Official: Al-Qaida boosts Afghan activity
Updated: 2005-11-16 22:04
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network has increased its activities in
Afghanistan, smuggling in explosives, high-tech weapons and millions of dollars
in cash for a resurgent terror campaign, the defense minister said Wednesday.
A number of Arabs and other foreigners have entered Afghanistan to launch
suicide attacks, Defense Minister Rahim Wardak said in an interview with The
His comments came after an unprecedented series of suicide assaults ¡ª the
latest on Wednesday when a bomber attacked a U.S. military convoy, killing three
"There has been ... more money and more weapons flowing into their hands in
recent months," he said. "We see similarities between the type of attacks here
and in Iraq."
Wardak said al-Qaida militants and other foreign Islamic extremists had
teamed up with local Taliban rebels.
"There is no doubt that there is a connection between Taliban and al-Qaida
and some other fundamentalists," he said. "In most cases, the suicide bombers
are foreigners ... from the Middle East, from neighboring countries. ... It is a
But he said not all the suicide assailants were extremists and that some had
been duped into carrying explosives.
"There have been some cases where people have been used without knowing that
they are being fixed with explosives and someone else detonated it from a
distance," he said.
Until two months ago, suicide bombings were relatively rare in Afghanistan,
unlike in Iraq. But since then, nine such assaults have been used nationwide.
Wednesday's attack in Kandahar, a former Taliban stronghold, which also
wounded four civilians, came two days after militants used twin suicide car
bombs to attack NATO peacekeepers in the capital, Kabul, killing a German
soldier and eight Afghans.