’m all for random acts of violence and senseless acts of brutality (wasn’t there a saying like that?).
    But the killing of children is just wrong. I do not care where you are from, what your culture is, whatever. It is just wrong on a level that any human being can understand. There are the mentally ill, but this is wrong.
    Ex-Military and Dad!

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Emotional posts are so amusing. If you’re too lazy to simply know how these people in that part of the world live, then I can’t help you. A culture where girls are killed for being raped so they family can retain their “honour”. I’m not going to play into your hands, and waste my time by posting links when all you’ll most likely do is simply deny the contents of such links, and claim I’m linking to “biased sources” or such. You have the whole World Wide Web at your fingertips to go find out for yourself how these people live. I’m not going to hold your hand and do it for you, you’re a big boy, you can do it yourself.
    There’s a reason why they haven’t gone too far out of the “stone age” – as “joeamerica” pointed out. That area is a tribal hellhole.
    “Do you actually think this somehow justifies the act? Jerk is too mild a description.”
    Before shoving words in my mouth, READ what I said. I never said I approve of the acts, or that they are justified. I simply said that’s how these people think. You know what I mean by that, and you’re just asking me to post links because you want to pick a fight. Seriously, anybody with a functioning brain can understand what I meant when I said “this is how they live”. It’s like how ancient African societies used to indulge in animal and child sacrifices. It is simply a very widespread part of their fabric, who they are. Revenge is interwoven into the Pashtunwali system.
    Now, as for the jerk part, people like you are everywhere, People who, instead of getting mad at the people who COMMIT the violent acts, you get mad at people like me for calling it out and criticizing it. That’s a very childish thing to do and if you want to be taken seriously by anybody in the future I’d suggest you stop it.

  • James says:

    Bill, once again, time to ask the current regime in power (in DC) a good question:
    Do our people over there at least have the force structure in place to adequately protect each other?
    With this ‘fast forward’ cut and run policy in place, and it being an election year, we’d better get use to the reality that there will be no level of a rational decision- making process in place until AFTER the elections (at the earliest).

  • Mr T says:

    Why kill the 9 year old in front of the parents? Why not kill the parents? Of course, then the 9 year old will seek revenge so I guess you would have to kill him also. Which brings up the question of why this war is fought differently than say WWII where entire populations were bombed into submission. I am sure that included a lot of 9 year olds being killed. It was ok then but not in Afghanistan?
    Of course, these Taliban killers hide behind the skirts of women to avoid getting themselves killed while setting off bombs in public places and killing schoolgirls. The rules of war are somewhat clouded nowadays.

  • Geez says:

    “Emotional posts are so amusing.”
    Yes, that wall of text and your condescending words speak volumes about your desire to pass off these senseless acts as part of a culture we fail to understand. Thanks for not helping me. I don’t want it or need it.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    “Yes, that wall of text and your condescending words speak volumes about your desire to pass off these senseless acts as part of a culture we fail to understand.”
    Wow, you complain about me being condescending. Did you even re-read your first post? Dude, you really should.
    That is exactly what I mean. Part of a culture we do not understand. And then bleeding hearts like you attack me for criticizing them. How childish. I wrote that “wall of text” so I could completely explain the situation, and completely refute everything you said. Which I did. Don’t like what I say? Don’t send me posts then.
    “Thanks for not helping me. I don’t want it or need it.”
    Yet you’re the same person that wanted me to post links “ad nauseum”, so I could waste my time proving my point to you, at which time you’d simply deny everything I linked to. I know what game you’re playing, and I’m not interested.
    Get out of the kitchen if you can’t take the heat.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    “senseless acts as part of a culture we fail to understand.”
    That culture has been around for thousands of years, Geez. I’m not trying to “pass off” anything, I’m simply telling you like it is. If you think those people embrace a culture full of bleeding hearts, unicorns, fairies, love, forgiveness, progression, science, etc, then you are free to prove it in the comments rather than complaining about EVERYTHING I say. Yet I have the feeling you can’t prove anything, hence your intense hatred of my words. Time to wake up to reality. That place is not worth any western lives.

  • Susan, from Kabul says:

    Just for more information, Wali Mohd is from Commander Raziq’s trib and he was working as solider in border police for almost six years and he was shifted to NDS just 45 days ago. His brother-in-law is still security guard of Commander Raziq.
    Due to his long relation with Raziq, he was shifted to NDS without going through the proper background check proccess by chief of NDS Kandahar. Since he is affraid go gen Raziq, because Raziq and Asadullah Khalid the current chief of NDS are close friends and sharing the same drug mafia group. Both of them were working for Ahmad Wali Karzai.
    Susan from Kabul

  • Geez says:

    I don’t see where I come off as hating you or what you say. I’m saying you come off as a pompous blowhard to those of us who have been closely following this site for many years. You are preaching old news to the choir. It’s not the content, it’s in your delivery.

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Well, like I said before, you’re no better. Look in the mirror, and don’t condemn others for doing things which you do. I know you always want to be right but on this one, you’re just not. And congrats on still failing to prove my premise wrong about they way their culture works.
    Thousands of years of tribal traditions vs 1 bleeding heart Internet posting.
    Who wins? The obvious.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram