Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 23, 2011

The Afghan Spies Trying A Trick

Earlier today the Afghan spy-service NDS claimed that Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, was dead. The Afghan Taliban denied this.

Since then the NDS has took the story one notch back:

Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has been disappeared from Quetta city of Pakistan for the past three or four days,"spokesman of Afghan National Directorate for Security (NDS) or intelligence agency said Monday.

"We can confirm he (Mullah Omar) has been disappeared from his hideout in Quetta for the past three or four days,"Lutfullah Mashal told newsmen at a press conference.
Mashal also emphasized that Taliban senior commanders have lost contact with Mullah Omar over the past four days.

The spokesman of Afghan intelligence agency also insisted that Taliban chief Omar had used to live in Quetta city of Pakistan over the past 10 years.

The NDS wants us to believe that they actually knew where Mullah Omar was, when he, allegedly, left and when and how senior commanders communicate with him?

This is the Afghan state enemy no 1. Are we to believe the NDS really knew all along where he was and about his communication with commanders and did not go after him or them?

It seems the NDS is making up a fake story here, pushing a stick into a beehive, to see who will react to this. With all mobile phones in Afghanistan under constant automatized observation through the U.S. military and the NDS, a panic reaction by some lower Taliban making some frantic calls to Pakistan, could reveal parts of the Taliban communication network.

Nice try. But I doubt though that such tricks will work. With the U.S. special forces constantly hunting for "Taliban leaders" via mobile phone locationing the surviving ones have by now certainly learned their communication discipline.

Meanwhile the U.S. still has so little intelligence in Afghanistan that it mixes up the spied on phone numbers and kills the wrong people.

Posted by b on May 23, 2011 at 15:12 UTC | Permalink


With the U.S. special forces constantly hunting for "Taliban leaders" via mobile phone locationing the surviving ones have by now certainly learned their communication discipline.

Why don't they start at Harvard and Yale. That's not a joke.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | May 23 2011 15:47 utc | 1

An Interview with Malalai Joya

MJ: You know, as an activist, as part of the war-generation, we have a powerful history that we have never accepted occupation—three times the British wanted to occupy [Afghanistan], then Russia the superpower wanted to occupy our country, and faced the resistance of our people. So we had no good memory about foreign countries—I mean, rule by foreign governments. That's why I had suspicions after 9/11 of the US government and NATO. But as an activist I had close contact with my people, I looked at how there was a ray of hope alive in their hearts, because they thought maybe because of the 9/11 tragedy, that blood of innocent people had been shed—innocent people of the US—maybe this time foreigners will be honest with the Afghan people.

But after 9/11 and the [December 2001 Bonn Agreement] they re-saw that the US and NATO pushed us from the frying pan into the fire, replaced Taliban with fundamentalist warlords who are mentally the same as Taliban but only physically different. That's why today the roots of all these miseries, problems in Afghanistan are these warlords, and now [NATO and the Karzai government] are negotiating with the Taliban as well. After ten years of occupation and this brutal war they have only proved for the people around the world that their minds are carbon-copies of each other.

And the third part of your question?

DZ: The hopes that you had for a post-Taliban Afghanistan, and how your mind has changed since the 2001 invasion?

MJ: After occupation? Yes, because day by day [NATO] is bombing from the sky and killing innocent civilians—most of them are women and children—even bombing our wedding parties, what they did in Nangarhar and Nuristan. In my own province last year these occupation forces—American troops—they bombed 150 civilians in one day, even used white phosphorous. And also most of them were women and children. In Kunar province recently, 65 innocent civilians have been killed by these occupation forces. Again in the same province, in another village, nine children have been killed when they were collecting wood, and they were bombed and brutally killed. This list can be prolonged, a list of these massacres.

Hope in Afghanistan?


$1bn fraud at Kabul Bank puts UK's Afghan pull-out in peril

The Department for International Development (DfID) confirmed last night that it had followed the lead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in withholding contributions to bankroll hundreds of "nation-building" projects in Afghanistan.

The move, to "protect taxpayers' money", came as the full extent of the scandal at Kabul Bank – described as the biggest fraud in modern times – became clear.

A secret US government report into the debacle "indicates that insiders at Kabul Bank used fraudulent loans to misappropriate $850m (£525m), representing 94 per cent of outstanding loans".

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 23 2011 17:00 utc | 2

"Hope in Afghanistan?


Why not. They are learning to be as us.
"A secret US government report into the debacle "indicates that insiders at Kabul Bank used fraudulent loans to misappropriate $850m (£525m), representing 94 per cent of outstanding loans".
Exactly the same that American and European Banks.
I feel more confidence in them now.

Posted by: an idiot | May 23 2011 17:43 utc | 3

Am I the only one here who finds the phrase "...has been disappeared" to be objectionable both grammatically and politically?

Posted by: Monolycus | May 23 2011 23:23 utc | 4

my sensation is that it's the prelude to a new provocation against Pakistan

and Obama already said the Us would again act unilaterally against high value targets in Pakistan

and yes, Monolycus, the expression "has been disappeared" is weird, it must mean something that we at the moment don't grasp

I think if mullah Omar really had been in Qetta, he would have fled the very same day of the attack against OBL's compund!

Posted by: claudio | May 24 2011 0:39 utc | 5

Weird? Unfortunately not.
Orwellian though, it is the New Order in which a kidnapping, undertaken in full view of media pretending not to notice, in a society in which witnesses either keep quiet or are silenced, becomes a disappearance, inexplicable in the sense that nobody dares to explain it.

Posted by: bevin | May 24 2011 1:06 utc | 6

so you say that "has been disappeared" means that someone, for example the Isi, kidnapped Omar? that would be a nasty, anti-Pakistan interpretation of the NDS story (in the sense that the Isi "disappeared" Omar to protect him from the Us); or it could be that the NDS, allied with the Isi, was trying to cover up Isi's "protective" action announcing Omar's death, but then had to backtrack for some reason? or could it just be bad english, or a bad translation? well, it's late, good night you all

Posted by: claudio | May 24 2011 1:16 utc | 7

As another said, from another board... "It's all coming to a head as the national meme:
Pakistan did Mumbai, Pakistan helped bin Laden, Pakistan is behind the Taliban."

Pakistan’s Terror Ties at Center of Upcoming Chicago Trial


Pak's ISI planned and funded 26/11, sings Headley

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 24 2011 5:52 utc | 8

Mullah Omar is a fixture in Afgh. politics. A public figure. He is often campaigning or vociferously refusing to do so as the system is corrupt. He speaks on the radio and appears on TV.

Not difficult to know what he was up to and and where. (Until a year ago, was the last I looked.) I read he gave up his moped and has someone chauffeur him round and about.

Now he may have been in Pakistan and killed.

What do I know.

Global Jihad claims he had a heart attack in Jan 2011, and was treated in Karachi Hospital, survived but with some damage...

The policy of random and extra-judicial killing, trumpeting the murder of names that might be recognized by the US public is sickening. Glimpsed, without reading beyond the first sentence, that he was somehow involved in the killing of Daniel Pearl, just what you’d expect, he has to be linked to an American, pardon, US citizen. Daniel Pearl serves the media as a serial victim - first Omar Sheikh did it, then Khalid Sheik Mohammed...both imho innocent of that particular deed.

Fiction - that is bad plots reduced to vignettes of the Good fighting and vanquishing the Evil with only personal motivation and involvement playing a role, as that is what can be presented and be understood by the audience - seems to have overwhelmed US politics. (Not new, for sure.)

The media set the agenda - they need simple stories to earn money thru advertising, gain influence through viewership generally, and as the various Corps and cartels in the US are more powerful than the Gvmt (as they pay for it more or less), so be it.

The lines between factual news / infotainment / real looking re-constructions on the base of skewed facts / straight out fiction is no longer discernible.

Posted by: Noirette | May 24 2011 14:19 utc | 9

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