Afghan Taleban commander killed

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  1. Neo
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    Sunday, 13 May 2007

    Afghan Taleban commander killed

    Previous reports of his death or capture had proved untrue.

    The Taleban's top military commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Dadullah, has been killed in fighting in the south.
    His body was shown to reporters in Kandahar, and Taleban sources confirmed the death, after initial denials.

    Nato said Dadullah died in a clash with Afghan and Western forces in Helmand province.

    Mullah Dadullah "will most certainly be replaced in time but the insurgency has received a serious blow" the Nato-led security assistance force (Isaf) said.

    Isaf and Afghan troops have been engaged in a major operation in Helmand province since early March.

    But the Taleban commander was killed in an operation by the separate US-led coalition supported by Isaf, news agency AFP said.

    Suicide bombers

    Mullah Dadullah's name has been linked with the beheading of suspected spies, controlling the guerrilla war in Helmand Province, dispatching suicide bombers and the kidnapping of Westerners, including an Italian journalist and two French aid workers, both of whom have since been released.

    Most feared commander

    Mullah Dadullah recently told the BBC that he had hundreds of suicide bombers awaiting his orders to launch an offensive against foreign troops.

    The BBC's Afghanistan correspondent, Alastair Leithead, says the commander has produced videos showing beheadings of foreign hostages.

    Previous reports of his death or capture had proved untrue, but officials displayed the body to confirm the killing.

    For many years Mullah Dadullah has been known to be one of the most brutal and extreme Taleban leaders.

    In the last 12 months he has become perhaps the most significant military commander in Afghanistan, certainly in the south where the close quarters fighting has been most intense, our correspondent says.

    But it is difficult to assess the impact of his death on the insurgency, our correspondent says, because the Taleban's command structures are loose and fighters often operate in small, self-contained units.

    'Top commander'

    Residents of the city of Herat, in western Afghanistan told the BBC commander's death was significant.

    One man, Rahib Mohtasadzadagh, said: "I think the murder of Mr Dadullah, the commander of the Taleban, has lots of effects on the Taleban troops.

    "But I think another person will replace him, so in the future they will organise another person for that."

    Faisal Karimi told the BBC that the killing would have a "very positive effect on security in the country".

    "He was the ruler of the Taleban, and it will affect the Taleban influence in the south, for sure. The Taleban will face defeat, and their attacks in the south will decrease."

    Mullah Dadullah was a member of the Taleban's 10-man leadership council before the US-led invasion in 2001.

    He has been called "Afghanistan's top Taleban commander" by Nato officials, and was high on the US list of most-wanted people in the country.

    Mullah Dadullah lost one of his legs fighting in Kabul in 1996 and has since used an artificial limb.

    He had the reputation of a fearless man.

    Despite his disability, he fought and led major battles for the Taleban against the rival Northern Alliance forces during the 1990s.

    He was one of the first Taleban commanders to organise attacks against US-led coalition forces after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

    And he was the first Taleban commander to give interviews to print and electronic media after the fall of the regime.

    Unlike other Taleban leaders who never allowed themselves to be photographed for religious and security reasons, Mullah Dadullah did just the opposite, correspondents say.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6650755.stm
  2. Neo
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  3. Neo
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    Profile: Mullah Dadullah

    Mullah Dadullah is a member of the Taliban's 10-member leadership council and currently one of the group's most prominent figures. He has threatened a wave of suicide bombings and offered 100 kg in gold to anyone who kills the people responsible for the Prophet Muhammad cartoons published by European papers.

    Dadullah was in northern Afghanistan in October 2001 when US and Northern Alliance forces launched their offensive, and was cornered in Konduz along with thousands of Taliban fighters. Dadullah reportedly agreed to a surrender that allowed Afghan fighters free passage out of the city if they gave up their heavy weapons and turned over their foreign allies. Other reports said Dadullah refused to surrender.

    Either way, he disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Reports in 2003 claimed he was moving around Pakistan as part of a drive to secure support and reorganise the Taliban. He was on a list of Taliban leaders the Afghan government asked Pakistan to hand over in April 2003. The reclusive Mullah Omar released an audio tape in June 2003 that named Dadullah as a member of a new 10-man leadership council. It was reported that the leaders were assigned regional commands; while it is unclear which area Dadullah was given, he was thought to be operating in Uruzgan Province in 2005.


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  4. Neo
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    Isn't that the one-legged Taleban chief terrorist?
  5. Keysersoze
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    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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    Taliban Shrugs Off Commander's Death
    Spokesman Confirms Mullah Dadullah's Death, But Group Vows Jihad Will Be Uninhibited

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, May 14, 2007


    "Mullah Dadullah was the backbone of the Taliban."
    Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid



    (CBS/AP) Taliban leader Mullah Omar said the killing of the group's top field commander "won't create problems" for the hard-line militia, a spokesman said Monday.

    Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, told The Associated Press that Omar and other top Taliban leaders passed condolences to Mullah Dadullah's family over the killing by the U.S.-led coalition, the first Taliban confirmation of Dadullah's killing.

    Ahmadi read a statement attributed to Omar insisting that Dadullah's death "won't create problems for the Taliban's jihad" and that militants will continue their attacks against "occupying countries."

    A NATO statement confirmed Afghan reports on the death of the feared militant commander during a U.S.-led coalition operation supported by NATO troops.

    Dadullah, a top lieutenant of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was killed Saturday in the southern province of Helmand, said Said Ansari, the spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service. Afghan forces assisted in the operation.

    "Mullah Dadullah Lang will most certainly be replaced in time, but the insurgency has received a serious blow," the NATO statement said.

    A Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on the condition that he would not be named, told CBS News' Farhan Bokhari that Mullah Dadullah's death "would mark one of the most significant setbacks to the Taliban in a very long time."

    The official said Mullah Dadullah had emerged not only as a key Taliban commander in the past two to three years but was probably "among a handful of people who knew more about the Taliban operational strategy than anyone else."

    Dadullah is one of the highest-ranking Taliban leaders to be killed since the fall of the hardline regime following the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, and his death represents a major victory for the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO troops.

    "Mullah Dadullah was the backbone of the Taliban," Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid said. "He was a brutal and cruel commander who killed and beheaded Afghan civilians."

    Khalid showed Dadullah's body to reporters at a news conference in the governor's compound. An Associated Press reporter said the body, which was lying on a bed and dressed in a traditional Afghan robe, had no left leg and three bullet wounds: one to the back of the head and two to the stomach.

    The AP reporter said the body appeared to be Dadullah's based on his appearance in TV interviews and Taliban propaganda videos.

    In December, a U.S. airstrike near the Pakistan border killed another top Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani. Dadullah, Osmani and policy-maker Mullah Obaidullah had been considered to be Omar's top three leaders.

    Dadullah, who comes from the southern province of Uruzgan, lost a leg fighting against the Soviet army that occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s. He emerged as a Taliban commander during its fight against the Northern Alliance in northern Afghanistan during the 1990s, helping the hardline militia to capture the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

    Since the Taliban's ouster in late 2001, Dadullah became recognized as the militant group's most prominent and feared commander. He often featured in videos and media interviews, and earlier this year predicted a massive militant spring offensive that has failed to materialize.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/14/terror/main2796732.shtml
  6. Neo
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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Dadullah’s brother will replace him: Taliban leadership

    * Seven Afghan soldiers killed in Taliban attack

    KANDAHAR: The leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban militia acknowledged on Monday that top military commander Mullah Dadullah had been killed and said the slain rebel’s brother would succeed him. Meanwhile, seven Afghan soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded in a firefight with Taliban rebels in eastern Afghanistan, an army commander said.

    The Taliban’s leadership council, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, has appointed Dadullah’s younger brother, Mullah Bakht Mohammad, to take his place, a spokesman said. Omar, who has a $10 million bounty on his head, said there were a thousand fighters ready to avenge the commander, according to a statement read by another Taliban spokesman.

    “This is not going to slow down the Taliban jihad,” spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP. The insurgent group had initially rejected the government’s announcement Sunday that Dadullah, one of the fiercest leaders of the Taliban insurgency, was killed in battle in southern Afghanistan.

    Ahmadi said that Omar and the Taliban leadership council offered their condolences to the family of Dadullah, “his mujahidin, the Muslims of Afghanistan and the Muslims of the world”.

    At the same time, the Taliban congratulated Afghanistan on his “martyrdom”, Ahmadi said. “There are hundreds and thousands of mujahidin who have fought under Dadullah and there are hundreds and thousands of mujahidin who are able to replace Mullah Dadullah very well.” Ahmadi said the one-legged commander, who was aged about 40, had fought long and hard before he was finally killed.

    “Mullah Dadullah resisted and fought for a full 24 hours against NATO and Afghan troops before he was martyred,” Ahmadi said.

    Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a renegade warlord who leads a separate insurgency against the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, also expressed condolences over Dadullah’s killing, a spokesman told AFP.

    The Afghan government showed journalists the body of the commander on Sunday to prove they had the right man. Officials said on Sunday that the body would be brought to Kabul, but on Monday they said it not would travel to the capital.

    Ahmadi threatened reprisals if Dadullah’s body was not returned. “If the government doesn’t hand over the body of Mullah Dadullah with respect we’ll give the same respect to the bodies of government troops and members we capture in the future,” he said.

    Taliban militants in Nuristan province killed seven Afghan soldiers when an Afghan unit came under attack, its commander Major Adam Khan Mateen told AFP. “Taliban attacked our unit in Kamdish. Seven soldiers were killed and 10 others were injured,” he said. Two military vehicles were also destroyed in the fighting which lasted several hours, Mateen added. afp

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007\05\15\story_15-5-2007_pg7_31
  7. Neo
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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    EDITORIAL:
    Dadullah, Taliban, Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Afghan policy

    The Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, second in authority only to Mullah Umar, was killed Saturday in the province of Helmand in Afghanistan by NATO-ISAF forces acting together with Afghan troops. Those of us who have seen the Taliban’s “promotional” DVDs showing beheadings of Afghans while held upside down by three men will understand the significance of this death. He first acquired a reputation for brutality when in 1998 he put the Hazaras of Bamiyan to the sword, so much so that the Taliban chief, Mullah Umar, had to withdraw him from there.

    Mullah Dadullah was about forty years old. He lost his leg in 1996 and routinely used Islam to justify extreme savagery on his victims whom he accused of “spying for the US”. He worked on the principle of intimidation and was a hero to the many couch-potato Islamists in Pakistan. He was the man who mediated the “deals” made by the Pakistan authorities in Waziristan prior to withdrawing troops from there and letting the local Taliban set up their own governments. It was rumoured that he also visited Islamabad in this period.

    Mullah Dadullah adopted the “Arab way” in using beheadings and suicide-bombers and held sway over territories in Pakistan where he hid while not out on operations in Afghanistan. But observers are undecided whether or not his death is a blow to the Taliban movement. Some think that he will soon be replaced by an even more ruthless commander.

    However, it is noteworthy that Dadullah has been picked out in the middle of the Spring Offensive that was expected to knock out the Kabul government and NATO. This time the Spring Offensive was planned as a massive insurgency. In 2006, the Taliban had staged the biggest bloodshed in the south of Afghanistan. The surge of suicide bombings, school burnings and guerrilla ambushes had killed more than 100 Afghan civilians and at least 40 Coalition soldiers, including 24 US troops. It was Dadullah who showed that he could actually capture state installations and in the future possibly set up a Taliban government in a region. His method was intimidation. People stopped looking for a state to live in; they sided with whoever would keep them alive.

    Significantly, Dadullah was also the Taliban “contact” with Al Qaeda and went public on the attack he had mounted — at the behest of Al Qaeda — at Shindand on the arrival of the US vice president Dick Cheney in Afghanistan recently. Therefore his death is good news for the coalition forces because he was the first warrior who launched an attack on US forces when they arrived in Afghanistan in 2001. At that point he was a member of the 10-member “shura” (ruling council) of the Taliban. Despite his artificial leg, he was known to be a very mobile commander, moving swiftly between Quetta, where he had lived for long years, and his targets in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan has been claiming the anti-Uzbek uprising in South Waziristan as a measure of the success of its policy of making deals through Mullah Dadullah. But the truth about the Uzbek problem is quite contained. It is only the Zalikhel tribe which has reacted to some acts of marauding and cruelty by the warriors of Tahir Yuldashev, but the Yargulkhel tribe, first introduced to the Uzbeks by warlord Nek Muhammad, are loyal to the Uzbeks. The Uzbeks are connected to Al Qaeda together with the Turkmen, Chechen and Arab warriors in the region.

    Dadullah was the Pushtun answer to the warlords of the Northern Alliance who dominate Afghanistan these days. Yunis Qanuni, Commander Fahim and others have a long-standing Indian connection and were known to keep their families in New Delhi during the toughest days of their resistance to the Pakistan-backed Taliban. The Pushtun Afghan President Karzai himself has lived in India and relates better to Indian officials than to Pakistani ones although he has also lived in Quetta. Not only has India crept back into Afghanistan, most of the big reconstruction contracts are going to Indian companies, including a crucial road link to the Iranian port of Chahbahar on which India and Iran are collaborating against Pakistan’s interests.

    Pakistan’s strategy is hamstrung between the Taliban and India. Its first reflex is to counteract India’s incursion into Afghanistan with a new policy. It sees India determined, in tandem with Iran, to reduce Pakistan’s hold over Afghanistan. But the Taliban-Pushtun option has its own dark underside: the Afghan Pushtun will not accept the Durand Line and will work towards realigning the Pakistani Pushtuns in favour of an independent Pushtunistan which, incidentally, includes Quetta. There is evidence that the population of the tribal areas of Pakistan is gradually inclining to Pushtunistan again. More ominously, it is Quetta where the Pushtuns (Achak, Popal, Saddo) belong to the Durrani confederacy of tribes and are more directly linked to Kandahar than the Pushtuns of the NWFP.

    The Indian strategy in Afghanistan dates as far back as Pakistan’s own Kashmir policy. Clearly India wants to remind Pakistan that any forward policy on Indian-controlled Kashmir would be countered through Afghanistan. It is not for nothing that India has “protested” to Pakistan over Islamabad’s treatment of the Baloch in Balochistan. When Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud ruled in Kabul in 1995, India flourished in the capital and Pakistan’s embassy was attacked. Pakistan hit back with the Taliban in 1996 and the Indian embassy was sent packing back to New Delhi.

    But after 9/11 Pakistan is in a “lose-lose” situation and tragically lacks the ability to rethink its strategy. All the neighbours of Afghanistan have come together and given facilities to India to counter what once was Pakistan’s commanding position in Afghanistan. (Tajikistan gave India an air base when the mujahideen began to penetrate there in the 1990s and Pakistan welcomed rebels from Tajikistan to force Dushanbe to negotiate with them.) Pakistan needs to think deeply about its regional neighbours before deciding its Afghan policy while depending on the likes of Mullah Dadullah. It is possible to reach a joint policy with these neighbours. And it is possible to change tack with India too. *

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007\05\15\story_15-5-2007_pg3_1
  8. dabong1
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    Al-Qaeda strikes at anti-Taliban spies
    By Syed Saleem Shahzad

    KARACHI - There was no doubt in the Pakistani intelligence community when Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah was killed in Afghanistan last weekend by US-led forces that retaliatory action would be taken against anti-Taliban collaborators.

    They did not have to wait long. On Tuesday, a suicide bomber reportedly carrying a warning for "spies for America" blew up patrons of a hotel in the northern city of Peshawar, near the
    Afghan border, killing at least 25 people.

    The choice of the Marhaba Hotel was significant. It was owned by an Uzbek named Sadaruddin, a close relative of anti-Taliban leader General Abdul Rasheed Dostum.

    Initial media reports said that shortly before Dadullah's death, one of his sons had been arrested at the hotel by police accompanied by an official of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after being fingered by the owner.

    However, Asia Times Online has learned that the security forces deny any such arrest. Instead, they hint that an important lead was discovered at the hotel, "but it was not his [Dadullah's] son". Days later, Dadullah died in a firefight with US and Afghan troops in a remote part of Helmand province.

    The owner of the hotel and several of his sons died along with the mostly Afghan citizens in Tuesday's attack. A message was found taped to the severed leg of the bomber that all spies for the US would meet the same fate as those killed.

    Information obtained by Asia Times Online indicates that the suicide bomber was briefed and dispatched from a camp in Afghanistan by al-Qaeda's best trainer, Abu Laith al-Libby. Libby is obsessed with rooting out US spies from within the ranks of Pakistan's law-enforcement agencies.

    Libby is a hardened fighter of Libyan origin who has trained Afghans in the operation of missiles and rockets. He has previously operated in Afghanistan, but the death of Dadullah has turned his attention to the Pakistan-based US proxy network of informers.

    After September 11, 2001, when Pakistan signed on for the US-led "war on terror", many anti-Taliban officials were recruited and remain active in passing on information for monetary reward, and even trips to the United States as guests of the State Department.

    Immediately after the blast in Peshawar, a red alert was declared in the already violence-hit southern port city of Karachi, which has been the epicenter of anti-al-Qaeda operations in the past. Several police officials are known to have coordinated, unofficially, with FBI cells.

    Most of the al-Qaeda members arrested over the past six years have been taken in Karachi, and mostly after information was received from within the ranks of the police. These officials act independently of the government.

    The trend was common across the country and at one stage the government put its foot down. Police officials were warned that if any of them went on the US State Department program without prior permission, strict disciplinary action would be taken.

    Nevertheless, elements in the police and their proxy networks are still the main source of information in the "war on terror" campaign in Pakistan, and the next showdown is likely to be between these networks and al-Qaeda.