Taliban conducts psychological warfare with targeted assassinations: experts


New Delhi — Since launching the attack in April this year, the Taliban have begun to more often target the assassinations of journalists, pilots, artists and government officials as part of an asymmetric strategy that experts call psychological warfare.

Afghan Special Inspector General for Reconstruction (SIGAR), a U.S. observer in Afghanistan, expressed concern about the assassination targeted when Afghan pilots were off-base in a quarterly report to the U.S. Parliament starting June this year. did.

“Another nasty development on AAF’s aircraft crew was media reports that the Taliban were deliberately targeting Afghan pilots. According to Reuters, there are at least seven Afghan pilots here. He was assassinated off-base in months, “said SIGAR in a report.pdf) Released on July 30th.

Enayat Najafizada, founder and chief executive officer of the Kabul-based War in Afghanistan Institute for War and Peace, said the Taliban is already following a strategy to take over the district to put pressure around the government in Kabul. I told the Epoch Times. The state capital follows first. Targeted assassination prolongs and strengthens this strategy of putting pressure on government.

“Their goal is soft. They target women, individuals in different sectors. For example, journalists, civil society activists. They killed yesterday the day before. Director of the Government Media Information Center.. Therefore, targeting the most popular key individuals can demoralize the general public, “says Najafizada.

A Kabul-based source, subject to anonymity, told The Epoch Times that 51 targeted killings by “unknown men” were reported nationwide in June alone.

The Taliban have distrusted most of the targeted killings by civilians since the signing of the US Taliban Peace Agreement in February 2020. The agreement limits the types of attacks that terrorists can carry out, and the Taliban are unreliable.According to, it is linked to peace negotiation diplomacy January report by the magazine Gandhara.

According to Najafizada, members of civil society in big cities such as Herat, Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, journalists and government officials are afraid of being targeted by the Taliban, a campaign for Taliban terrorism and targeted assassination. Will continue for the next few months. ..

NS The Taliban also warns A more targeted attack is carried out against government leaders.

Epoch Times Photo
Security personnel in Afghanistan arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 6, 2021, where the director of the Afghan Government Information Media Center, Dawakhan Menapal, was shot dead. (Rahmat Gul / AP photo)

Former Indian diplomat and author of the best-selling and acclaimed book on the division of Afghanistan by the British Empire, Rajiv Dogra told The Epoch Times that the target of the assassination was a message from the Taliban. Told. Will cause violence. “

“The Taliban use the full range of asymmetric warfare tactics. They indulged in suicide bombings, targeted high-ranking government officials, and fought the army. In the first half of 2021, women and children accounted for the majority of casualties. Targeted assassinations and improvised explosive devices attacks account for the majority of civilian casualties, “Dogra said in an email.

Recently, the Taliban used sticky bombs to assassinate targets. A sticky bomb is actually a magnetic bomb that is attached to a vehicle with a targeted personality and explodes remotely.

A recent victim of such a target assassination using a sticky bomb was Afghan Air Force pilot Hamidura Azimi, who was killed on August 7. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. According to Reuters.

Due to the lack of an Air Force in the Taliban, Azimi was trained to fly a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter made in the United States, giving the Afghan army an influence in the war.

The UH60 Blackhawk is equipped with a variety of weapons systems, “a primary medium-sized lift utility transport and an air raid,” according to equipment details. Military.com, a resource website for military members.

Well-known murder

The Taliban brutally executed Indian and Reuters photojournalist Sidiki in Afghanistan on July 16 during his mission. This was not the first journalist to be killed.The Taliban argued for the attention-grabbing death of Partizer-winning Sidiki, but there were others in front of him. Killed by an unidentified shooter.

The latest is the murder Toophan Oumari, NS Editor-in-chief of Paktia Ghag radio station He was killed in the Deh Sabz district of Kabul on August 8, and another journalist was taken hostage in Helmand by the Taliban. No one has yet claimed responsibility for Oumari’s murder.

The “Doha Surrender” (in my opinion), signed by Harilzad on February 29, 2020, was ironically regarded by the Taliban as a medical record blanche to intensify the attack. Targeting the killings of intellectuals, media personnel, and senior government officials became a priority during this phase. The residences of Defense Minister and President Gani were also attacked by the Taliban. Basically, they want to wipe out all the liberal forces and all the people who support democracy, “Dogra said.

Another target assassination that has shaken the conscience of the Afghan people Comedian Nazarmo HamadKnown as Kasha Zwan, he was taken out of his home and later killed by an unidentified shooter.

The Taliban initially denied involvement in the assassination, but later accepted it.

Najafizada said the people are fleeing the territory controlled by the Taliban as the Taliban are resorting to violence to terrorize them.

According to Najafizada, terrorism is due to the composition of the Taliban. The Taliban “is a movement carried out by foreign fighters from various international terrorist organizations in neighboring countries. They do not have national, local or Afghan agendas.”

The Taliban use barrels to force people to accept them. Najafizada said that because they have nothing to offer to the public and cannot offer the “rule of law.”

“From the southwest, I received a voice message from the Taliban commander speaking at the mosque a few days ago when he conquered the capital city of Zaranj. They told people that they had fought for religion, so their fighting. I asked them to bring their daughters to marry the opportunity, which is why they give them rights, “he said.

Dogra pointed out Pakistan, saying that the size of the Taliban’s army and the military equipment they are using indicates that they are supported and advised by “organized state institutions.”

“Rapid changes in strategy and tactics are another guide to the high opinion of experts. The third sign is that the Taliban used some tactics of groups like LeT, like targeted killings. Is to be. [the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba] Employed in Kashmir. If further evidence of Pakistani military involvement is needed, it is provided by Pakistani soldier body bags that are regularly brought back from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Regular consultations between the Taliban and the ISI ultimately prove who pulls the laces, “says Dogra.

Venus Upadayaya

Venus Upadhayaya reports on various issues. Her area of ​​expertise is geopolitics in India and South Asia. She reports from the highly volatile Indian-Pakistan border and has contributed to India’s mainstream print media for almost a decade. Community media, sustainable development and leadership continue to be her key areas of interest.