US suspects al-Qaida ties in Afghan ‘insider’ attacks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Haqqani insurgent network, based in Pakistan and with ties to al-Qaida, is suspected of being a driving force behind a significant number of the “insider” attacks by Afghan forces that have killed or wounded more than 130 U.S. and allied troops this year, American officials said yesterday.
Until now, officials had said the attacks seemed to stem either from personal grievances against the allies or from Taliban infiltration. The Taliban has publicly claimed to be orchestrating the campaign to subvert the U.S.-Afghan alliance.
New data provided to The Associated Press this week also reveal that in addition to 35 U.S. and allied troops killed in insider attacks last year, 61 were wounded. Those included 19 in a single attack in the eastern province of Laghman on April 16, 2011, in which six American servicemen were killed. Thus far in 2012 there have been 53 killed and at least 80 wounded, the figures showed.
Haqqani involvement in the plotting would add a new dimension to that group’s insurgent activity, which has been marked largely by spectacular attacks against targets inside Kabul.
Haqqani leaders have pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but the group largely operates independently. The two groups have a shared interest in evicting foreign forces.
Terror suspects extradited to US after UK ruling
LONDON (AP) — Radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other terror suspects who fought for years to avoid facing charges in the United States lost their grounds for appeal and were flown to the U.S. from Britain late yesterday, officials said.
The U.S. Embassy said it was pleased with the ruling earlier in the day by Britain’s High Court, and Scotland Yard said the five departed from an air force base in eastern England just before midnight on two jets bound for the U.S.