Taliban release video of prep for brazen attack
New post: Former Afghan ambassador Omar Samad reports on the formation of a council of Afghan political elites, including opposition leaders as well as members of the Karzai government, who are calling for deep changes to Afghanistan’s political system (FP). Video games The Taliban on Monday released a video that they say shows militants preparing ...
New post: Former Afghan ambassador Omar Samad reports on the formation of a council of Afghan political elites, including opposition leaders as well as members of the Karzai government, who are calling for deep changes to Afghanistan's political system (FP).
New post: Former Afghan ambassador Omar Samad reports on the formation of a council of Afghan political elites, including opposition leaders as well as members of the Karzai government, who are calling for deep changes to Afghanistan’s political system (FP).
The Taliban on Monday released a video that they say shows militants preparing for the bold, coordinated attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand Province on September 14, which took the lives of two Marines and destroyed six fighter jets (AP, Reuters, Tel, BBC). The men in the video are dressed in U.S. Army uniforms, as the Camp Bastion attackers were, and shows them planning the attack on a whiteboard, and practicing cutting through a wire fence. The video came just as NATO reported that insurgent attacks were down 9 percent August compared to the same month last year (AFP).
Lawyers for two Yemenis and one Tunisian who have been held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan without trial for nearly ten years are requesting that a federal judge in Washington review the evidence against them in light of new evidence that has emerged (NYT). The new evidence is a letter from the chief of staff to President Hamid Karzai saying that the Afghan government does not want to continue detaining the individuals, and believes they should have "access to a judicial process, and adjudication of their case by a competent court."
A three-judge panel in Kabul ruled Monday that Afghanistan’s national security chief Rangin Spanta had been falsely accused of corruption, and ordered his accuser, former deputy attorney Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar, to pay a small fine of $300 (NYT). And two U.S. Marines will be court-martialed for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters and posing for unofficial photographs with casualties (AP, AJE, NYT, AFP, CNN, Guardian, Reuters). A video that began circulating in January showed the two men, along with three others, urinating on the bodies of three dead insurgents in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
Lame duck letter?
The Pakistani government’s legal team presented to the Supreme Court on Tuesday the first draft of a letter to be sent to Swiss authorities requesting that a corruption investigation of President Asif Ali Zardari be reopened (ET, Dawn). The letter does mention that President Zardari has immunity from legal action as president, which a Swiss lawyer has reportedly said will nullify the request to reopen the case (The News). Reuters’ Katharine Houreld reported Monday on the overwhelming load of cases Pakistan’s Supreme Court is struggling with since its emergence as a potentially powerful and competent player in Pakistani politics (Reuters).
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with President Zardari on the sidelines of a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Monday, where the two discussed ways to improve ties between their two nations, and cooperation in creating a stable and secure Afghanistan (ET, The News, AFP, ET, Dawn).
A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency killed at least five militants on Monday evening (AP, AFP, CNN). A new report by law professors at Stanford and New York University claims that drone strikes are killing more civilians than previously thought, and calls the narrative that drones are a "precise and effective tool" false (BBC, Tel).
And a report by Pakistan’s Society for the Protection and Rights of the Child paints a gloomy picture of life for many children in Pakistan, with about 7 million 5 to 9 year-olds not enrolled in school, rising polio rates, and high levels of kidnapping and child trafficking (Post).
Well-known Pakistani journalist Imtiaz Gul is taking the fight to the Taliban through his bold radio shows, which aim to diminish grassroots support for militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions (Reuters). By not shying away from such sensitive issues as whether suicide bombings against Muslims are justified and whether polio vaccines are a CIA conspiracy, Gul hopes to start a critical conversation around the region’s issues with violent extremism.
— Jennifer Rowland
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