Top Taliban commander was Afghan spy?
He is second-in-command of one of the world’s deadliest terror groups, wanted by America for masterminding the 2010 Times Square bomb plot.There is no indication of what value, if any the man was as an intelligence asset. If he were that important, wouldn't the US have known about him and kept him in the field? Karzai seems to be an unhappy man and is probably as inept a negotiator as Obama is.
Eight days ago, US special forces got their man, seizing Latif Mehsud, of Pakistan’s Tehrek-e-Taliban (TTP) while he was travelling in a convoy on a remote mountain highway in Afghanistan.
The dramatic raid however, the details of which have only emerged now, was all the more daring because Mehsud was forcibly abducted while heading to a secret rendezvous with America’s allies in Afghanistan’s top spy network, the National Intelligence Directorate.
If briefings from Kabul turn out to be true, Latif Mehsud was a prized asset for Afghanistan’s beleaguered spies.
A former driver and personal assistant to Hakimullah Mehsud, the TTP’s leader, Mehsud has been cultivated as a double agent for the past two years. In recent months he has worked with Afghans even while he was wanted in America.
The mission to seize the 30-year old amounted to a dramatic breach of trust among allies and its fallout could yet change the future of America’s deployment in Afghanistan.
Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, openly complained about the US tactics. “The Americans forcibly removed him and took him to Bagram,” he said.
The sensitivity of Mehsud’s seizure forced John Kerry, the US secretary of state, to make a lightning dash to Kabul to talk down an incensed Mr Karzai.
Once seen as America’s hand-picked ally, Mr Karzai has lately morphed into a ferocious critic. In the days following Mehsud’s capture, he launched his strongest ever attack on American record in his country.