Tale of the Taliban Bomber: Behind the Plot to Kill Afghanistan’s Spy Chief

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SHAH MARAI / AFP / Getty Images

An Afghan policeman stands guard near the site of a Taliban sucide-bomber attack at a spy agency guesthouse in Kabul on Dec. 6, the same day Afghanistan's intelligence chief was wounded in an assassination attempt.

KABUL — For Asadullah Khalid, the morning of Dec. 6 — the day the Taliban tried to kill him — was as routine as any other. Dressed in an embroidered beige shirt, Kabul’s recently-appointed intelligence chief signed papers and reviewed the interior design of the new office he intended to occupy. Then, he left for a lunch meeting in one of his agency’s guesthouses in the Afghan capital. But during the meeting he was critically wounded by his Taliban interlocutor, who had been carrying about 2.5 kgs of explosives in his underwear.

At a fraught moment, dark questions circle. Afghan officials claim the attack was planned across the border in Pakistan; the Pakistanis have retorted, saying Afghanistan needs to do a better job resolving its perennial security woes. A cloud now hangs over scheduled meetings this week in Ankara between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart President Asif Zardari—Khalid, indeed, had been slated to fly to Turkey to attend the talks.

Full story here.