NATO clarifies Afghan attack figure

It sounded like an eye-popping figure. It also turns out to have been a misunderstanding.

Briefing reporters at the NATO Summit on Sunday, General John Allen was describing how the NATO-led forces he commands in Afghanistan, and their local counterparts, have adapted to so-called "green-on-blue" attacks by Afghanistan military or police on alliance troops. He talked about expanded screening of local recruits and a deeper Afghan intelligence presence at training and recruitment centers.

And then Allen said: "Now, there's a good-news story here, and that is that the Afghans have arrested more than 160 individuals in the last several months that they believe could have been in the throes of planning for an attack on ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] forces."

Because of the context, Yahoo News concluded that Allen was saying the 160 people arrested were insiders planning attacks, which sounded much more alarming than reassuring. But ISAF spokesman Colonel Gary Kolb reached out Tuesday to correct that misunderstanding.

"The 160 were people planning insurgent attacks. That wasn't 160 internal ANSF people," Kolb told Yahoo News by telephone from Kabul, using the acronym for the Afghan National Security Forces.

"That's the Afghans using their intelligence capability to get inside various networks and interdict various people trying to transport IED material or planning attacks," Kolb said.

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