Taliban Worried Spies Are in Their Ranks

May 17, 2007 4:27pm

There is growing concern among the Taliban about the infiltration of their ranks by spies working for the U.S. and its allies following the recent killings of two of their top military commanders on the basis of information provided by informers having access to their hideouts. Taliban sources said both commanders, Mullah Dadullah and Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, were killed when two Afghans close to them passed on information about their whereabouts to the U.S. military. They said both spies had been Taliban fighters in the past and had done nothing until then to arouse suspicion. According to Taliban sources, the man who betrayed Dadullah has been arrested along with another suspect and will soon be put on trial. "His name is Din Mohammad. He confessed his crime during investigation," a Taliban member said. In December, Taliban Commander Osmani was killed in the southwestern province of Helmand when a laser-guided missile fired from a pilotless U.S. Predator plane destroyed his vehicle. Both Osmani and Dadullah were killed in Brahmcha area, which is located close to the border with Pakistan and adjoins Baluchistan’s Chagai district. Brahmcha village is situated both in Afghanistan and Pakistan and is known as a wild place frequented by drug traffickers and Taliban fighters. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. Soon after Osmani’s killing, the Taliban arrested Ghulam Nabi. During his interrogation, Nabi reportedly confessed he was a spy for the U.S. military. He also reportedly admitted his role in pinpointing Osmani’s whereabouts to the Americans, who he said quickly flew a drone to fire missiles at a vehicle which the Taliban commander was driving. A videotape made by the Taliban showed Nabi, a young bearded man with handsome features, making the confessional statement. Facing the camera and answering questions by a Taliban official, he gave his father’s name and home address and admitted having betrayed Osmani. On Dadullah’s instructions, Nabi was then made to lie on the ground by Taliban fighters, and a 12-year-old boy began slaughtering him with a long knife. With great difficulty the boy managed to behead him while shouting, "Allah-o-Akbar," [Allah is Greatest] along with other Taliban members gathered there. The on-camera beheading by the boy was widely criticized by the Afghan government and media and  by people elsewhere in the world. Dadullah, already a feared Taliban commander, was referred to as the Abu Musab al Zarqawi of Afghanistan. While still alive, Dadullah had defended Nabi’s beheading by the 12-year-old boy by arguing that young Muslims must be trained and motivated to wage jihad and kill enemies of Islam. Nabi, who was an Afghan refugee living in Baluchistan, was also said to have spied on drug traffickers. He was very close to Osmani and other Taliban commanders. He had earned their gratitude by arranging treatment of injured and sick Taliban fighters and raising funds for them. Taliban sources allege he was recruited by the U.S. military as a spy and paid handsome amounts of money. Scores of Afghans have been beheaded or executed after being accused of spying for the U.S., NATO or Afghan military authorities. The beheading of alleged spies has also been going on in the Pakistani tribal regions of South Waziristan and North Waziristan. It appears tribal militants have copied the tactic from the Afghan Taliban. Shocked by the thought of spies in their ranks, the Taliban leaders have reportedly become extra careful in selecting fighters to serve as their bodyguards. Suspicion is now falling even on trusted men, creating tension within the ranks of the Taliban.

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