Wednesday 15 June 2011

Critique of targeted killings in Afghanistan

Zabet Amanullah, killed in error by US forces
Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network has written an excellent analysis of the alleged killing by Coalition forces of the Taliban deputy shadow governor of Takhar in September 2010. She claims, with plenty of evidence, that the person killed - along with nine other people - was in fact Zabet Amanullah, a former Taliban fighter who had laid down his weapons in 2001.
Clark's report, The Takhar Attack, which was published in May, says "The findings of this investigation raise systemic concerns over the intelligence that drives this and other targeted killings in Afghanistan." She adds that her investigation demonstrates the danger of relying on signals intelligence and social network analysis, "particularly when it is used as a basis for targeted killings, without cross‐checking and in the virtual absence of human intelligence and, indeed in this case, without even the ordinary common knowledge to be had from watching election coverage on television."

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