The devices have been the insurgents’ preferred weapon for several years, but their use rose 14 per cent year-on-year, in the second quarter of 2011.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused the majority of Nato casualties in 2010 and their indiscriminate use has been blamed by the United Nations for contributing to record civilian casualties.
From April to June, 3,845 exploded or were found, according to the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO). Coaliton killed and wounded from the bombs rose 15 per cent yearly to 1,248 over the same period.
In June, use of roadside bombs was 25 per cent higher than average.
Most of the bombs are of homemade explosive, but attempts to block the import of ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in its manufacture have failed to stop the increase in devices.
In the deadliest day for American forces in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter on Saturday, killing 30 Americans, including some Navy Seal commandos from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as 8 Afghans, American and Afghan officials said.
Cash from part of a $2.16 billion U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said on Monday.
The disclosure is another example of the persistent difficulty the U.S. military has in keeping its massive war funding from reaching the insurgents it is fighting in the unpopular, decade-old Afghan war.
The United States is spending more than $6 billion a month in the conflict.
Pentagon officials have repeatedly warned of the need to tighten controls on U.S. contracts and last year announced the creation of a task force to crack down on misuse of funds by contractors, some of whom pay Taliban protection money.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the discovery of the siphoning of funds from the trucking contract was part of that previously announced effort. He said the U.S. military’s Central Command, which oversees the Afghan war, aimed to sign a new trucking contract in September.
“Central Command’s contracting command is working on a new Afghan trucking contract to ensure greater transparency into subcontractors,” Lapan told reporters.
An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province after the boy’s father — a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk — refused to comply with militants’ demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying “this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions,” according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident.
Karzai said he has ordered local authorities to root out the militants and arrest them “as soon as possible.”
The boy was kidnapped Friday. It was unclear when he was killed.
Britain’s connection to jihad in South Asia was once again cast into the spotlight with the capture of two British nationals with alleged links to the Taliban in Herat. The man and woman remain unidentified, and the British Ministry of Defense and Foreign Office have both merely confirmed that they were British nationals. Stories have started to circulate in the press that they were plotting an attack back in the U.K. and it seems that they were dual Afghan-British nationals known to MI5, though other reports indicate they may be of Pakistani origin. Whether they were planning an attack in the U.K. or not, the prospect of British nationals fighting British soldiers in Afghanistan is something that has long worried British officials. Either way, their presence shows the connection between the U.K. and fighting in Afghanistan continues to exist, a demonstration of how ingrained extreme ideas continue to be in the U.K.
Back to the future… in this case a very realistic film:
The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taliban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the U.S.-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.
“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.”
Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.
A video released in recent weeks, and made available to WORLD this week by two separate Afghan sources, shows four Afghan militants beheading a man believed to be a Christian in Herat Province.The militants, who claim to be Taliban, captured the victim, a man in his 40s named Abdul Latif (according to Obaid Christ, who provided translation of the video), earlier this year from his village outside Enjeel, a town south of Herat.
In the two-minute video, the men, wearing explosive belts (or suicide vests) and kaffiya head scarves to cover their faces, recite verses from the Quran while forcing Latif to the ground and pinning him with their feet. “You who are joined with pagans . . . your sentence [is] to be beheaded,” read one of the militants in Farsi from what looked like a paper decree. “Whoever changes his religion should be executed.” The passages refer to Sura 8:12 (“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks . . .”) and the hadiths, or sayings of Mohammed.
As Latif fought his captors from the ground, one of the militants thrust a medium-sized blade into the side of his neck. With blood flowing onto the ground the militants shouted “Allahu Akhbar” or “God is great” over and over until Latif was fully beheaded and his head was placed on top of his chest.
I expect the authors of this horrible deed are Taliban or people linked to them. We have to wait to have more news on this (Of course, if they are published).
Just nine years old. The suicide bomber was a young girl locked in a paramilitary checkpoint in the district of Lower Dir in northwestern Pakistan, according to the local police chief, Salim Marwat. The child had been kidnapped Saturday from the city of Peshawar and had been forced by his captors to wear a explosive vest . The little girl, named Suhana Ali, was captured not far from a checkpoint to Islam Dara, when an agent noticed an unnatural bulge on his body. An inspection has revealed that the girl was wearing an explosives vest ready to be activated.
The police operation, and the small age of the girl, were confirmed by a police officer. “Sushana – he explained – is from the Hashtnagri near Peshawar and was kidnapped by four people, both men and women. His father is disabled and poor, while the mother is a seamstress.” During the interrogation, the girl said that her kidnappers had administered sedatives. “They ordered me to push the button when switching the control post, but the police stopped me before I arrived.”
The separate resolutions would symbolically delink al-Qaida and the Taliban and recognize their different agendas. While Al-Qaida is focused on worldwide jihad against the West and establishment of a religious state in the Muslim world, Taliban militants have focused on their own country and have shown little interest in attacking targets abroad.
Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, who chairs the Security Council committee that currently monitors sanctions against the two groups, told reporters in Kabul earlier this month that separating the sanctions regimes would futher highlight “the significance of the political efforts that are ongoing in Afghanistan.”
Of course, none of us knew this. We have been waiting for the UN to reveal such a huge discovery…
The Afghan Taliban have activated a citizen phone service for complaints after learning that a group of false insurgents is extorting the population in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said today.
Rebel leaders have reacted this way to the growing number of complaints that have taken place in the eastern province of Nangarhar by the action of a group of suspected rebels, using the name of the Taliban, extort the population.
“They are collecting money, extorting and even kidnapping on our behalf, but they have not received any instruction from the ‘mujahideen’,” rebel spokesman Zabiullah Mujahi said.
A leaked file says that Jawad Jabber Sadkhan, an Iraqi intelligence officer who moved to Afghanistan in 1998, “admittedly forged official documents and reportedly provided liaison between the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.” The government of Afghanistan at that time was the Taliban, which employed him as a vicious interrogator for its intelligence service. His driver said he was also close to Osama Bin Laden, who paid him before and after the 9/11 attacks. Another detainee revealed that Sadkhan would travel to Iraq through Iran to retrieve supplies for the Taliban. Sadkhan was not universally popular, as his superior, Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi, warned Saif al-Adel in November 1998 that he was part of a group of Iraqis “involved in un-Islamic activities.” This accusation did not end the relationship.
According to another detainee named Abbas Habid Rumi al-Naely, Sadkhan was a member of one of Saddam Hussein’s top units tasked with assassinating political opponents. The U.S. government also identified al-Naely as a liaison between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al-Qaeda. He joined the Taliban in 1994 while living in Baghdad. One U.S. government memo shows he was accused of preparing attacks on the U.S. and British embassies in Pakistan in August 1998 with an Iraqi intelligence officer on the orders of Osama Bin Laden. Later memos did not include the charge.
U.N. representatives consider that women and children are being killed and wounded at home more than ever before, due to the intensification of Taliban attacks on the Afghan territory.
About 55 percent more children were killed in the first half of this year by the Taliban, compared to the last year. Thus, 3,268 people were killed from January 1, 2010, and 1,997 were injured and maimed. 2,477 of these people were killed or wounded by anti-governmental forces such as the Taliban, while 386 can be blamed on the pro-governmental forces, including the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan Security Forces.
A coalition government that includes the Taliban should be the long-term goal, they said.
“We ask you to sanction and support a direct dialogue and negotiation with the Afghan Taliban leadership residing in Pakistan,” the experts said in their open letter.
“It is better to negotiate now rather than later, since the Taliban will likely be stronger next year.”
“The situation on the ground is much worse than a year ago because the Taliban insurgency has made progress across the country,” the letter said.
“The Taliban today are now a national movement with a serious presence in the north and the west of the country.”
Well, imagine these guys in the IIWW and just think what they would have been called if they would have advised to “negotiate with the Nazis”. Consider too what consequences this would have to the Taliban presence in the are: indeed their presence now would be much greater than before 2001 if ISAF ends their mission there.
Separatists and Islamic militants in southwest Pakistan are increasingly targeting teachers, college professors and other school officials, stunting development in the poorest corner of the country, an international rights group said Monday.
The Human Rights Watch report on Baluchistan province shows that education in Pakistan is under threat not just in the northwest, where Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have long harassed teachers and attacked schools, especially those for girls.
Suspected militants murdered at least 22 educators in Baluchistan between January 2008 and October 2010, according to the report. The most prominent killing was that of Shafiq Ahmed, the provincial education minister, who was shot dead in October 2009.
Militant separatists have threatened teachers and school officials to stop teaching Pakistani history, flying the Pakistani flag, and singing of the national anthem. Partly as a result of the threats, bombs or other attacks, government schools in 2009 were open only 120 days — 100 days less than in the rest of the country.
Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province, covering 44 percent of the country and bordering Afghanistan and Iran. It also is the poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces and the most sparsely populated, with around 8 million people, or just 5 percent of the total population.
The Afghan policeman who killed six American troops had been on the force for three years and had no criminal background, Afghanistan’s interior ministry has said.
The gunman, who also died in the shooting on Monday, opened fire as the group was on its way to a weapons range in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent in order to have an opportunity to kill foreigners.
The bloodshed – which appeared to be the deadliest attack of its kind in at least two years – underscored one of the risks in the programme to train enough recruits to turn over the lead for security to Afghan forces by 2014.
Having so much anxiety to leave is not good. The danger of course, is to do everything wrong and, although some things have already being done in a very wrong way (Sharia Law being a source of law according to the Constitution), things can even get worse…
Moreover, this is not the first time that happens (1, 2).
We were asked to wait for the district chief in the house of a burly, bearded man who spoke passable English with a hint of a London accent. For most of the time he lived in east London, he said, but he came to Afghanistan for three months of the year to fight. He was a mullah and had the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander.
“I work as a minicab driver there,” he said. “I make good money, you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.
“There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”
Solution? If we discover you’re jihading with your colleagues, better buy a one-way ticket, because you’re not going to enter this country again. Yes it’s difficult to prove that, but I’m sure there are patterns to discover the “covered” life these guys are having… You know, who would have allowed someone living in the US going to Germany to fight for the Nazis three months a year and then coming back to send them some money for their fight?
A successful Afghan National Security Force and Special Operations Task Group operation against insurgents in Central Uruzgan was conducted on Saturday, 6 November resulting in one district-level Taliban leader being killed.
Mullah Mohammadullah and another insurgent were killed when they fired at the combined force while fleeing the Shahid-e Hasas area, near Deh Rawud. The event occurred during a combined disruption operation against an improvised explosive device and weapons distribution ring.
Mullah Mohammadullah operated at the district level and was known to have resourced, planned and coordinated operations against the International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan National Security Force in the region, as well as being a known distributor of weapons and money for the insurgents.
A woman journalist from Canada, who was abducted by militants in November 2008, has died following prolonged illness in the custody of the Taliban somewhere in northwest Pakistan or Afghanistan, sources said on Tuesday.
Khadija Abdul Qahar, 55, who was known as Beverly Giesbrecht before she converted to Islam, was abducted along with her translator Salman Khan and cook-cum-driver Zar Muhammad while travelling to Miranshah in the restive North Waziristan tribal region.
The three were abducted in the Bannu region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on November 11, 2008. Salman Khan and Zar Muhammad were released after eight months of captivity due to efforts made by the head of a religious party.
Khan disclosed after his release that Qahar was suffering from hepatitis and was mentally prepared for death.
She was not very optimistic about her release, he had then said.
Geisbrecht once published a website called “Jihad Unspun” under the name “Khadija Abdul Qahaar“. The website was pro-Taliban. I don’t mean this in the sense that many on the Left are pro-Taliban — they support any opponents of the US — I mean this in the literal sense: she and the website supported the Taliban.
AL-QAEDA operatives in Iraq tried to unleash deadly terror in the skies by deploying a pair of dogs on a US-bound plane, it has emerged.
The plot failed because the bombs were so badly stitched inside the dogs that they died, according to a report in the respected French daily newspaper Le Figaro.
“This case illustrates the determination of al Qaeda militants, who are trying to circumvent terrorism controls by any means,” French criminologist Christophe Naudin, an aviation security expert, told the newspaper.