The man who killed Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother earlier this week spent years as an informant for U.S. and British intelligence officials. He also headed a force of 200 men to fight the Taliban and arrest suspected insurgents, the Washington Post reports. These revelations undermine the Taliban’s claim to have been behind the assassination, and raise new questions as to who really had him killed.The assassin, Sardar Mohammed, Ahmed Wali Karzai’s body guard and close personal confidante, was a long-time ally of the Karzai family. He reportedly hated the Taliban, which had harassed his family for years before its fall from power in 2001.
The Karzai and Mohammed families were so close, in fact, that a Mohammed relative helped bury Ahmed Wali Karzai after this week’s killing, the Post reports.
Mohammed fed intelligence to U.S. officials for years, helping them track down Taliban militants. “If there was something Sardar could do that the Americans couldn’t, they would ask him to do it,” one of Mohammed’s brothers-in-law said.
The Taliban’s statement taking credit for the murder specifically cited the younger Karzai’s involvement with the C.I.A. as one of the reasons he was killed. It did not mention ties between the U.S. intelligence community and Sardar Mohammed—its alleged instrument for executing the Karzai assassination.
Supporting the argument, seemingly accepted by both the U.S. and Afghan governments, that the Taliban really was behind the murder, are allegations by one of President Karzai’s surviving brothers that Mohammed had acted uncharacteristically in recent weeks, and allegedly met with Pakistani Taliban in Quetta sometime in the last three months.
“He had also acted erratically in recent weeks, sleeping poorly, changing houses at night, acting suspiciously toward his men and demanding to know who they were talking to on their phones,” the Post reports.
One Karzai associate in Kandahar said that Mohammed was addicted to hashish—indeed, had been sent by Karzai to India twice this year to receive drug treatment—and that perhaps his substance abuse had something to do with the murder.
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