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Entries in Loya Jirga (2)

Monday
Nov142011

Taliban Breaches Afghan Meeting Security? Not Yet

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- If the Taliban does have a leaked copy of the security plan for this week's grand assembly of Afghan leaders designed to endorse long-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan, the terror group's first attack was still stopped at the front gate Monday.

Though the start of the "loya jirga," expected to draw thousands of Afghan political and tribal leaders under a sprawling tent, is not until Wednesday, Afghan officials said Monday its security team stopped and killed a Taliban suicide bomber outside the entrance.

A man -- possibly wearing a suit and tie -- was carrying a parcel as he approached the first entrance to the jirga area. The parcel, Afghan officials said, contained a bomb, but the man was shot and killed before he could reach his target. The bomb detonated when he was shot, killing only the attacker.

The reported bombing attempt came just hours after the Taliban announced online it had acquired "the security plans, maps and other documents" related to the meeting... "by means of its personnel embedded inside the enemy ranks."

"Just as the enemy has been using different technological means in contrast to all the established international norms and principles in order... to spread lies, Mujahideen have also been wanting to take revenge for quite some time now and managed to finally expose a very delicate security plan today," the Taliban said in a statement posted online in English Sunday.

"With acquisition of this, the weakness of our enemy had been made clear and shows the despair and hopelessness spread amongst their ranks."

The Taliban claim two moles within Afghan security forces provided them 28 pages and six maps of the security plan which they then posted in part online.

Afghan and U.S. officials, however, flatly rejected the claim and told ABC News the document the Taliban posted online was "a piece of trash" and "fake".

"The plan is classified and nobody can have access to it," said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesperson for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry.

Latfullah Mashal, the spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service, also denied it was real, but said the security plans could have been from a previous jirga. A spokesman for the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force today said the document "does not appear to be authentic."

The document is signed by senior Afghan and U.S. officials, but the signature purporting to be from Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the second-ranking U.S. military official in Afganistan, does not match other signatures from Scaparrotti that appear online.

The "loya jirga," hosted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is designed to unite Afghans both behind a political end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the long-term presence of U.S. troops there. Such a meeting has only occurred a few times in the last decade of war, but recreates a traditional form of Afghan decision-making with political and tribal leaders from all over the country.

The tent under which the thousands of Afghans are expected to assemble is larger than a football field.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov142011

Terror Attack Against Afghan Assembly Thwarted

ABC News(KABUL) – On Monday, a Taliban attack against this week’s grand assembly in Kabul was thwarted when a would-be bomber was shot dead.

A man walked toward the first entrance to the gathering which is held in a massive tent, carrying a bomb in what appeared to be a box or briefcase, but he was shot before he could detonate the explosives, according to the interior ministry and the intelligence service.

It was reported Sunday night that the Taliban claimed to have been given the detailed 28-page security plan for the grand assembly in Kabul, but a spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry said the document was “a piece of trash and it’s fake...The plan is classified and nobody can have access to it.”

ISAF had declined to comment on the authenticity of the document, but a NATO official said a signature labeled Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti is not authentic.

ABC’s Nick Schifrin notes that if the documents were, indeed, fake the Taliban went through great lengths to make it appear real. The pages that they have posted online include a map with details of security arrangements as well as accurate names and numbers of top security officials.

The grand assembly assembly, or “loya jirga,” is a large colorful gathering that takes place a tent larger than a football field.

Its purpose is to unite Afghans behind a political end to the war and the long-term presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and it is not set to begin until Wednesday.

The loya jirga has only taken place a handful of times in ten years of war. It intends to recreate the traditional form of Afghan decision-making with political and tribal leaders from all over the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio