US adds Taliban commander involved in IED, suicide attacks to terrorism list
By BILL ROGGIO
The US Treasury Department has added a Taliban commander who builds bombs and deploys suicide bombers against Coalition and Afghan forces to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
The Taliban commander, who was identified as Abdul Samad Achekzai, or Samad, is “a key official in the Taliban’s IED [improvised explosive device] supply network,” Treasury stated today in a press release announcing the designation.
“As recently as mid-2010,” Samad “was responsible for and tasked with IED component procurement and storage, detonator construction and IED training in support of Taliban fighters in western and southern Afghanistan,” Treasury said.
In addition to serving as a senior IED facilitator, manufacturer, and trainer, Samad also directed assassinations and suicide attacks. Treasury linked Samad to 11 suicide attacks against Afghan and Coalition forces in 2010 and 2011.
Samad is an Afghan national whose current address is in “Baluchistan Province, Pakistan,” Treasury said. The Taliban’s leadership is known to be based across the border in Pakistan. Many senior and midlevel Taliban leaders operate from Baluchistan, including in Quetta, the provincial capital, and in the border town of Chaman. Pakistan’s military and intelligence services have allowed the Taliban to operate from Quetta, Chaman, and other locations in Baluchistan, and they support Taliban operations in Afghanistan.
Despite 10 years of war in Afghanistan, Samad is the first Taliban commander to have been added to the US’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists for involvement in IED activities.
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