Intelligence, Tips Drive Operations in Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2010 - Intelligence information and tips from local Afghans have driven several recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

Multiple intelligence sources and tips led a partnered Afghan and coalition patrol to a wanted insurgent, who then led the force to two other targets in Kabul province yesterday.

The man was wanted for ties to an insurgent logistics network active in Kabul and Parwan provinces, officials said.

Acting on an Afghan warrant, the force moved to the targeted compound and detained the suspected insurgent, who tested positive for handling explosives. In the same compound, the force found five bags of ammonium nitrate -- a common ingredient in homemade explosives -- weighing more than 100 pounds each.

During questioning, the man helped to point the force toward a suspect at a separate location. The patrol moved to the new location, and as they prepared to enter the compound, a man ran out of the building. He was captured and identified as one of the targets. The other target was found during a search of the building. Both tested positive for handling explosives.

�Also yesterday, a partnered patrol acting on information from multiple intelligence sources and tips went to the location of a known roadside-bomb facilitator near Kakarak in Uruzgan province.

The Afghan and coalition forces secured the suspected insurgent compound peacefully and detained several suspected insurgents. They found bomb initiators and almost 90 pounds of explosives.

Though the targeted facilitator was not at the location, officials said, indicators led the Afghan and coalition force to conclude he was nearby. The force moved to where he was believed to be and secured the compound. They detained him and received information on a nearby weapons cache.

The partnered force found small-arms weapons and bomb-making materials, including 26 anti-personnel mines, numerous pressure-plate initiators, plastic explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, artillery shells, grenades and blasting caps.

Upon leaving the cache site, the force received small-arms fire from two insurgents a few hundred yards away. They returned fire and the insurgents withdrew. The forces left the area without further incident.

In the Mohammad Agha district of Logar province today, a partnered patrol arrested a known insurgent bomb maker and an associate based on information from multiple intelligence sources and tips.

In other news from Afghanistan, an insurgent died when a roadside bomb he was planting exploded in eastern Afghanistan today. An explosive ordnance disposal team sent to the site in the Ghazni district of Ghazni province recovered three unexploded bombs.

Meanwhile, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted a multi-day clearing operation aimed at disrupting the Taliban's freedom of movement outside Kandahar City, killing three insurgents and detaining several more.

One of the captured insurgents was a Taliban weapons and bomb facilitator who acquires and distributes mines, weapons, ammunition, and bomb components to Taliban commanders operating in the city. Afghan and coalition forces already had detained several members of his network over the summer.

The security forces continued their effort to disrupt enemy safe havens in Kandahar province, this time targeting an area south of Tabin-e Olya in Arghandab district, an area plagued by roadside bombs and populated by insurgents. Intelligence reports allowed the security force to focus on several compounds in the area, which is known as an enemy staging area for attacks into Kandahar City.

At one of the compounds, a known Taliban weapons facilitator identified himself and was detained along with two other insurgents.

During the operation, armed insurgents engaged the security force with small-arms and mortar fire. The security force returned fire from the ground and from coalition aircraft, killing three insurgents.

The Taliban uses intimidation and threats to force their way into areas outside Kandahar City to stage their attacks, officials said, adding that Afghan and coalition forces are focusing on clearing known safe havens around the city and denying the insurgents use of these areas.

In Khost province overnight, Afghan and coalition security forces detained two insurgents, including a Haqqani terrorist network commander who was actively planning attacks for tomorrow's parliamentary elections.

The commander coordinated and conducted attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces, officials said, and also engaged in propaganda campaigns from a local religious school.

In Helmand province yesterday, information from multiple intelligence sources and tips led Afghan and coalition forces to a Taliban safe house east of Sangin, where they detained a key Taliban commander and an associate.

The Taliban commander is a known key insurgent facilitator in Helmand and surrounding provinces, officials said. He controls multiple Taliban facilitation networks with links to Pakistan that are responsible for insurgent financing, distribution of roadside bombs and their components, facilitating foreign fighters, and weapons and narcotics trafficking.

Partnered Afghan and coalition forces protect any women and children present during all of their searches, officials said.

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