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Noor was ‘on NATO kill list’: Spiegel

30 Dec 2014 - 16:49
30 Dec 2014 - 16:49

KABUL even added Atta Mohammed Noor, the incumbent governor of northern Balkh province, to the list of targeted killings, the German’s Spiegel online reports.

In its detailed article, the Spiegel said that in the list of Targeted Killings in Afghanistan leadership, but also eliminated mid- and lower-level members of the group on a large scale.

Some Afghans were only on the list because, as drug dealers, they were allegedly supporting the insurgents, it added.

Noor, an ethnic Tajik and former warlord, had become wealthy through smuggling in the turmoil of war, and he was seen as someone who ruthlessly eliminated his enemies, the magazine added.

Noor was listed as number 1,722 on the NATO list and given a priority level of three, but NATO merely collected information about Noor, rather than placing him on the kill list.

It said that an Afghan, who has been given the code name “Doody,” is a “mid-level commander” in the Taliban, according to a secret NATO list. The document lists enemy combatants the alliance has approved for targeted killings. “Doody” is number 3,673 on the list and NATO has assigned him a priority level of three on a scale of one to four.

The operations center identified “Doody” at 10:17 a.m. But visibility is poor and the helicopter is forced to circle another time. Then the gunner fires a “Hellfire” missile. But he has lost sight of the mullah during the maneuver, and the missile strikes a man and his child instead. The boy is killed instantly and the father is severely wounded, it added.

When the pilot, the magazine said realizes that the wrong man has been targeted, he fires 100 rounds at “Doody” with his 30-mm gun, critically injuring the mullah. The child and his father are two of the many victims of the dirty secret operations that NATO conducted for years in Afghanistan

The documents, it achieved show that the deadly missions were not just viewed as a last resort to prevent attacks, but were in fact part of everyday life in the guerilla war in Afghanistan.

The list, which included up to 750 people at times, proves for the first time that NATO didn’t just target the Taliban leadership, but also eliminated mid- and lower-level members of the group on a large scale.

The 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan comes to an official end this week, but the kill lists raise legal and moral questions that extend far beyond Afghanistan.

It said that some of the Joint Prioritized Effects List (JPEL) candidates were only listed as being under observation or to be taken into custody.

As one document states, Predator drones and Eurofighter jets equipped with sensors were constantly searching for the radio signals from known telephone numbers tied to the Taliban. The hunt began as soon as the mobile phones were switched on.

Britain’s GCHQ and the US National Security Agency (NSA) maintained long lists of Afghan and Pakistani mobile phone numbers belonging to Taliban officials.

It said that probably one of the most controversial decisions by NATO in Afghanistan is the expansion of these operations to include drug dealers. According to an NSA document, the United Nations estimated that the Taliban was earning $300 million a year through the drug trade. The insurgents, the document continues, “could not be defeated without disrupting the drug trade.”

According to the NSA document, in October 2008 the NATO defense ministers made the momentous decision that drug networks would now be “legitimate targets” for ISAF troops. “Narcotics traffickers were added to the Joint Prioritized Effects List (JPEL) list for the first time,” the report reads.

PAN Monitor/rm

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