Tag Archives | Taliban

Jihadis Voice Grief and Determination at Death of Their Inspiration

Cover Of Osama Bin Laden's Book

Cover Of Osama Bin Laden's Book.

Robert F. Worth writes in the New York Times:

Jihadis around the world reacted on Monday to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death with a mix of sorrow, disbelief and determination that Al Qaeda and its affiliates would continue their struggle against the West and its allies.

Although the group’s leaders have not yet issued any formal statements on the subject, jihadis vented their feelings throughout the day in Internet forums, gatherings, and interviews throughout the Arab and Muslim world and beyond.

“It is a sad moment and also a happy moment,” said Omar Bakri Muhammad, a radical religious leader who was exiled from Britain and spoke by telephone from Lebanon. “Sad because the ummah was in need of such a charismatic leader. Happy moment because, he died as a martyr, he was not humiliated and fought until the last moment.”

Some jihadis expressed doubt that Bin Laden was dead, citing what they called doctored photographs that shot around the Web on Monday.

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Taliban Announces Spring Offensive In Afghanistan

Trying to keep the shareholders happy for Q3? Especially noteworthy following last week’s jailbreak where over 400 insurgents escaped. BBC News reports:

The Taliban have announced the start of a spring offensive across Afghanistan.

In a statement, the group said the fighting would start on Sunday, targeting foreign troops as well as Afghan security forces and officials.

Taliban insurgents turn themselves in to Afghan National Security Forces at a forward operating base in Puza-i-Eshan -a

It warned civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases, government buildings and convoys.

Meanwhile initial findings from a Nato inquiry into a deadly attack at Kabul airport on Wednesday suggest the gunman was not connected to the Taliban.

The man, an Afghan pilot, killed eight US troops and a contractor. He was later found dead.

The Taliban claimed the attack, but the coalition said there was no evidence for this and the gunman appeared to have acted alone.

Saturday’s statement by the Taliban said the group would attack “foreign invading forces, members of their spy networks and other spies, high-ranking officials of the Kabul puppet administration”.

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Over 400 Taliban Insurgents Escape Afghan Prison Through Thousand Foot Tunnel

TalibanVia Fox News:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents dug a more than 1,050-foot (320-meter) tunnel underground and into the main jail in Kandahar city and whisked out more than 450 prisoners, most of whom were Taliban fighters, officials and the insurgents said Monday.

The massive jailbreak overnight in Afghanistan’s second-largest city serves as a reminder of the Afghan government’s continuing weakness in the south, despite an influx of international troops, funding and advisers. Kandahar city, in particular, has been a focus of the international effort to establish a strong Afghan government presence in former Taliban strongholds.

The 1,200-inmate Sarposa Prison has been part of that plan. The facility has undergone security upgrades and tightened procedures following a brazen 2008 Taliban attack that freed 900 prisoners. Afghan government officials and their NATO backers have regularly said that the prison has vastly improved security since that attack.

But on Sunday night, around 475 prisoners streamed out of a tunnel dug between the prison and the outside and disappeared into Kandahar city, prison supervisor Ghulam Dastagir Mayar said.

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Pakistani Teenager Tells Of Failed Suicide Bomb Mission

154px-Arms_of_the_Islamic_Emirate_of_Afghanistan.svg

Coat of Arms of the Taliban regime (1996-2001). Photo: Falerístico (CC)

With the increasing number of suicide bombing, it is often asked, what were they thinking? Why did they do this? After 14-year-old Umar Fidai’s explosive vest failed to detonate, he discusses how the Taliban trained him and his regret towards his actions. BBC News reports:

In early April a suicide blast ripped though a Pakistani shrine packed with thousands of devotees, leaving scores dead. Both attackers were schoolboys in their early teens. But one survived and told the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool what made him want to take his life and the lives of others.

“All I was thinking was that I had to detonate myself near as many people as possible. When I decided it was the right time, it was a moment of happiness for me,” said 14-year-old Umar Fidai.

“I thought that there would be a little bit of pain, but then I would be in heaven.”

Umar did not make it to paradise.

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25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map (Photos)

Tarok KolacheSpencer Ackerman writes on the intriguing WIRED's Danger Room:
An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It’s hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America’s counterinsurgency strategy — which supposedly prizes the local people’s loyalty above all else. But it’s the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area. Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate and Petraeus biographer, described the destruction of Tarok Kolache in a guest post for Tom Ricks’ Foreign Policy blog. Or, at least, she described its aftermath: Nothing remains of Tarok Kolache after Lt. Col. David Flynn, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 1-320th, made a fateful decision in October.
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The Fake Taliban Scam That Fooled NATO

Taliban flag

Taliban flag

Joshua Foust’s analysis of the fake Taliban scam that duped the U.S. Army and NATO is spot on, for The AfPak Channel at Foreign Policy:

Remember last month, when all the news was atwitter about the prospect of meaningful negotiations with the Taliban in Kabul?

The story was moderately shocking: a senior Taliban figure was being flown around the region, talking directly with General Petraeus, President Karzai, and other senior figures in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan government. The driving force behind coverage of those negotiations was New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins, who wrote that NATO had provided air transportation and secure road travel for Taliban leaders to visit Kabul for the negotiations.

Almost precisely one month later, Filkins and Carlotta Gall are writing the exact opposite:

In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little. “It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions.

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‘Medal of Honor’ Brings The Battles in Afghanistan Home

Medal O fHonorEver wanted to fight against the Taliban? Ever wanted to fight on the side of the Taliban? Thanks to the realistic first-person shooter game Medal of Honor, it’s possible. That is, until the controversy it raised cause the game to be debuted with Taliban being referred to simply as “opposing forces.”  USA Today reports:

Electronic Arts faces an uphill battle when it comes to first-person shooter Medal of Honor. Formerly entrenched in World War II, the franchise is trying to reinvent itself by switching to the present day. But it enters a crowded battlefield with juggernauts Call of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 owning most players’ online time.

The revamped Medal of Honor marks a relatively smooth transition from battlefronts in Germany and Japan to modern-day Afghanistan. However, those hoping for a powerful competitor to Call of Duty might want to temper their enthusiasm.

Medal of Honor focuses on United States Special Forces — specificially elite soldiers called Tier 1 Operators and U.S.

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When The Taliban Calls, Should You Answer?

How can we cover a war when we only cover one side? Do we live in a “Republic of Fear?”

There is a saying I may be twisting in the retelling to the effect of what you do unto others will be done onto you. In Karmic terms, it boils down to what goes around cones around.  These thoughts come to mind as I wrestle with a dilemma that seems to be worming its way out of the soil of a country at war overseas and with itself.

Earlier this week, I received a friend request on Facebook from one Abdullah Musafir. He identified himself as from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. His wall was filled with Islamic proverbs and reports on the killing of Western forces and battles with “cowardly terrorists,” i.e., NATO, Afghan soldiers and US Troops. There were reference to the destruction of “puppet” police vehicles and the use of IEDs.… Read the rest

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Pentagon: Taliban Can Read WikiLeaks, U.S. Troops Can’t

Noah Shachtman writes on the always interesting WIRED’s Danger Room:
Soldier WikiLeaks

Any citizen, any foreign spy, any member of the Taliban, and any terrorist can go to the WikiLeaks website, and download detailed information about how the U.S. military waged war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009. Members of that same military, however, are now banned from looking at those internal military documents. “Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks,” according to one directive issued by the armed forces.

That cry you hear? It’s common sense, writhing in pain.

There was a time, just a few months ago, when the Pentagon appeared to be growing comfortable with the emerging digital media landscape. Troops were free to blog and tweet, as long as they used their heads and didn’t disclose secrets. Thumb drives and DVDs could be employed, as long as they didn’t carry viruses or classified information.

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The Maxine Waters Investigation: What is Iran Doing in this Picture?

Maxine Waters

The timing of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which on August 2, 2010 formally brought a case against Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of America’s most enduring liberal and fierce Anti War politicians, and the WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of Army documents related to the war in Afghanistan may be connected.

Speculation by bloggers, including John Young of Cryptome.com, and an expose at The Intel Hub that the WikiLeaks is part of a disinformation operation, and that the documents themselves could even be fake, should put every left leaning American on Yellow alert.

Fox News wasted no time exploiting the WikiLeaks documents to further vilify Iran, pointing out that the documents indicate the U.S. belief that Iran is arming the Taliban insurgency. This adds another layer to Fox’s steady stream of propaganda that has flowed over the years advocating for an attack on the country, and stands as a reason why some believe the leak was staged.… Read the rest

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