Haqqani Network Sends Message With Kabul Attacks
Every bomb, they say, has a return address.
When car bombs blew up in West Beirut, or explosions cut down worshipers in Sadr City mosques, survivors generally knew who was to blame, and more or less why — even when no one claimed responsibility.
So, too, with the suicide car bomb that on Saturday delivered the worst blow NATO forces have suffered yet in Kabul, smashing into an armored bus full of troops and killing 13 foreigners, most of them Americans, and at least 4 Afghans.
The Taliban immediately took credit, but Afghan and American officials here strongly suspect that, more specifically, it was the fearsome Haqqani faction, whose fighters have proved better trained and organized than many Taliban, and which in recent months especially has focused its attacks on military targets rather than civilian ones.
The message the Haqqanis are sending — to the world and, especially, to the Afghan public — is that they are willing and able to kill foreign troops. And with the Haqqani bombs comes a particularly troublesome return address: Pakistan, where the group is based.
One Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity under diplomatic ground rules, said it was clear that if the Haqqanis were behind the attack, the militants were reacting to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recent trip to Pakistan. During the visit, she again demanded that the government do something about the Haqqanis, whose bases are in the Pakistani territory of North Waziristan.
“No one goes to this much trouble if they don’t think you’ll get the message,” the diplomat said….