Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pakistan Link Seen in Afghan Suicide Attacks

Read the entire article at:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov. 13 --- Afghan and NATO security forces have recently rounded up several men like Hafiz Daoud Shah, a 21-year-old unemployed Afghan refugee who says he drove across the border to Afghanistan in September in a taxi with three other would-be suicide bombers.

Every case, Afghan security officials say, is similar to that of Mr. Shah, who repeated his story in a rare jailhouse interview with a reporter in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The trail of organizing, financing and recruiting the bombers who have carried out a rising number of suicide attacks in Afghanistan traces back to Pakistan, they say.

"Every single bomber or I.E.D. in one way or another is linked to Pakistan," a senior Afghan intelligence official said, referring to improvised explosive devices like roadside bombs.

"Their reasons are to keep Afghanistan destabilized, to make us fail, and to keep us fragmented."

A senior United States military official based in Afghanistan agreed for the most part.  "The strong belief is that recruiting, training and provision of technical equipment for I.E.D.'s in the main takes place outside Afghanistan," he said.

By I.E.D.'s he meant suicide bombers as well.

He, too, did not want his name used because he knew his remarks were likely to offend Pakistani leaders.

The charge is in fact one of the most contentious that Afghan and American officials have leveled at the Pakistani leadership, which frequently denies the infiltration problem and insists that the roots of the Taliban insurgency lie in Afghanistan.

The dispute continues to divide Afghan and Pakistani leaders, even as the Bush administration tries to push them toward greater cooperation in fighting the Taliban, whose ranks have swelled to as many as 10,000 fighters this year.

A year ago, roadside bombs and suicide attacks were rare occurrences in Afghanistan.  But they have grown more frequent and more deadly.

The arrests of Mr. Shah and others like him, Afghan and NATO officials say, show that groups intent on carrying out attacks in Afghanistan continue to operate easily inside Pakistan.

Wearing a black prayer cap and long beard, Mr. Shah recounted his own involvement in the presence of two Afghan intelligence officers at a jail run by the National Directorate of Security.

Mr. Shah showed no signs of fear or discomfort in front of his guards.

But after two weeks in detention, he complained of tiredness and headaches from a longstanding but unspecified mental ailment, something his father confirmed in a separate interview at the family home in Karachi, the southern Pakistani port city.

At first Mr. Shah, who was educated through the sixth grade, denied that he intended to be a suicide bomber, but said he had gone to Afghanistan only to fight a jihad, or holy war.

After he was arrested, Mr. Shah said, he learned that one member of his group, whom he called Abdullah, succeeded in carrying out a suicide attack outside the Interior Ministry.

Others are allied with Afghan groups like the Taliban and the renegade militia commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also a longtime protégé of Pakistani intelligence, who has now allied himself with the Taliban, Afghan and NATO officials say.

The madrasa was run until recently by Maulavi Abdul Shakoor Khairpuri, who, Mr. Shah said, was a member of a banned jihadi group, Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen.

Mr. Shah said it was the maulavi who sent them on the suicide mission.

The maulavi had given him a note addressed to a man called only Umar, who was waiting for them when they arrived in Kabul.

The note directed Umar to give the group explosives and stated that the equivalent of about $1,400 would be given to the families of each bomber after they finished their mission, Mr. Shah said.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.