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The Taliban has mobilized a special unit, called Al Isha, to hunt down Afghans who helped US and allied forces — and it’s using US equipment and data to do it.
Nawazuddin Haqqani, one of the brigade commanders over the Al Isha unit, bragged in an interview with Zenger News that his unit is using US-made hand-held scanners to tap into a massive US-built biometric database and positively identify any person who helped the NATO allies or worked with Indian intelligence. Afghans who try to deny or minimize their role will find themselves contradicted by the detailed computer records that the US left behind in its frenzied withdrawal.
The existence of the Al Isha unit has not been previously confirmed by the Taliban; until now the Haqqani Network, a terror group aligned with the Taliban, has not admitted its role in targeting Afghans or its use of America’s vast biometric database.
Multiple Afghan civilians, including relatives and children, were reportedly killed in Sunday’s US airstrike near the Kabul airport.
US officials said the drone strike wiped out a vehicle carrying multiple suicide bombers that posed an “imminent ISIS-K threat” to the city’s airport.
The exact amount of casualties was not immediately clear, but a relative of those killed told CNN that nine of his family members died in the drone strike.
Six children, ranging in age from 2 to 10, and three adults were among the dead, the relative told the news outlet.
US officials on Sunday night said they were aware of the reports on civilian deaths, but did not confirm any had occurred.
Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for the US Central Command, said in a statement that a secondary explosion from the drone strike could be to blame for additional deaths
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The Taliban have been posting videos of pallets of weapons and stacks of $100 bills they have seized as they swept into power across the country.
Over the last two years, the Taliban has employed a covert assassination campaign to target civil-society leaders and key military personnel such as pilots. The intermediate military objective was twofold. First, it amplified the Taliban’s strategic messaging that Ghani’s regime could not secure Afghanistan. Everyone knew the Taliban was behind most of the assassinations, but the fact that it didn’t take credit for them made the killings seem more insidious.