Saturday, September 3, 2011

Haqqani Network Directed Kabul Hotel Assault by Phone From Pakista

Via The Long War Journal -

Afghanistan's National Intelligence Directorate (NDS) recently disclosed that it intercepted communications on June 28 between fighters who were assaulting the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and their Haqqani Network handlers based in Pakistan. In an intercepted phone call, Badruddin Haqqani, a top leader of the terror network, is heard directing one of the fighters and laughing during the attack that killed 11 civilians and two Afghan policemen as well as nine members of the attack team.

On Aug. 31, NDS officials briefed reporters in Kabul on the phone intercepts between Badruddin, another Haqqani Network commander known as Qari Younis, and two of the members of the Continental suicide assault team. The NDS said the phone calls from the Haqqani Network handlers originated from Pakistan, according to Al Jazeera.

Younis is heard giving a Taliban fighter known as Rohullah directions on how to root out foreign guests in the hotel. He advises the fighters in the hotel to conserve their ammunition, send a team downstairs to fight, and then come up with a plan to search the rooms and kill those hiding.

"Use grenades and talk with each other," Younis advises. "If you're in agreement go and break down one or two doors. Or, if possible, throw a grenade into the room and then pull back."

"Whatever you do, make sure these guys don't get away. OK?" Younis orders.

Badruddin Haqqani is later heard talking to another Taliban fighter named Omar. Badruddin asks Omar if he has enough ammunition and if it is possible to change his location due to a fire in the hotel. Omar says he has "a lot of ammunition" but is unable to move.


Badruddin, an operational commander in the Haqqani Network who also sits on the Taliban's Miramshah Shura, is one of five senior Haqqani Network leaders to have been added to the US's list of specially designated global terrorists. Also designated are Sirajuddin Haqqani, the overall leader of the Haqqani Network as well as the leader of the Taliban's Miramshah Regional Military Shura; Nasiruddin Haqqani, a key financier and "emissary"; Khalil al Rahman Haqqani, a key fundraiser, financier, and operational commander for the Haqqani Network; and Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a top military commander in eastern Afghanistan. All five commanders have close ties to al Qaeda.

The back-and-forth during the Intercontinental attack between the Taliban fighters and their handlers in Pakistan is reminiscent of at least three other attacks carried out by terror groups in the region. In all three attacks, the terrorists were directed by commanders based in Pakistan.


STRATFOR: Taliban Hotel Attack: Low Death Toll, High Psychological Value

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