Taliban don’t read Koran, do they?

Like their counterparts in Pakistan, Afghanistan’s Taliban demonstrate once again that they aren’t above blowing up their cannon fodder at mosques—during Ramadan—to enforce their supposedly purist version of Islam. Now didn’t we hear somewhere, “Do not fight them at the Holy Mosque”? We’ve got a word of advice for these jokers: read the Koran. From the LA Times, Sept 3:

In the most serious strike at Afghanistan’s security apparatus since the presidential election two weeks ago, a suicide bomber Wednesday killed the country’s deputy intelligence chief and at least 22 other people.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place outside a mosque in Laghman province about 60 miles east of the capital, Kabul.

Authorities said the blast occurred as the intelligence official, Abdullah Laghmani, and his entourage were leaving the mosque where they had gone to pray during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Two senior provincial officials were reported to be among the dead.

The attack came amid rising tensions over the outcome of the Aug. 20 vote. The latest count, released Wednesday, put President Hamid Karzai in the lead with 47% — close to an absolute majority, but not enough as yet to avoid a runoff with his main rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. Authorities have released the count from about 60% of polling stations.

At least in their Aug. 18 election-eve suicide attack, they targeted a NATO convoy. (The Guardian, Aug. 18)

See our last post on Afghanistan.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. Your tax-dollars at work in Afghanistan
    From CBS News‘ World Watch blog, Sept. 3, emphasis added:

    Is the Taliban on the U.S. Gov. Payroll?
    The Taliban may be on the unofficial payroll of the United States government.

    A portion of American taxpayer dollars slated for development projects in Afghanistan is alleged to end up in the hands of the Taliban, the GlobalPost reports. The United States Agency for International Development is investigating if its funds are being used by contractors to pay the Taliban for protection – from itself.

    Payoffs to the Taliban are a widely known practice in Afghanistan, according to a report by GlobalPost last month. When the money is not paid, they wreak havoc in the area, blowing up bridges, kidnapping contractors and bringing projects to a halt.

    GlobalPost reporter Jean MacKenzie writes, “the Taliban allegedly receives kickbacks from almost every major contract that comes into the country. The arrangements are at times highly formalized and, as GlobalPost spelled out, the Taliban actually keeps an office in Kabul to review major deals, determine percentages and conduct negotiations. The arrangements are often more personal, as when a local supplier pays off a small-time Taliban commander to allow free passage of goods through his patch of insurgency-controlled terrain.”

    One source told the GlobalPost that the Taliban takes as much as 20% of development aid awarded to contractors. An embassy worker in Kabul described the arrangement as “organized crime.”

    Dona Dinkler, the chief of staff for congressional affairs at USAID’s Office of Inspector General in Washington, D.C. , told the GlobalPost that the allegations are a cause for concern, but added a note of caution.

    “It’s a real hard thing to prove. Who is going to survive to testify about that? That is our challenge. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. We want to get to the bottom of it,” Dinkler said.

    USAID has only one inspector and two auditors in Afghanistan following the billions of dollars in aid money that the United States provides.