VSO

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: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @attackerman: Imad Mugniyah was a monster caked in blood. There is also no plausible argument assassinating him was an act of US self-de…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @GottaLaff @ColMorrisDavis @DaisyBuddysMom I dunno, Matthews and Maddow are so pathetic anymore, getting them off air seems a public service
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @HanniFakhoury Oh, wait, that's just the legal fees? Nevermind, Arpaio is a piker then.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @HanniFakhoury Pretty cheap compared to what Arpaio has cost Maricopa County.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @howappealing Sweet. Congratulations!
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @froomkin: Why is it not huge news when Israel kills UN personnel with impunity? Because it happens so often? Read @MazMHussain https://…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SarahKnuckey Thing is, NYPD has long history of using CT team on protests. CF Tony Bologna. @trevortimm
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm really saddened that the IPA scene in Seattle has been degraded such that @AllThingsHLS can't even bet Super Bowl w/@caidid much less me
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @caidid They've inflated his, um, ball number. @AllThingsHLS
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Hey @pourmecoffee! @ChuckGrassley is branching out from his NIU code. https://t.co/wU4MY2aYS0
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Why does @ComcastSucks_ have so much of a harder time delivering toobz to my house on wires than Verizon on air?
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Witness the license database. Didn't you, uh, tell us it was still there? (Whatev. Go back to your hangover) @caidid
7hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2015
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031