11 October 2006
There are two meals here that are extraordinarily good. They would be good even if I weren’t eating sub-standard food most days. One is Mongolian Barbeque. If you’ve never had this, you essentially load up a plate with veggies, meat, bean sprouts, etc, glom lots of yummy stuff on it, and had the whole bowl full to a cook who cooks it on a sizzling hot metal griddle/stove top. Ecstasy! The other is General Tsao (I’m pretty certain I spelled that wrong) chicken, like in a Chinese restaurant, and the chicken nuggets are 100% chicken. Delicious! We get each of these about once a month. So what do they serve tonight? Both! The two best meals they serve here, and they are both on the same night! Sigh. Needless to say, I ate like a pig, having two helpings of both. I still don’t remember how I managed to get back to the hut; some kindly person probably rolled me back.
I just learned that at the end of Ramazan, there is a three day holiday. I imagine we will get all three days off two, as none of the ANA will be working. Sorry folks, but looks like October is going to be a tough month for interesting stories. Fortunately, I was able to find a news story that has some good news for those of us living in Kabul. Enjoy.
Afghan Authorities Apprehend Leaders of Kabul Suicide Cell
The Jamestown Foundation
By Waliullah Rahmani
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The surge of suicide attacks in Kabul is causing concern among Afghan officials and international peacekeeping forces. One month ago, for instance, a coalition spokesperson in Kabul announced that a suicide terrorist cell was operating out of Kabul. Only weeks after this announcement, on September 17, Kabul's police chief, General Amanullah Guzar, announced that his forces had captured the operatives that were part of this cell. According to Guzar, authorities had arrested four individuals part of the cell who were allegedly in the planning stages of mounting suicide operations in Kabul. While the group had not yet carried out attacks, Guzar decided to move against the operatives early because the authorities did not have enough intelligence to know when their first attack was planned.
The leader of this terrorist group went by the name of "Adil," and he was based in a mosque in the 5th district in western Kabul. Authorities arrested him at the mosque, where he apparently served as a cleric. According to Guzar, the leading operatives consisted of Adil, another cleric and one student in Islamic studies. Through this mosque, Adil recruited operatives and planned attacks. Upon his arrest, the police recovered many explosive devices inside the mosque (Arman-e-Milli, September 18). In an interview with The Jamestown Foundation on October 3, the head of the criminal branch at the Kabul Police Department, Ali Shah Paktiawal, explained that 15 bombs were discovered in the mosque and that police had found documents showing the cell's links to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda.
Adil, a 28 year-old Tajik born in Baghlan, northern Afghanistan, has an Islamic education. He spent his whole life in Afghanistan and did not travel abroad. During interrogation, he admitted to being linked with Taliban insurgents and the al-Qaeda network. The mosque in which he preached was not named by authorities, but Paktiawal said that the mosque was located near Kabul University. After arresting Adil, authorities quickly rounded up the other three members of the cell. One of the members was identified as Sayeed Mohammad Nabi, a student of Shariat Law at Kabul University. Nabi was a resident of Maidan Wardak province south of Kabul (Azadi Radio, September 18).
Sayeed Nabi, a Pashtun, admitted to authorities that he received explosives devices outside of Kabul, and then gave those devices to Ahmadullah, another operative of the group. Ahmadullah, who was arrested as well, is not believed to be an influential member of the group (Arman-e-Milli, September 18). Nabi told authorities that he believed that foreigners—implying the United States and NATO—had captured Afghanistan and that Muslims must engage in jihad to liberate the country from foreign rule. He said that he did not regret his actions, saying, "I have not committed any kind of crime. I was doing jihad for God, yet they have arrested me as if I were some sort of criminal" (Radio Farda, September 18).
In recent months, authorities have seen a rise in Taliban-linked terrorist cells setting up operations in Kabul. In almost all of these instances, these cells have engaged in suicide attacks. These latest arrests highlight how cells can use mosques in order to plan their operations and store their weapons, which, as a result of religious sensitivities, are difficult to search.