Taliban suicide bomber kills 3 ISAF soldiers in Kabul

The Taliban killed three Coalition soldiers in a suicide car bombing that targeted a convoy in Kabul today. The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the deaths in a press release; the nationalities and identities of those killed have not been disclosed:

Three International Security Assistance Force service members died following a suicide vehicle born improvised explosive device attack in Kabul, Afghanistan today.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

While a statement has yet to be released on Voice of Jihad, Zahibullah Muhajid, the Taliban’s spokesman, claimed credit for the attack. From Pajhwok Afghan News:

As usual, Taliban claimed responsibility, with the group’s spokesman saying that a dozen US soldiers had been killed and several others wounded in the bombing.

In a statement, Zabihullah identified the attacker as Habibur Rahman Kunduzi, a member of the insurgent movement.

Today’s suicide attack was likely executed by the Kabul Attack Network, which is made up of fighters from the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and cooperates with terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda. Top Afghan intelligence officials have linked the Kabul Attack Network to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate as well. The network’s tentacles extend outward from Kabul into the surrounding provinces of Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Ghazni, and Zabul, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

The Kabul Attack Network is led by Dawood (or Daud) and Taj Mir Jawad, military and intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal. Dawood is the Taliban’s shadow governor for Kabul, while Taj Mir Jawad is a top commander in the Haqqani Network. In the US military files that were released by WikiLeaks, Taj Mir Jawad is identified as a key Haqqani Network leader.

The National Directorate for Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence service, has targeted the Kabul Attack Network due to the threat that it poses to the capital. On Dec. 10, the NDS claimed it captured seven suicide bombers in Kabul and surrounding provinces. From Xinhua:

“Personnel of NDS have captured 22 terrorists including seven suicide bombers from Kabul and adjoining provinces of Parwan, Kapisa and Wardak and thus foiled possible terrorist attacks,” the statement added.

The spy agency has also discovered arms and ammunitions including five suicide vests, two explosive-laden cars and 6,000 kg explosive materials from the insurgents’ possessions.

Two Taliban officials including a shadowy deputy governor of Parwan province and shadowy governor of Khak-district of Kabul province are among the arrested men.

ISAF has also targeted the Kabul Attack Network heavily since disclosing the existence of the group in July 2010. The Kabul Attack Network has been behind some of the largest attacks against ISAF and Western interests in the capital.

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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