Afghan intelligence chief wounded in Taliban attack
By Tim Foxley
Summary: Assassination attempt against the Afghan intellligence chief looks to have penetrated a secure area and raises the usual questions about the ability of the Taliban to get past Afghan security forces
Just seen reporting coming in that Asadullah Khaled, the Afghan Head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS, essentially the Afghan government’s intelligence organisation), as been injured – status not clear – in some form of explosion. The Taliban have apparently claimed responsibility for the attack.
BBC: The head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service has been wounded in a suspected suicide bombing in Kabul, interior ministry officials have told the BBC.
They said that Asadullah Khalid was injured in the lower part of his body when the bomb exploded.
The explosion took place in the Taymeni area of central Kabul. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Khaled’s recent (end of August 2012) appointment to this position attracted a certain amount of controversy – he had several question marks over his human rights track record – ie employment of torture:
Amnesty has accused him of “involvement in numerous alleged acts of torture and other grave human rights violations” in the past decade while serving as governor of Ghazni province from 2001-05 and governor of Kandahar province from 2005-08.
“There are also credible allegations that Khalid was involved in the bombing of a vehicle that killed five UN workers in Kandahar in April 2007,” Amnesty said in a statement…”.
The intelligence chief has also been accused of running a torture prison while he was governor of Kandahar.
The attack on Khaled (who survived at least one previous attack, in 2011) seems to have taken place in some form of “safe house” in Kabul, again raising questions about security levels in the capital generally and the risks that key parts of the government and security services can easily be penetrated, perhaps even suggesting inside assistance. Here is what I wrote about Khaled in August.
Update: Quick thought culled from a cast through some of the tweets – this could of course have been linked in some way to Afghan government attempts to conduct talks with the Taliban. This might explain why a security cordon might have been breached – Burhanuddin Rabbani went this way in September 2011.