Taliban release Nuristan attack video

On Oct. 31, the Taliban-produced Voice of Jihad website (http://shahamat-english.com/) posted a 35-minute-long video chronicling a “coordinated attack against 6 enemy outposts in one day,” which the Taliban claimed had occurred in the hotly contested district of Kamdesh in Nuristan province. Portions of the video were previously released on related insurgent websites on Oct. 19.

Independent analysis of the video conducted by The Long War Journal affirms that the location was most likely Kamdesh district, and that the video was probably filmed sometime during the summer months.

There is a possibility that the video depicts attacks reported in the Kamdesh district in late June of this year, in which hundreds of Taliban fighters — including Pakistani militants — attacked a series of Afghan security check posts in the villages of Pirok and Binoz. At the time, Afghan authorities stated that eight civilians, six policemen, and upward of 25 insurgents were killed during a raid by insurgents on June 30 in Kamdesh district. [See Threat Matrix, Taliban Raid Nuristan District.]


The video praises Sheikh Dost mohammed, the Taliban shadow governor for Nuristan province, and shows a convoy and later a group of men being showered with flower petals, although Sheikh Dost mohammed cannot be clearly seen in the footage. Interestingly, the video features sermons given by two suspected Taliban shadow officials for Nuristan, Maluvi Gul Mohammad, and Maluvi Noor Mohammad (Kashif ) Nuristani.

Maluvi Gul Mohammad was a senior Taliban judge who operated in both Nuristan and Kunar provinces. He was reportedly arrested along with three Pakistani nationals during an Afghan security operation near Katinwa, which is located outside Nuristan’s provincial capital of Parun, in early September of this year.


Maluvi Noor Mohammad, a Taliban financial chief, was possibly arrested during the same operation. Pajhwok Afghan News inferred that both Noor Mohammad and Gul Mohammad were “former” Taliban officials.

Nruistan_ 2_Noor_Mohammad_Nuristani.jpg

Nearly half of the video — a 15-minute segment — is dedicated to the depiction of a Taliban raid in broad daylight against a remote Afghan outpost manned by Afghan National Army and/or Afghan Border Police elements. The video shows seven Afghan security personnel who had been killed defending their outpost, and Taliban insurgents are shown pillaging the outpost (and corpses) of weapons, ammunition, and clothing before Coalition aerial assets are seen bombing the hillsides nearby. Several bandaged and apparently heavily medicated Taliban insurgents are later shown receiving medical treatment.




The importance of weaponry is a theme that is reiterated throughout the video. “The seizure of ghaneemat from the slaves [alternately servants] of Crusaders” is a subtitle that appears numerous times while images of apparently confiscated weapons, ammunition, and what appears to be Afghan Border Police uniforms, are shown. Ghaneemat is an Arabic term that loosely translates to “of which you gain,” a term that is also associated with the spoils of war taken from nonbelievers during the early days of Islam, while mal-e-ghaneemat is the more contemporary reference to “war booty.” Besides the seizure of weapons and ammunition, at least one Afghan government pickup truck can be seen being commandeered by insurgents, weakly camouflaged by fighters holding branches and foliage as they sit in the bed of the pickup.



The weaponry theme is also highlighted by a short clip showing Afghan insurgents firing two heavy weapon systems — possibly a Type 75-1 14.5mm anti-aircraft system and a DShK machinegun — although it appears this footage was snatched from a previous Taliban video. The Type 75-1 system weighs approximately 214 kg (about 472 lbs.) and is considered a crew-served weapon system.



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1 Comment

  • Ghost Soldier says:

    Massing attacks in Nuristan all bear a recognizable, striking resemblance, whether in Kamdesh, Waygal, or Barg-e Matal:
    Sniper elements, together with machine guns, often begin attacking the target from high ground at daybreak, having in-filled at 2-4am. They target the indirect fire positions, pinning them down as cover fire as their RPG teams move closer to the target.
    The RPG teams engage the targeted camp or position, focusing a lot of fire on entry points and allowing for their fire teams to move to breach the position’s ‘wire’. Once inside, these teams commence attacks at close range, often becoming more and more accurate with their fire as the battle goes on.
    From Wanat to Bari Alai to Barg-e Matal and Kamdesh this appears to be the consistent strain. It’s identifiable almost each time by a consistent change in atmospherics in the surrounding villages. When these atmospherics go unrecognized, it allows the fighters greater freedom of movement in which to move supplies and fighters. Nuristan is truly its own world. Much of this obviously is noted in Jake Tapper’s new book ‘The Outpost’. Personally speaking, Tapper does the finest job I have read at accurately describing the fight in northern Kunar and Nuristan. The American public would do well to learn the region; in the coming years, AQ’s presence will dramatically increase in Nuristan… and if you don’t believe me, look at Bin Laden’s final orders to his rank and file. He advised them to go there.


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