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Afghan Peace Talk Spoiler Bomb Fails To Kill Its Target

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On September 9 2001 two suicide bombers killed Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Resistance in Afghanistan. Massoud’s intelligence chief at that time was the CIA trained Amrullah Saleh.

After the NATO invasion of Afghanistan Saleh became the head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security which was and is seen as CIA controlled. After leading the NDS for several years Saleh went into politics and founded his own party. During the last election cycle, which ended inconclusively, Saleh supported the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. When negotiation and strong U.S. pressure gave Ghani the presidency Saleh became his first vice president.

Today, on the anniversary of Ahmad Shah Massoud death, someone may have tried to kill him:

At least 10 people have been killed in a roadside bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul that targeted First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh.

Mr Saleh, a former head of the Afghan intelligence services, escaped with slight burns on his face and hand.

The bombing came as Afghan officials and the Taliban prepared to begin their first formal talks.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that the militant group was not responsible for the blast.


Tareq Arain, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry, said the roadside bomb targeted Mr Saleh’s convoy as the official travelled to work. Mr Arain said 10 civilians who worked in the area were killed and 15 people, including one of Mr Saleh’s bodyguards, were wounded.

The roadside bomb that targeted Saleh was not strong enough to destroy thee armored car Saleh was traveling in.

While many will accuse the Taliban of having planted the bomb I have my doubts. The Taliban want the U.S. to leave Afghanistan. To attack the Vice President just as the peace talks between Taliban and the government are set to begin could prolong the stay of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The bomb attack may thus have been a false flag attack.

As the AFP correctly notes:

Known for his combativeness -- and paranoia -- Saleh has rarely wavered in his outspoken hatred of the Taliban and their alleged backers in Pakistan.

The paranoid and experienced former intelligence official takes the same road to work every day?

That is bad intelligence and security practice and sounds suspicious to me.

The Taliban used a roadside bomb that was too small to destroy the armored target?

They have used plenty of roadside bombs against armored military vehicles and they know very well what it takes to destroy those.

That is why I doubt that the AFP analyst has this right:

As the Taliban prepare to sit for peace talks, analysts believe they are desperate to eliminate their fiercest rival.

The Taliban "are now thinking and planning to remove people who might become a headache and obstacle for them when they return", Kabul-based analyst Atta Noori said.

"One of them is Amrullah Saleh. The Taliban don’t want another Massoud to fight them until the last breath," he added.

No. Today’s attack on Saleh, which created an international outcry, was intended to end all peace talks and to thereby give the U.S. military and the CIA an excuse to stay in Afghanistan. All involved in the current government of Afghanistan depend on the U.S. dollars the occupation forces hand to them.

So for once I agree with this guy:

U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad @US4AfghanPeace - 16:49 UTC · Sep 9, 2020

1/3 As peace talks near, spoilers are becoming more desperate in their attempt to disrupt this historic opportunity. Today’s attack on @AmrullahSaleh 's convoy is the latest example. Luckily, he survived. Tragically, this terrorist attack killed and wounded many bystanders.

2/3 History has shown that when the opportunity for peace is close, spoilers will go to no end to try and stop it. Afghans are not falling for their trap.

3/3 Afghans know a successful peace process is the only antidote to the country’s protracted conflict. Their widespread yearning for peace will be for the two negotiating teams and their leaders’ to satisfy.

Who would be the most likely potential spoiler of peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government?

Could it be a paranoid and Taliban-hating former intelligence leader with strong connections to those parts of the CIA which want to continued to profit from the Afghan drug trade?

Well. Your guess is as good as mine.

But as Khalizad points to spoilers as the most likely source of the bomb he also makes clear that the Trump administrations wants the peace process to continue.

The bomb thus failed to kill its real target.