Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Afghan women tricked into spying on Taliban for US, Australian forces


Afghan Women SpiesAfghan women were tricked into spying for NATO-led forces after being lured in under the auspices of a fake aid program, a former espionage chief has revealed.

Provided with phone credit and sewing and embroidery supplies, the women believed that they were being helped to start a small business. But their contact point, a female doctor, had been recruited by coalition forces to provide intelligence on the Taliban.

A human rights researcher said the implications of such a project were “deeply disturbing”.

The doctor, Hila Achekzai, giving rare detail of how NATO allies use their network of spies in Afghanistan, described how she fed information from 20 women to coalition forces in the southern province of Oruzgan for more than two years until 2010.

Dr Achekzai, now a senator in Oruzgan, said that she dealt with Australian and US military officials, who warned her of the sensitivities involved with covert intelligence-gathering. “They said it was very secret and not to tell anyone otherwise I could be killed by the Taliban,” she said.

She was often asked to use the women to pinpoint the location of suspected insurgents’ houses and in some cases she was asked to activate a GPS tracking device when she was in the presence of insurgents. “The reports we were giving showed exactly which houses the Taliban were in,” she said.

“But the ladies had no idea what they were doing. They were just going and sitting with the other ladies and listening to them. If they did know they wouldn’t have worked for me.”

The use of fake aid programs came into focus after the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound when it was revealed that the CIA arranged for a hepatitis vaccination drive in its quest to find out whether he was living there. The doctor involved was jailed and several polio immunisation workers have been killed amid distrust about aid workers.

The Taliban have frequently killed suspected spies in Afghanistan, which would be a risk to the women involved in the embroidery project, according to Heather Barr, a Human Rights Watch Afghanistan researcher.

“The idea of building relationships with women – poor women who presumably joined the project because they were desperately trying to find ways to help feed their families – through a supposed aid project in order to gather intelligence on insurgents is deeply disturbing,” she said.

While not commenting on the program directly, Oxfam Afghanistan said that aid should always be delivered on the basis of need and not for military purposes. “The military do not have the relevant experience to know how to deliver development projects in such a complex and volatile context,” said Louise Hancock, head of policy and advocacy.

NATO officials in Kabul declined to comment. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade refused a request to interview the Australian Ambassador at the time, with whom Dr Achekzai said she had discussed the programme.

Source: The Australian – Women tricked into spying on Taliban for US, Australian forces
 
Advertisements

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Afghan women tricked into spying on Taliban for US, Australian forces

  1. Its disturbing to imagine that Pakistan would not be free from Polio virus in near future. These covert operations are one big reason for that. Public don’t trust workers anymore. This whole war on terrorism has lost its credibility and now the intentions are under question by every one.

    Posted by tariq729me | March 25, 2013, 21:30
  2. All is fair in love and war.

    Posted by --Rick | March 26, 2013, 01:49

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

407 Training Visas

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

writer@craighill.net

Join 1,676 other followers

China Daily Mail Latest Headlines On Twitter

%d bloggers like this: