The AfPak Reader

September 13, 2009

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 5 – Volume 2

Filed under: Enemy Profiles,Journalist Chronicles,Summer 2009 — huntingnasrallah @ 5:14 pm

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 5 – Volume 2

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/07/afghan_us_forces_rep.php

Afghan, US forces repel coordinated Taliban suicide assaults
By Bill Roggio
July 21, 2009 11:44 AM

Afghan and US forces repelled coordinated Taliban assaults in two major cities in eastern Afghanistan. Suicide bombers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles attacked government installations and a US base in the cities of Gardez and Jalalabad. Eight Taliban fighters and six Afghan security personnel were reported killed in the failed attacks.

In Gardez in Paktia province, six suicide bombers, some wearing the full-length burkas worn by Afghan women, attacked government buildings, including the provincial intelligence office, but were gunned down as they attempted to storm the buildings.

Three intelligence officials were killed when one of the suicide bombers detonated his vest outside the intelligence department. The other five suicide bombers and two policemen were killed during gun battles outside a police station and the governor’s house. One of the suicide bombers detonated his vest outside the Paktia governor’s home.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman for eastern Afghanistan, took credit for the attack and claimed 15 heavily suicide bombers were involved in the attack.

In Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, police and US forces killed two suicide bombers as they attempted to attack a forward operating base at the airport outside the city. Another bomber was captured, the US military said. One policeman was killed while repelling the Taliban strike.

Nangarhar province and Jalalabad have been relatively secure compared to other areas in eastern Afghanistan.

The attack in Paktia was likely carried out by the Haqqani Network, a Taliban group with close ties to al Qaeda. The Haqqanis run operations in Paktia, Paktika, Khost and neighboring provinces.

The Paktia attack took place as US forces are conducting operations to find the soldier who was captured by the Haqqani Network on June 30.

The attack in Jalalabad was likely carried out by the Tora Bora Front, a Taliban group under the command of Anwar Ul Haq Mujahid, who has close ties with al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network. Mujahid is the son of Maulvi Mohammed Yunis Khalis, a senior mujahedeen leader based in the eastern province of Nangarhar, who was famous for battling the Soviet Union during the occupation from 1979-1989. Yunis Khalis was also instrumental in welcoming Osama bin Laden into Afghanistan after he was ejected from the Sudan in 1996. Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani Network, served as a commander under Khan during the war with the Soviets.

In June, Mujahid was reported to have been captured by Pakistani security forces during a visit to Peshawar.

Today’s assaults in Paktia and Nangarhar provinces are the latest in a series of complex attacks and other strikes aimed at police and government centers in Afghanistan since January 2008 [see list below]. Taliban bombers and assault teams have carried out sophisticated strikes in Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Nimroz, Nuristan, and Khost.

The last such attack took place on May 12, when a squad of suicide bombers assaulted government and security installations in Khost. A string of bombings rocked Khost City as the Haqqani Network fighters attempted to penetrate security at the installations but were beaten back by Afghan and US security forces. The Haqqani Network also set ambushes for US and Afghan forces as they responded to the attacks from nearby bases. Eleven Taliban fighters and nine civilians were killed in the day-long assault.

Over the past two years, the Taliban attacks have become more sophisticated and more effective. The Taliban receive training for such attacks at training facilities in Pakistan’s northwest as well as in Baluchistan province. Taliban fighters train with al Qaeda and other allied jihadi groups inside Pakistan, and some Taliban fighters become members of al Qaeda’s Shadow Army, the elite paramilitary force operating in the Afghan/Pakistani border region.
______________________________
Extended Notes (Roggio’s Links)
1) http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25818571-2703,00.html

Taliban wearing burkas kill 14
July 22, 2009

KABUL: Taliban suicide bombers, most of them disguised in burkas, tried to storm government buildings and a military base in two Afghan cities yesterday, as this month’s death toll for US forces rose to the highest in the war.

Fourteen people died in the attacks in Gardez and Jalalabad, a day after a roadside bomb killed four American troops amid a surge in violence ahead of elections on August 20, when President Hamid Karzai will stand for re-election despite criticisms about security and corruption.

Taliban militants have increasingly used co-ordinated suicide and gun attacks in their fight against Mr Karzai’s Western-backed government and its foreign military allies deployed in the country for nearly eight years.

Six suicide bombers, some of them also carrying guns, tried to enter several government buildings in Gardez in Paktia province but were shot dead before reaching their targets, provincial spokesman Rohullah Samoon said.

“One of the bombers detonated in front of the intelligence department, killing three intelligence officers. The other bombers were killed by security forces,” he said. Two policemen were also killed. The bombers entered Gardez, the provincial capital, wearing burkas — the traditional all-covering veil worn by Afghan women.

In Jalalabad, two other bombers were killed in a shootout with police as they tried to fight their way into the city airport, a base for Afghan and foreign troops.

Provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai and a doctor in Jalalabad’s hospital said one policeman was killed in the incident.

The American deaths on Monday night come two days after Private Benjamin Ranaudo was killed while on foot patrol in the Baluchi Valley, southern Afghanistan — the 11th Australian killed in Afghanistan since 2002, and the third since the beginning of March.

The US deaths brought to at least 30 the number of American service members who died in Afghanistan this month — two more than the figure for all of June last year, which had been the deadliest month for the US since the 2001 invasion drove the Taliban from power.

This month’s death toll for the entire US-led coalition, which includes American, British, Canadian and other forces, stands at 55 — well above the 46 deaths suffered in June and August of last year.

US commanders had predicted a bloody summer after President Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan to take on a resurgent Taliban and shift the focus on the global war against Islamic extremism from Iraq.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned that US-led forces must demonstrate progress in Afghanistan by the middle of next year or face a public perception that the conflict cannot be won. Heavy losses this month have triggered a public debate in Britain that the war in Afghanistan may not be worth the price.
AP

 

2) http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=news/news_show.php&id=36612

Afghanistan National Security Forces, International Security Assistance Forces Stop Attack on Jalalabad
International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs  
Courtesy Story
Date: 07.21.2009
Posted: 07.21.2009 07:31

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghanistan national security forces and International Security Assistance Force service members stopped an attack at a Forward Operating Base near Jalalabad this morning, July 21.

One of the militants, wearing a suicide vest, was killed before he could detonate his explosives and do any damage to the base or any nearby personnel. A second insurgent was captured.

“These militants repeatedly try to test both ANSF and ISAF soldiers and continue to fail time after time,” said Lt. Col. Clarence Counts, a spokesman for RC-East. “The results of today are just another example of the confidence and dedication the ANSF has in defeating the enemies of Afghanistan.”

No ANSF or ISAF forces were killed or injured in the attack. No damage was done to structures in the area.

 

3) http://www.pajhwok.com/viewstory.asp?lng=eng&id=75613

Tora Bora group leader arrested in Peshawar
Abdul Rauf Lewal – Jun 6, 2009 – 11:27

TORKHAM (PAN): Pakistani intelligence agents arrested the leader of an armed group operating in eastern Afghanistan late Friday night in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP.

Anwarul Haq Mujahid, head of the Tora Bora outfit, is the son of the late jihadi commander Maulvi Mohammad Younis Khalis. He was arrested from Gulbahar area of Peshawar.

A source in the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, told Pajhwok Afghan News Mujahid formed Tora Bora and declared a jihad against US troops after the ouster of the Taliban regime.

His group has since been active in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. Intelligence officials arrested Mujahid along with two cousins Shumsul Islam and Dr. Qalandar.

He had gone to Peshawar for treatment. Rehmanullah, an Afghan refugee living in Gulbahar, also confirmed the detention of Mujahid and his relatives.

A police officer in the Gulbahar, seeking anonymity, told this scribe that several Afghans were rounded Friday night. But he would not say if Mujahid was among them.
ma/mud

 

4) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/05/taliban_launches_com.php

Taliban launches complex assault in Haqqani country
By Bill Roggio
May 12, 2009 10:39 PM

The Taliban launched a multi-pronged suicide attack against government and security installations in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, a stronghold of the deadly Haqqani Network. Eleven Taliban fighters and nine civilians were killed in the day-long assault.

The attack began mid-morning when a suicide bomber dressed in a burka attacked the provincial headquarters and was followed up by a suicide car bomber. No casualties were reported in the opening salvo.

A six-man suicide team then assaulted a police station in Khost City but was repelled by the policemen. The attackers entered a nearby municipal center and took 20 people hostage. Three of the suicide bombers apparently detonated their vests as Afghan and US forces cordoned then stormed the building, killed the remaining Taliban fighters, and rescued the hostages.

Other explosions were heard throughout the city, while the Taliban set ambushes for US and Afghan forces as they responded to the attacks from nearby bases. The fighting later died down in the evening as security forces took control.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a senior Taliban spokesman, claimed the attack was larger than reported, and said 30 suicide bombers participated in the assault.

Today’s assault in Khost is the latest in a series of complex attacks and other strikes aimed and police and government centers in Afghanistan since January 2008 [see list below]. Taliban bombers and assault teams have carried out sophisticated strikes in Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Nimroz, Nuristan, and Khost.

Over the past two years, of the Taliban attacks have become more sophisticated and more effective. The Taliban receive training for such attacks at training facilities in Pakistan’s northwest as well as in Baluchistan province. Taliban fighters train with al Qaeda and other allied jihadi groups inside of Pakistan, and some Taliban fighters become members of al Qaeda’s Shadow Army, the elite paramilitary force operating in the Afghan/Pakistani border region.

 

5)  http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/11/suicide_bombers_kill.php

Suicide bombers kill over 90 in Afghan north
By Bill Roggio
November 6, 2007 9:54 AM
 
The Taliban have pulled off the largest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the US overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001. A pair of suicide bombers targeted a parliamentary delegation as it visited a sugar factory in the northern province of Baghlan. Over 90 were reported killed, including five members of parliament, and over 50 have been wounded. A local doctor said the casualties may well rise.

A large number of children and civilians were killed in the strike. Among those killed were Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, the leader of the parliamentary delegation and member of the opposition. Kazimi was also the head of the national economy commission of Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament.

“All of the slain lawmakers were members of the parliament’s National Economic Committee, which is tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts in the country,” RFE/RL reported. “A deputy agriculture minister and prominent woman parliamentarian Shukria Barakzai were among the wounded,” Reuters reported.

The suicide attack threatens to destabilize the security situation in the north as the fractious political parties have used the threat of the Taliban to rearm. “Illegal ethnic-Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara militias in the north appear to be using the threat of a resurgent Taliban as an excuse to hoard weapons and more forcefully protect their interests, such as ruling over land they have controlled since the Taliban’s collapse or defending drug export routes that are a major source of income,” RFE/RL reported earlier this month.

The Taliban have ramped up the suicide campaign over the past year. Over 200 civilians have been killed in over 130 suicide bombings this year. “Statistics show that this year alone, Afghanistan was hit by more suicide attacks than in all past years combined,” the Jamestown Foundation noted in a report discussing the ideology of suicide attacks in Afghanistan.

In June, the Taliban released a video of a graduation of suicide teams assigned to strike in the US, Canada, and Europe. “Some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12,” were in attendance, according to video obtained by ABC News.

Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, the successor of recently slain Mullah Dadullah who was killed in Helmand province in May, addressed the graduation and “congratulated each team as they stood.” “These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places,” Dadullah says on the tape. “Why shouldn’t we go after them?”

The attacks in Afghanistan are directed from the Taliban and al Qaeda’s safe havens in northwestern Pakistan. The Taliban/al Qaeda camp where the graduation ceremony was held is believed to be inside Pakistan. In the spring the Taliban held a major rally of upwards of 10,000 gatherers in Baluchistan to mourn the death of Mullah Dadullah. Pakistan’s Islamist political parties hosted the event.

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