Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Insurgents in Flight

Four Afghan insurgents were arrested on a flight that was destined to go from Kabul to Saudi Arabia.  There is so much in this short story to disentangle.
  • ISAF indicated that they were seeking a Haqqani network "weapons facilitator."  The Afghan security folks refused to identify the network, just referring to the suspect as a terrorist.
  • ISAF says the individual was headed for Saudi Arabia.  The Afghan security folks say he was fleeing to Dubai.
  • Both sources agree the guy was fleeing Afghanistan.  
What is striking about all of this is that the international community and Afghanistan disagree on how to portray the situation.  ISAF seems more willing to put Saudi Arabia in the picture, whereas Afghanistan wants to focus on the United Arab Emirates (perhaps a late effort to appeal to Canadians about their common adversary?).  ISAF also likes to distinguish amongst its opponents where as the Afghans seem to want to use a blanket category.  Not sure what to make of that.

And why is a weapons facilitator using civilian planes from Kabul to flee?  Whom is he fleeing?  The Afghan authorities?  Or his old pals?  Wouldn't the normal path of flight involve Pakistan?

Not sure what all of this means, but it bears watching as it is definitely out of the ordinary.  We expect $$$ to be smuggled out of Kabul, not insurgents.

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