7 Afghans involved in green-on-blue attacks may be freed

The controversy over 88 Taliban fighters and prisoners slated to be freed by the Afghan government continues, as seven of the prisoners are said to have carried out the green-on-blue, or insider attacks, in which members of the Afghan security forces kill Coalition personnel. From Khaama Press:

At least seven of those “88 dangerous prisoners” held in Bagram Jail of Parwan are said to be accused of “green on blue” attacks, said an ISAF official.

A number of the 88 are prime suspects in the insider, or “green on blue,” incidents in which Afghans wearing army or police uniforms have attacked and killed U.S. and coalition troops, said Col. Dave Lapan, a spokesman for NATO General Commander Gen. Joseph Dunford.

“At least seven of the 88 fall into that category,” Lapan said in an e-mail from ISAF headquarters in Kabul.

A Pentagon spokesman also confirmed that insider attack suspects were among the 88, but declined to give a number.

The 88 were among more than 3,000 prisoners the U.S. turned over to Afghan jurisdiction last year with pledges from the Afghans that their cases would be processed through the Afghan justice system.

Continuing release of the prisoners from Bagram Jail, the Afghan government recently decided to release the 88 detainees as described by the US the “dangerous prisoners.”

According to a report in The Washington Post on Jan. 9, the Afghan government has decided that it will free 72 of the 88 prisoners:

President Hamid Karzai declared Thursday that the evidence against the 72 men — which had been collected by both the Afghan intelligence service and the U.S. military — was insufficient to warrant formal trials, according to a statement from the presidential palace.

The release, which is expected within days, was ordered after a “thorough and serious review of the prisoners,” the statement said.

It is unclear if any of the seven prisoners involved in the green-on-blue attacks are among the 72 to be freed within the next few days, or instead are among the 16 being held for trial.

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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  • Scott J says:

    The ultimate slap in the face.
    The zero option is looking better and better – zero troops, zero equipment, zero funding, zero embassy …
    … and zero asylum for Karzai if he needs it someday.
    And if the country becomes an Al Qaeda headquarters again, we won’t play nice like last time.
    Even two of our most hawkish senators seem like they’ve had just about enough. From Military.com:
    In a visit to Kabul last week, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., warned President Hamid Karzai that the planned prisoner release threatened to scuttle talks on a new Bilateral Security Agreement to allow U.S. and allied troops to remain in Afghanistan past 2014.
    “We don’t want to see what happened in Iraq, where we won the war but lost the peace,” McCain said. Graham said “These people have blood on their hands. If the release goes ahead it will cause irreparable damage to our relationship.”
    I have always strongly supported the idea of supporting Afghanistan in the road ahead. Not so much now. “Zero” is looking better and better.

  • anan says:

    Scott J, the real slap in the face is by Karzai to most Afghan voters. The Taliban is demanding this as a prerequisite to talks. Even after Karzai releases these prisoners, the Taliban (and their sponsors in a neighboring country) will not negotiate with Karzai in good faith.
    This failed stunt by Karzai should help ensure an anti-Taliban nationalist wins the 2014 Presidential election. A new president who will likely take a much harder line against “Pakistan”, the “Taliban”; as well as more aggressively improve Afghanistan’s relationship with the international community (UN, international institutions, Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, America, Turkey, Iran).
    Karzai is increasingly yesterday’s news in Afghanistan.

  • Reader says:

    ALL have blood on there hands…nature of the game!
    It is a WAR, and this LE approach we take is sickening!!
    Either all are POW’s or ALL(everyone) is a non combatant subject to whimsicle plastic patriotism, from both combatants!

  • James says:

    This is why as I’ve said over and over again these thugs need to be be permanently eliminated. There’s no escape or early release from the grave.
    This idea of trying to capture these thugs for supposed ‘intel’ value is a spurious concept at best. The risks to the lives and safety of our troops are just not worth it.
    As far as kabul king karzai is concerned, who is protecting him? Are we foolish enough to be protecting him? I say, ‘look the other way’ and let the taliban have their way with him.


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