Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sept 13 2011 2130

Early morning photo of flag pavilion at Kabul International Airport. I am passing through on my way to Mazir I Sharif on this 10th anniversary of 9/11  I learn later that day that the Haqqani  (Taliban allied) network had staged an attack on the US embassy leaving scores dead. Yet another in a series of well orchestrated attacks on Kabul. No Americans lives were lost but there were 5 ANA soldiers killed as well as 11 civilians. The US is looking at Pakistan again as a source of shelter and support for this powerful terrorist organization. The Haqqani network is seen as a major player in the struggle for power in the west and south and has a relationship with the Taliban but with different goals. This group headed by a former mujahedin Jallaludden Haqqani is known for it's particularly violent methods including beheading and use of suicide bombers. A former Taliban minister, he and his son fight along side (sort of) Taliban and Hekmatyar networks for a slice of whatever power arrangement comes out of this war. Haqqani's use of foreign jihadists puts him at risk of alienating himself from his countrymen, the same mistake made my al Qaeda in Iraq. The Taliban, run by Omar works hard to portray themselves as a home grown organization.
      The embassy is not located in the airport but in the town of Kabul. There is a cluster of bases located in and around Kabul. These bases are ultra high security not unlike green zones in Iraq. Up-armored buses called rhinos are used for transport between bases, airport and embassy building. The capitol will always be prime target for these types of attacks as various insurgent groups struggle for relevance.

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