A suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the Afghan interior minister, who was thought to be in a car traveling to Panjshir province, but the would-be assassin was killed by police before he could reach the convoy.
"A suicide bomber who targeted the interior minister's convoy today was killed by police, the minister was not in the convoy," Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said on Twitter.
The suicide bomber attacked an advance party of Interior Ministry troops as they stopped for prayers in Parwan province. Before the bomber could detonate his vest, however, he was shot by police. The bomber is said to have been waiting for the convoy, which indicates that he had inside intelligence on the movements of the interior minister.
No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the failed assassination attempt. The Taliban, at the Voice of Jihad website, claimed they carried out an operation that targeted a supply convoy in Parwan, but did not mention a suicide attack in the province.
Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi was the target of a previous assassination plot, according to the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). In September, the NDS arrested several Taliban fighters who were plotting to kill Mohammadi and several other Afghan officials [see LWJ report, Afghan intelligence operations take on significant role].
The Taliban have carried out several high-profile assassinations since the launch of Operation Badar, their spring offensive. The victims include the President's half-brother and major powerbroker of southern Afghanistan, Ahmad Wali Karzai; the Provincial Police Chief for Kunduz; the Provincial Police Chief for Takhar; the Provincial Police Chief for Kandahar; the Mayor of Kandahar City; and the Afghan National Police General for Regional Command-North, General Daud Daud.
Today's suicide attack in Parwan is the second in the once-peaceful province in two months. On Aug. 14, a Taliban suicide assault team launched a complex attack on the governor's compound in central Parwan province, killing 22 people, including six policemen.
The Taliban and allied terror groups, including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, also launched a suicide assault on the US military airbase in Bagram on May 19, 2010. The attack was repelled and 20 enemy fighters were killed. Last week, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan said it executed the Bagram assault in conjunction with other terror groups.
"We were not the only organizers of this operation; rather, it was done in coordination and cooperation with other jihadi groups," IMU commander Abbas Mansoor said. "Twenty best sons of the Ummah were chosen for the team. There were Turks, Tajiks, Arabs, Pashtuns, and Afghans."
The IMU also claimed that it carried out the Oct. 15 suicide attack at the US Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Panjshir that killed two Afghan civilians and wounded two security guards. The IMU released a videotape of four members of the suicide assault team. Long War Journal