The Taliban have praised the Afghan soldier who turned his weapon on a group of senior-level Coalition officers on Aug. 5 and killed a US Army major general and wounded more than a dozen troops. The Taliban described the insider, or green-on-blue attack, as “a heroic act” and called on other Afghan security personnel “to take advantage of their positions and their important functions in contributing in jihad against the disbelievers.”
The statement was released on Aug. 13 in Arabic on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the name the Taliban used while ruling the country up until the US invasion after the 9/11 attack. The statement was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The Taliban said that Rafiqullah, the Afghan soldier who killed Major General Harold Greene, deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, was a “martyr.” Also wounded in the Aug. 5 attack at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul was a German brigadier general, two Afghan generals, an Afghan officer, and eight American and two British soldiers.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers this attack a heroic act on the part of the martyred soldier, and a memorable pride for him, his family, and all the Afghan people.”
The Taliban also encouraged other Afghan security personnel to turn on Coalition forces.
“We tell the rest of the soldiers, police, and security men in the Kabul administration to follow the footsteps of these heroes, and to take advantage of their positions and their important functions in contributing in jihad against the disbelievers,” the statement concluded.
The Taliban did not claim credit for the attack, but praised it nonetheless, as the group seeks to encourage other members of the security forces to kill foreign forces and then defect if they survive.
Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Taliban, addressed the issue of green-on-blue attacks in a statement released in August 2012. In that statement, Omar claimed that the Taliban “cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year.” He urged government officials and security personnel to defect and join the Taliban as a matter of religious duty, and then warned that “the day is not far away that the invading enemy will flee Afghanistan.”
Omar also noted in 2012 that the Taliban have created the “Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration” department, “with branches … now operational all over the country,” to encourage defections. [See Threat Matrix report, Mullah Omar addresses green-on-blue attacks.]
The attack that killed Greene is the third reported green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan so far this year, and the sixth to have taken place in Kabul since January 2007, according to The Long War Journal‘s statistics.
The number of reported attacks on Coalition personnel in Afghanistan has dropped steeply since a high of 44 in 2012. Last year there were 13 such attacks. [For in-depth information, see LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data.] The decline in attacks is due to several factors, including the continuing drawdown of Coalition personnel, reduced partnering with Afghan forces, and the adoption of heightened security measures in interactions between Coalition and Afghan forces.