Al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network coordinated last week's deadly assault on a UN guest house in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The attack, which killed five foreign UN workers and three Afghans, was launched by three terrorists who were dressed as policemen and were armed with grenades, assault rifles, and suicide belts. The terror assault team jumped the walls of the compound and began hunting foreigners in the Kabul compound.
Residents of the guesthouse bolted themselves in rooms and escaped to the rooftop during the two-hour gun battle, which ended when Afghan police and soldiers began clearing the building. The attack has forced the UN to evacuate non-essential personnel just one week ahead of the runoff presidential election.
Afghan intelligence claimed the attack was carried out by three Pakistanis from the Swat Valley, which was under the sway of the Taliban until this spring. The information was obtained from eight suspects who served as the support cell for the UN compound attackers, Amrullah Saleh, an Afghan intelligence official told The New York Times.
The attack was a joint operation carried out by al Qaeda and the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network, Saleh told reporters. An al Qaeda commander named Ajmal and Siraj Haqqani directed the operation, according to Saleh.
Ajmal is "a major player in Lashkar al Zil," a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal.
The Lashkar al Zil, or the Shadow Army, is al Qaeda's military organization that operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The Shadow Army is the successor to al Qaeda’s notorious Brigade 055, the military formation that fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.