CSOJTF-A

Insider Attack Kills Seventeen at Afghan Local Police Post Staffed Under New Screening Program

Detail from CIA map of Afghanistan.

Detail from CIA map of Afghanistan. Click on map for a larger view.

The Afghan Local Police program was a centerpiece of David Petraeus’ counterinsurgency (COIN) program in Afghanistan when he took over command after Stanley McChyrstal was fired. The program came under extreme scrutiny this week when Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for the expulsion of US Special Operations forces from the province of Maidan Wardak after repeated reports of atrocities carried out by forces claiming to be allied with ALP forces trained by SOF. Today, there is further bad news for the ALP program, as seventeen people have been killed at an ALP post in what appears to be an insider attack. Since the attack occurred early this morning, it should be kept in mind that information is still coming in regarding the details of what took place. Today’s attack was in Ghazni province, which is adjacent to Wardak, as seen in the map here.

Back in September, training of ALP was the first program suspended due to insider attacks. The (delayed by the elections from October) December 2012 “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan” (pdf) informed us that the re-screening of ALP was already moving quickly by then:

To mitigate the risk of insider threats, SOJTF-A has taken active measures to re-validate all 16,474 ALP personnel. This revalidation process is currently 52 percent complete, with less than one percent removed due to nefarious activities or counter-intelligence concerns. This process, which is currently ongoing, is very similar in design to our initial screening/validation methodology. It begins at the local level by conducting shuras and intimately involving local elders, who must vouch for each ALP member, ensuring he remains in good standing. Each member’s application paperwork is re-reviewed by various personnel from the Coalition, MoI, NDS, and the DCOPs. If any ALP member “flags” as suspicious, additional counter-intelligence (both Afghan and Coalition) measures are taken. If it is determined that an ALP member is unfit, he is removed from the program. These processes are non-negotiable. In addition, NDS plans to embed three agents per 100 ALP to identify possible infiltration by the enemy. The prevention/elimination of Insider Threats will remain COMISAF’s top force protection priorities.

So Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan claimed in December that they had already revalidated just over half the ALP force and that less than one percent of the force had been removed due to potential nefarious connections. And yet, almost two months later, we now have a major attack on ALP that has the hallmarks of an insider attack. From the New York Times:

A group of 17 Afghan policemen were drugged by their comrades while on duty and then shot to death in their sleep in what appears to be the single worst incident in a string of similar attacks, according to Afghan officials.

The attack took place at a remote Afghan Local Police post in Ghazni Province, south of the capital, early Wednesday morning, according to General Zrawar Zahid, the Ghazni police chief.

Other Afghan officials said authorities had already arrested two policemen who they said were Taliban infiltrators who had carried out the attack.

The AP report carried by the Washington Post suggests that not all the dead were ALP:

The dead included 10 members of the government-backed Afghan local police, and seven of their civilian friends, said Provincial Gov. Musa Khan Akbarzada. He says there was a conspiracy of some sort but declined to confirm if poison was involved.

The previously mentioned December report from DoD has a remarkable level of detail on the status of the ALP, with a snapshot as of September 26, 2012: Continue reading

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emptywheel @mattblaze Depends. Does govt (FBI) ever obtain "Frequent Locations" from Apple? Do they share w/NSA? Does CBP share border search results?
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emptywheel Can't NARA just put this govt data in the UT data center? @Krhawkins5 @saftergood @JasonLeopold
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emptywheel Why are so many agencies trying to destroy data anyway, when FBI retains data on us indefinitely? @Krhawkins5 @saftergood @JasonLeopold
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 Huh. CIA's trying to do that at same time torture apologists are claiming millions of cables are inaccurate @jasonleopold @cia
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bmaz RT @emptywheel: Even as Yahoo was challenging Protect America Act, govt was secretly making their spying program more intrusive. http://t.c…
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bmaz @joshgerstein @juliemason So, it is like the attorneys at DOJ then, eh. We know how well that works.
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bmaz @RachelBLevinson @maassive As I sit in Maricopa County Superior Court waiting for my case to be called....
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bmaz @RachelBLevinson @maassive Ya, that's being overly kind.
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bmaz RT @RachelBLevinson: This is pretty astonishing. MT @maassive 100s of local police hand out dubious "Internet Safety" spyware to families h…
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emptywheel @charlie_savage I think Cook and Brand's lang on 163 in PCLOB 702 is revealing abt how DOJ used to think of "using" data. @PatrickCToomey
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bmaz @charlesmonaco @intelligencer Wow. Breathing while black?
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bmaz RT @charlesmonaco: 2 blocks away from mayor's house. RT @intelligencer: NYPD to black teens in Park Slope: "Get out of the neighborhood" ht…
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