Home > Abu Walid al Masri, Attacks and Plots, Commentary, Taliban > Expect more attacks on aid workers, guest houses etc in Afghanistan

Expect more attacks on aid workers, guest houses etc in Afghanistan

That’s my 2am effort at stating the rather obvious. But I do have a point to make as to why we can expect to see more..

I won’t weigh in on the “why now” aspect of yesterday’s attacks in Kabul but it is my belief that we can expect to see a lot more of these types of attack and in particular the targeting of aid projects and their infrastructure, aid workers and their places of residence.

The Taliban’s magazine (the issue number escapes me) recently  reprinted parts of Abu Walid al Masri’s strategic guidance from late last year, wherein he  suggested attacking  these particular target sets, along with others, as a means to force the withdrawal of foreign forces and foreigners from Afghanistan. It was also suggested as a tactic because it would force more troops into protection roles thus reducing their capacity for offensive action.

I can’t remember if they re-printed the whole article, or if Abu Walid  included it in one of his articles, but I definitely remember seeing some of it again in a recent Taliban publication.

As I’ve noted previously, republication of such guidance amounts to official sanction of these types of  tactics against these target classes, and probably portends to a broader adoption of them–if the previous example of Abu Walid’s suggestion of hostage taking and the ensuing fatwa by Mullah Omar is anything to go by.

I would  be interested to hear Alex and Felix’s opinion on this as they generally have their ear to the ground on how much traction  guidance like this actually has in the field.

I had planned to write an article about this guidance, and got halfway through it, then hit thesis wall, so it’s on pause. Hopefully I can get to it soon.

Update: re-reading this made me realise I should clarify that I haven’t seen Abu Walid directly encourage suicide attacks against these target sets; my comments were more directed at the target sets, rather than the tactic.

Update 2 : Alex has graciously taken the time to answer in the comments section below. Thanks Alex!

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  1. 02/27/2010 at 2:01 am

    My ear is only on the ground in Washington DC at the moment. But from when I left, there was def a resistance to these kinds of tactics in Kandahar and at the Quetta Shura level. There has been an ongoing debate over past years even as to the use of suicide bombers — to give an easy example. The arrest of members of the Quetta Shura looks set to shift things strongly in the direction that you hint at above — the kinds of people who read Al-Somood and are likely to sympathise with these kinds of ideas are exactly the kinds of people who will move up to fill the places vacated in the Quetta Shura arrests. That is, as you note, a very worrying development in the short-term.

    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      02/27/2010 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks Alex! Much appreciated. Happy travels.

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