Threat from within: U.S. military braced for surge in Taliban ‘insider’ attacks

Washington Times
By Bill Gertz
May 21, 2013

Taliban insurgents recently vowed to carry out new “infiltration” attacks aimed at killing and demoralizing U.S., allied, and Afghan military forces as part of the spring military offensive, according to U.S. officials.

The expected increase in what the Pentagon calls “insider” attacks by Taliban sympathizers or infiltrators followed an April 27 statement by the Islamist terror group.

It was the first time the Taliban identified insider attacks as a key tactic.

U.S. military officials have said the Taliban shifted to insider attacks as U.S. and allied forces became more adept at countering improvised explosive devices—deadly roadside bombs that have killed and injured hundreds during the 12-year war.

Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the military is aware of the threat.

“As we approach the traditional fighting season, the frequency of insider attacks is likely to increase,” Speaks said. “But we will not allow this insidious tactic to erode our will to complete the mission or hinder our partnership with the [Afghan National Security Forces] in defeating those who threaten Afghanistan’s future.”

Sixty-two coalition troops were killed in 46 attacks in 2012, Speaks said, noting that from 2007 to 2011, 42 insider attacks resulted in 69 coalition deaths. A total of 34 Americans were killed by the method last year. …

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