Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, July 01, 2004

US military in Afghanistan is confronted with an embarrassing situation...

...following the realisation that the two men in its custody were Afghan government officials from Helmand province rather than top Taliban commanders as claimed by it earlier.

Interesting article

PESHAWAR: The US military in Afghanistan is confronted with an embarrassing situation following the realisation that the two men in its custody were Afghan government officials from Helmand province rather than top Taliban commanders as claimed by it earlier.

On Monday, the US military spokeswoman Master Sergeant Cindy Beam said American special forces captured top enemy commanders Hafiz Abdul Majeed and Mohammad Daud in southern Afghanistan in raids on their compounds pre-dawn Saturday. "We have evidence indicating that they were supplying arms to insurgents, conducting rocket attacks on the military, attacking non-governmental aid organisations helping Afghanistan build a national infrastructure, funding ambushes and trafficking opium," she said in a statement.

"During the mission, the enemy regional leaders surrendered as coalition SOF (Special Operations Forces) surprised the insurgents," she added. However, the US military claim is turning out to be untrue. Officials in Afghanistan’s interior ministry in Kabul were quoted as saying that the captured men weren’t the top Taliban commanders sought by the US and Afghan governments. Government officials in Helmand explained that one of the captured men, Hafiz Abdul Majeed, was the administrator for Naomesh district in the province, while the other man was his military bodyguard, Mohammad Daud. They said Majeed had been an anti-Taliban commander and three of his fighters were injured in a firefight with the Taliban fighters only 20 days ago.

The announcement of Majeed’s capture by the US military had created lot of excitement in the American intelligence and media circles. In fact, it had generated hopes that his arrest would enable the US military to track down the Taliban supreme leader Mulla Mohammad Omar. This wasn’t far-fetched because the real Hafiz Abdul Majeed was very close to Mulla Omar. He was the security chief for Kandahar when the Taliban were in power. After the Taliban’s ouster from power, he became one of the important resistance leaders in southern Afghanistan and was named by Mulla Omar as a member of the 10-member Taliban leadership council. His arrest would have been a huge setback for the Taliban.

The fact that the US military announced Hafiz Abdul Majeed’s capture without cross checking his identity isn’t the first time that the Americans have committed such blunders in Afghanistan. Certain other arrests of anti-US Afghans were also cases of mistaken identity.

Earlier, they printed wrong pictures of Mulla Omar on leaflets announcing monetary reward for his capture. Warplanes have frequently bombed the wrong targets, including wedding parties, passenger buses, graveyards, and convoys of pro-government tribal elders.

Taliban spokesman, Abdul Latif Hakimi, whose claims about battleground successes are often ridiculed by Afghan and US government officials, was vindicated on Tuesday following reports that Hafiz Abdul Majeed had not been captured by the American military. On Monday, he had denied the capture of Hafiz Abdul Majeed while talking to The News from an undisclosed location. He thought the US military could have captured someone else. As it turned it, the US military had apprehended Hafiz Abdul Majeed’s namesake.

Hakimi had said he was unable to place Mohammad Daud. The only Daud that he knew in the Taliban movement was Daud Haideri, who was deputy to Mulla Nasir, the Taliban military commander for Ghazni province. Daud Haideri, according to Hakimi, had not been captured. On both counts, Hakimi was proven right.

The US military spokeswoman had not mentioned the place where the two men were captured. She had vaguely said that they were detained in southern Afghanistan. Afghan sources later said the arrests were made in Girishk, a town sited in south-western Helmand province on the Kandahar-Herat road.

It remains to be seen how the US military is going to handle the situation now that it has emerged that the two men in its custody weren’t top Taliban commanders, Hafiz Abdul Majeed and Daud Haideri. Measures would surely be taken to do some damage control and avoid such an embarrassing situation in future. As for the men in its custody, the US military would have to release them because warlords whether small or big are needed to fight the Taliban and other anti-US forces in Afghanistan.


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