Islamic State Blasts Afghanistan’s Spy Agency
Suicide attack targets the National Directorate of Security
A training facility of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s spy agency, came under severe attack on late on the morning of Dec. 18. 2017. The nearly five-hour assault was carried out by two heavily-armed insurgents. Islamic State’s regional group claimed responsibility.
“A white Toyota full of explosives rammed close to the gates of the NDS training facility in Kabul,” an Afghan official who was close to the attack told War Is Boring. “The two attackers survived the blast but were unable to get in to the facility, so instead they entered an under-construction building next door.”
The attackers carried heavy weapons including hand grenades and rocket launchers. “In the end, the two attackers blew themselves up with their suicide vests,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
While eyewitnesses claimed there were several injuries, the official denied that the NDS suffered any damage. “Three NDS officers suffered minor injuries,” he said.
The NDS and other Afghan military facilities are often a target of such attacks. The source claimed that the agency was aware that such an attack was likely. “We had threat reports and had informed this department, which is why were able to minimize the damages. The attackers wanted to enter the NDS facility but they couldn’t because of our preparedness.”
The local ISIS group, Islamic State Khorasan, claimed responsibility for the attack while it was still underway. Later the group also released a photo of the two attackers posing with a cache of weapons.
As ISIS loses ground in Syria, it has escalated its attacks in Central Asia. In November 2017, a suicide attack at a political gathering in Kabul resulted in the deaths of nine police officers including one heroic young official, Sayed Basam Pacha, who hugged the approaching bomber to minimize casualties.
In its latest quarterly reports on the civilian casualties in Afghanistan, UNAMA — the local United Nations mission — observed a 10-percent rise in casualties inflicted by ISIS and self-proclaimed ISIS groups.
While the United States under Pres. Donald Trump has ramped up efforts to boost foreign forces in Afghanistan, morale among the local security forces remains low, owing largely to the deteriorating security situation and mounting casualties.