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Cablegate: Prt Nuristan: Head of Eastern Districts Security

VZCZCXRO0395
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1573/01 1291757
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091757Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7954
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4045
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3620

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001573

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A. CG CJTF-82 POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER MARR AF
SUBJECT: PRT NURISTAN: HEAD OF EASTERN DISTRICTS SECURITY
COUNCIL MURDERED

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Fazel Ahad, head of the Eastern Districts
Security Council, was murdered on April 30 in the
vicinity of Kamdesh, in eastern Nuristan. The unknown
culprits fled. Governor Tamim had appointed Fazel Ahad
last November to head a 45-member council which formed
the centerpiece of the Governor's strategy for
bringing security and development to Nuristan's two
districts which adjoin Pakistan. This murder follows
on another recent murder of Nimatullah, an employee of
the Afghan Security Group, which protects Camp
Keating, a Coalition base near Kamdesh. These murders
in Kamdesh district point to the insurgent's stepped-
up brutality in the face of increased government and
Coalition activity in eastern Nuristan. End Summary.

2. (U) Fazel Ahad, head of the 45-person Eastern
Districts Security Council (Shura) was murdered at
approximately 1100, April 30, while traveling in a
vehicle along the main valley road near Kamdesh in
eastern Nuristan. The unknown culprits fled. Three
others traveling with Fazel Ahad were not harmed. In a
meeting on May 6 with POLOFF, Governor Tamim expressed
deep sadness for the loss of Fazel Ahad, who he
referred to as a close friend and great Afghan
patriot.

3. (U) Fazel Ahad had headed a 45-member council
appointed by Governor Tamim Nuristani in November
2006. The council formed the centerpiece of Tamin's
initiative to mobilize community councils to assume
responsibility for security on their lands. The
security council agreed to visit communities in the
two districts in order to deliver the message that
Jihad is not now justified, that communities must take
responsibility for their own security, and that
villages will not receive development projects unless
they bar anti-government groups from operating on
their lands.

4. (U) Fazel Ahad hails from Nikmuk , Bargimatal
District. He served as deputy to Mawlawi Afzal, also
from Nikmuk, who headed the defunct Islamic State of
Afghanistan, a mini-state operating in eastern
Nuristan during the Soviet occupation and the Taliban
era. Mawlawi Afzal and his movement had close links to
the Lashkar-i Tayyba. With a strong Salafi orientation
and ties to Saudi Arabia, Mawlawi Afzal arranged for
80 Nuristani youths to study at the University of
Medina and also for Nuristanis to fight with the
Lashkar-i Tayyba in Indian-occupied Kashmir. (Mawlawi
Afzal who is now elderly and infirm recently returned
to Nikmuk from his long-time residence in Peshawar,
Pakistan. He reportedly returned home to die.)

5. (SBU) Fazel Ahad has maintained his allegiance to
Mawlawi Afzal. He has also been vigorous in his role
as the leader of the security council. He headed
council delegations that visited communities and
delivered the council's message. Governor Tamim and
others describe the supporters of Mawlawi Afzal as
loyal to the Afghan government unlike other Salafi
movements in neighboring Kunar province who are
opposed to the government.

6. (U) This incident follows a murder of Nimatullah in
April at Mandagal village, Kamdesh district. He was an
employee of the Afghan Security Group, which provides
security and other services to Camp Keating, the
Coalition base at Urmur, Kamdesh District. Local
sources hold that he was killed because he worked with
the Coalition. In retaliation, the following day

KABUL 00001573 002 OF 002


Nimatullah's relatives ambushed and killed two
Islamists from nearby Bar Mandagal, sparking a dispute
that has yet to be settled.

7. (SBU) Comment: All reports suggest that Fazel Ahad
had taken his security council leadership
responsibilities seriously. His murder sets back
Governor Tamim's efforts to improve security in the
troubled eastern districts at a time when Coalition
units are expanding their presence and development
activities into Bargimatal district. Professional
police chiefs have taken up their positions in both
districts, and new Afghan National Auxiliary Police
are being trained to supplement the limited police
presence. It also shows the increased brutality of the
insurgents as they attack not only the Coalition
forces but also Afghans who support and work with
the government and its allies. This escalation
risks entangling insurgents in conflicts with kin and
supporters of their victims. The retaliation taken by
Nimatullah's family against local Islamists
demonstrates typical reactions to such crimes. The
insurgents may find little choice but to ratchet up
their pressure since they have seen their local
support ebb in the face of prospective development
projects offered by the government and the Coalition.
Some suspect the insurgents now in the region may be
outsiders who care little about whom they antagonize.
WOOD

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