Mullah Dadullah Front

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The Mullah Dadullah Front, also known as the Dadullah Front, the Mullah Dadullah Lang Allegiance or the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz,[1] is an insurgent group in Afghanistan that has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings and assassinations centered in Kabul.[2][3]

Background[edit]

Mullah Dadullah Akhund was a Taliban military commander killed in 2007.[4] According to Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal, Dadullah had joined the Taliban in 1994 but was held in disfavor by some in that organization for his brutality during the Afghan civil war.[4] Following the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 Dadullah led Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Military officials stated that Dadullah made use of suicide bombings in the Taliban's fight against American, NATO and Afghan government forces, and embraced the radical ideology of al-Qaeda[1][5] rejected by many other Taliban leaders.[6] Dadullah was killed by British special forces in Helmand Province in 2007. The Dadullah Front, apparently named in his honor, began operating in Southern Afghanistan, including Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan Provinces, under the leadership of Dadullah's younger brother, Mansoor Dadullah.[7][2] The group's level of independence from the Taliban was unclear.[1][5]

Operations[edit]

U.S. Military and intelligence officials at one stage claimed that the Dadullah Front was led by Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir, also known as Abdullah Gulam Rasoul, a former detainee of Guantanamo Bay who was released in 2007.[1]

The Dadullah Front claimed responsibility for 14 May 2012 assassination of Afghan High Peace Minister Mullah Arsala Rahmani, who was shot in traffic within Kabul.[5][8] Spokesman Qari Hamza, speaking to the Express Tribune, stated that the Dadullah Front would "target and eliminate" all persons allowing "[non-Muslim] occupation of Afghanistan."[8] Rahmani was the second Peace minister to be killed within the year, following the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani by a suicide bomber on 20 September 2011. The Dadullah Front also claimed responsibility for that assassination.[3] Both Rahmani and Rabbani had been responsible for organizing ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and the Karzai's government in Afghanistan.[8] American and Afghan officials have stated that the Dadullah Front was attempting to derail peace negotiations then underway with the Taliban.[2]

Callers claiming to represent the group contacted several Afghan officials in May 2012, including Zabul Province representative Dawood Hasas, and threatened retaliation should they vote in favor of a "strategic partnership" negotiated between Hamid Karzai and U.S. President Barack Obama.[2]

Relations with the Taliban[edit]

Afghan intelligence officials have described the Dadullah Front as affiliated with the Taliban.[2] Taliban spokesmen denied any relationship with the Front,[2][8] and claimed that the group was a creation of the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Intelligence.[2]

Following the August 2015 announcement that Akhtar Mansour had succeeded the deceased Mullah Omar as leader of the Taliban, Dadullah refused to support him, leading to months of clashes between their forces in Zabul Province, resulting in the killing of Dadullah and many of his supporters in November 2015.[9] In August 2016, the Dadullah Front announced Dadullah's nephew Mullah Emdadullah Mansoor as its new leader, and threatened to take revenge on the Taliban.[10]

The group has been linked to another Taliban splinter group, Fidai Mahaz,[11] but the groups are believed to be separate.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Roggio, Bill, "Financier for 'Mullah Dadullah Front' captured in Afghan south", The Long War Journal, 4 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Norland, Rod, "In Afghanistan, New Group Begins Campaign of Terror", The New York Times, 19 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b Simpson, Connor, "Meet the New "More Radical" Insurgent Group in Afghanistan", The Atlantic Wire, 19 May 2012. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "simpson" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b Roggio, Bill, "Mullah Dadullah, Taliban top commander, killed in Helmand", The Long War Journal, 13 May 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Roggio, Bill, "Mullah Dadullah Front claims assassination of Afghan High Peace Council member", The Long War Journal, 14 May 2012.
  6. ^ Special Operations Interrogator's Report, "State of the Taliban," published by The New York Times, drafted 6 January 2012.
  7. ^ "IS emergence sounds alarms in Afghanistan". The Express Tribune. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Khan, Tahir, "Killer blow to the peace process: senior afghan peace negotiator assassinated," Express Tribune, 14 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Leader of Taliban Splinter Group Allied With ISIS Is Killed". The New York Times. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Breakaway Taliban faction names new leader in Afghanistan".
  11. ^ "Taliban splinter group says it killed British-Swedish reporter Nils Horner". The Guardian. 13 March 2014. It last made headlines nearly two years ago in a different incarnation – the Mullah Dadullah front
  12. ^ "Afghan Taliban commander: Mansoor Dadullah reunites with family". The Express Tribune. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2015. Mansoor’s supporters had launched separate groups – the Shaheed Dadullah Mahaz and Fidaye Mahaz