Photo: Paladin via Washington Post
A Taliban leader in Afghanistan has stunningly exemplified a new low in the insurgency.A U.S. official told Kevin Sieff at The Washington Post that Mohammad Ashan turned up at a police check-point in Paktika province last week so he could collect the reward advertised on his Wanted poster. No joke.
The mid-level Taliban commander showed the poster, with his own picture blazoned across it, to the Afghan troops manning the check-point.
Sieff says officials are wondering whether desperation and lack of resources is catching up with the insurgents. Former Taliban fighters have previously defected to the Afghan-U.S. forces, but this latest incident is a whole other story.
Ashan, who is a suspect in at least two insurgent attacks, boldly asked for the $100 promised to whoever finds the criminal.
“Clearly, the man is an imbecile,” said the U.S. official recounting the story to Sieff.
The Afghan forces arrested Ashan and called in their American advisors for a second opinion and to confirm his identity.
“This guy is the Taliban equivalent of the ‘Home Alone’ burglars,” said one U.S. official referencing the ridiculously inexperienced criminal “masterminds” in the popular kids’ movie franchise.
Sgt. First Class Matthew Baker was at the scene.
“We asked him, ‘Is this you?'” to which Ashan replied, ‘Yes, yes, that’s me! Can I get my award now?'”
Sieff reports officials took a biometric scan of Ashan’s fingerprints and confirmed that he was telling the truth — and confirmed his “improbable stupidity.” The Taliban commander was rewarded with nothing but sheer disbelief at how he’d reached a new level of incompetence.
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