McClatchy Confirms One Shooter at Alkozai

McClatchy has gone back to do more reporting on the Panjwai massacre that happened in March. (h/t Agonist) It provides a gruesome account of what happened at Alkozai. But also provides more details on the attack and the investigation.

McClatchy’s interview of survivors from Alkozai appear to confirm what had appeared to be the case already: there was just one killer at that village (though they appear not to have interviewed anyone from Najiban, where witnesses testified to multiple killers).

Rafiullah told McClatchy that Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, phoned him in the aftermath of the attack and U.S. authorities later interviewed him while he was in the hospital. “Two times they talked to me,” he said.

A day or two after the massacre, he also spoke to the man Karzai had appointed as his chief investigator into the killings, Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the Afghan army chief .

“To all of them I said the same thing,” Rafiullah said. “I saw only one shooter.”

The story reveals that after multiple US interviews (and fewer Afghan ones), one of the surviving adults at Alkozai was grilled about setting the IED that had gone offer the week before the Robert Bales attack.

The only official contact he’d had since his discharge from the hospital was when he was summoned, still wounded, to Kandahar city and interrogated by an officer from Afghanistan’s much-feared intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security.

“That man was a bastard,” Naim said. “He accused me of having laid IEDs” – improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs – “before the massacre to target the American forces.”

Naim said he’d previously seen Taliban members placing such devices near his home in Alkozai, but that he’d told them not to, as he and his family might be targeted in response. Like many civilians in southern Afghanistan, he felt he was caught in a struggle between the insurgents and U.S.-led forces. Sadiqullah had been wounded earlier by shrapnel from an American mortar round that had landed near his home.

Sadiqullah underwent surgery at the U.S. military hospital in Kandahar after that attack, too, and his wound had barely healed by the night of the massacre.

Sadiqullah is 11, and he has already hospitalized twice this year by American fire. Not only is that a testament to the simmering relations between Americans and villagers in Panjwai. But it’s a pretty good indication of whether we’re going to be able to win the support of the next generation of Afghan fighters.

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4 Responses to McClatchy Confirms One Shooter at Alkozai

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @_JGR Now, I am NOT saying I think that should work here, but with a cop, I think you have a spitting chance with a good expert.
bmaz @_JGR That it was reflexive under the heat+stress of the moment, and therefore not premeditated. Trustme, there are "cop experts" for this.
emptywheel @richietynan He's not REALLY a teenager, just claiming to be.
emptywheel @richietynan The panel needs to know a hacker claiming to be a teenager just got into FBI's counterpart of that system.
emptywheel Don't tell the terrorists the FBI knows some people have separate work phone numbers or they'll win!
bmaz RT @WilliamBaude: Self-recommending and much-needed: Eugene Volokh on the "Speech integral to criminal conduct" exception
emptywheel @richietynan It's actually useful to see how they rationalize this stuff.
emptywheel @richietynan Is this streaming?
emptywheel Seriously people. The FBI considered it an 11-year secret that they can get day AND evening phone numbers w/an NSL. Day AND evening!
emptywheel Govt clusterfuckery. The govt redacted this footnote in September.
emptywheel @seansposito They're already mandated to do that. They just don't care and Congress won't make them care.
emptywheel Also unsealed by @nickcalyx is full opinion. FBI had wanted to hide this info, which it revealed in Marathon trial.