Kandahar Prison Breakout
The officials say that 12 Taliban prisoners have escaped from Kandahar prison by using a letter with fake sign from Afghan National Directorate of Security. According to the officials, two of the prisoners are again arrested while others remain unaccounted. The prison breakout in Kandahar comes at a time when there are serious concerns about Afghan forces ability to take the lead role in the fight against the Taliban as the US-led forces are withdrawing from the country. In the meantime, it is an embarrassing incident for the Afghan spy agency which is considered as the most capable security agency in Afghanistan.
It is not the first time in Afghanistan that such incident occurs. The Taliban have used different tactics to free their comrades from prisons who could join them in the battlefield against Afghan and foreign forces. In May 2011, the militants freed hundreds of prisoners from the same prison in Kandahar. The incident once again highlights the threat posed by Taliban infiltrators in the ranks of Afghan National Security Forces, including the National Directorate of Security. In recent years Taliban managed to organize a number of attacks against Afghan forces stationed in the battlefields as well as NATO forces.
NATO fatalities have considerably decreased in one last year, instead the tolls from Afghan security forces have risen and the ANSF pay a huge price in fighting against Taliban insurgency. The recent attack in Kunar province which claimed lives of more than twenty soldiers was reportedly caused by Taliban infiltrators in the Afghan army soldiers in the province. The insider attacks or attacks as result of collaboration between Taliban militants and their infiltrators serving as security personnel suggest the level of Taliban infiltration among Afghan National Security Forces. This is an ever serious threat against Afghanistan’s security and the safety of the army and police soldiers.
The latest prison breakout is compounding to the concerns from infiltration of the Taliban. This time, it is Afghanistan’s most credited security agency that seems to have Taliban infiltrators in it. Unlike Taliban infiltration in the police and army ranks, their influence in Afghanistan’s top intelligence agency is an alarm to Afghanistan’s security at particular time when the country is heading to the upcoming presidential election. It is now obvious that Afghan security forces including army and the intelligence agency are vulnerable against Taliban infiltration. If the Taliban manages to infiltrate to the ranks of the NDS, then is quiet troublesome for the whole security system of Afghanistan.
Given this serious threat, Afghanistan needs to overhaul the whole system and carefully check background of all the personnel. Though there are already tough procedures in place for recruiting new recruiters to the Afghan security agencies, the Taliban are still able to infiltrate. Therefore, the government of Afghanistan must take immediate action and purge the army, police and intelligence agency from Taliban infiltrations. If the officials continue to neglect the issue, it is quite possible for the Taliban to infiltrate even to the highest decision-making circles of the government.