What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A few notes about the February 11 Kabul attacks

Link: the basics about the Kabul attacks

Notes

1. Just like before last year's April 27 attack aimed at spectacularly distracting the jihad memorial day in Kabul, and to possibly assassinate Hamed Karzai, this time, too, there was a series of raids prior to the attacks that occurred, in order to net terrorists about to commit something spectacular in Kabul. Back in 2008 these raids took place in the Tagab valley, in a mixed HiG/Taliban stronghold. This time around it was Afghan national security, the NDS, breaking up cells in Kabul proper. On both occasions, there was actionable intelligence that did not, however, prove to be enough to stop the expected attacks from happening.

2. It's interesting that a day after the Kabul attack, and on special regional envoy Richard Holbrooke's last day in Islamabad, Pakistan decided to openly acknowledge that the Mumbai attacks may have been prepared on Pakistan soil... Of course the official version is still only that Pakistani soil, and not, say, some sort of deep state or shadow state assistance was used by the LeT team. That's no radical change. But then will former national security advisor Mahmud Ali Durrani get back his job now? After having lost it seemingly for saying nothing more than what is being said by Rehman Malik?

3. Last year I covered the mysteries surrounding a foiled attack plot in Barcelona, broken up by French intelligence, which was allegedly connected to Baitullah Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban group. I would have found it extraordinary if Baitullah Mehsud, the FATA Islamist of the day, would have decided to launch an operation truly global in scope. So I waited for something new to come up, and now here it is. But it is not the TTP, but the LeT, that has its links to the Pakistani quarters in Barcelona based on what we concretely know from current developments. Reuters reports:

"One of those arrested, identified as Javed Iqbal, was lured back to Pakistan from the Spanish city of Barcelona, Malik said.
Investigators had also discovered some funds transferred from Italy and Spain were used to finance the attack, and Austrian telephone sim cards were used. Malik spoke too of a link, possibly an Internet domain, to Houston in the United States."

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