Another Assassination Attempt to Kill Karzai Foiled

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Afghanistan intelligence has foiled a plot hatched in Pakistan to assassinate President Hamid Karzai. An Afghan government spokesman identified six Afghani citizens — including one of Karzai’s bodyguards — who were recruited by two Arab nationals based in Pakistan, to carry out the attacks. The men confessed that the Haqqani network was behind the plot.

Computers seized by authorities also revealed the group planned several other attacks, including targets in Kabul, Europe, and the US. And the revelations come on the same day that President Karzai signed a surprise security pact with India, further complicating relations with Pakistan.

The UK Telegraph is reporting that the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS, was tipped by a source in Pakistan. The men arrested were a university professor, three university students, a Kabul resident and an employee of the presidential palace, believed to be a presidential bodyguard. They planned to attack Karzai on one of his frequent trips to the provinces.

This is the third serious assassination plot against President Karzai. In 2002, another presidential bodyguard opened fire on Karzai but missed him, killing two others and wounding an American special operations member who was guarding the president. And a 2008 attack by Haqqani during a military parade Karzai was attending came close to succeeding when several bystanders near the president were killed.

The revelations regarding the plot come on the heels of charges made by the governments of Afghanistan and the United States that the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) has close ties to Haqqani, as well as other charges made by Afghanistan tying the Haqqani network specifically to the assassination of the government’s peace envoy to the Taliban, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Several other high profile assassination attempts in Afghanistan have succeeded recently, all tied to either the Taliban or Haqqani. In addition to the death of Rabbani, which has resulted in the suspension of peace talks with the Taliban, the president’s half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was killed by his own bodyguard in July. Less than a week later, Jan Mohammad Khan, a senior aide to the president, was killed in an attack on his home in Kabul. The Taliban is suspected of having a hand in both assassinations, with the possible knowledge of the ISI.

And as if the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan couldn’t get any rockier, President Karzai’s surprise trip to India on Wednesday to sign a security pact with New Delhi, will no doubt roil the already tense relationship with Islamabad. According to the Washington Post, the pact will “step up cooperation in counterterrorism operations, training of security forces and trade.” The pact will also increase cultural and political exchanges as well as offer assistance to Afghanistan in stabilizing the country.

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  • mrbean

    Most of the Taliban's leaders were raised and educated in Pakistan, in refugee camps where they had fled with millions of other Afghans after the Soviet invasion. Pakistan's Jami'at-e 'Ulema-e Islam (JUI) political party provided welfare services, education, and military training for refugees in many of these camps. Pakistan has a large Talibam population, So the US is really is at war with elements in Pakistan more than in Afghanistan.

  • Flipside

    Heaven forbid someone assassinate Hamid Karzai. Then who would run Afghanistan's $4 billion drug industry for the CIA?

  • joy52

    Flipside, I'm sure someone from his tribe would take his place…

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I have a more realistic take on the situation. First of all, India is naïve and stupid to train Muslims from Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter as it could possibly come back to bite them on the ass.

    With respect to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the USA should let the jihad between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban resume ASAP, as we had no business jumping into the middle of that jihad to begin with and also because Muslim on Muslim violence is bad for the Dar al Islam (them) and good for the Dar al Harb (us). Hence, if we should have done anything at all with respect to that jihad, we should have strengthened the Northern Alliance to prolong the jihad and violence as long as possible. In other words, the USA should have focused only on eradicating OBL and AQ in retaliation for 9/11 without ever becoming embroiled in pursuing a silly fantasy based nation building mission based on political correct myths. Thus, the USA should abandon Afghanistan and Pakistan ASAP and at the same time do whatever is necessary to relieve Pakistan of its nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear programs, because if we don't, the Islamic world will inevitably become armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons sooner rather than later. Finally, we should strengthen our relationship with India, as India could possibly become as important and valuable an ally as Israel.

  • maturin20

    Why should we hold Pakistan to a higher standard than ourselves?