Urban reconnaissance teams are now working in several major Afghan cities, says Jamal.
“Almost every day our mujahedin are walking the streets of Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazar-i-Sharif, taking photos, drawing maps and gathering information,” he says.
“This is a most attractive target for the fedayeen,” he says. The young Afghan belongs to a dangerous new breed of Taliban militants.
He grew up in a city, not in a mud-hut village in the backcountry, and he got his education not only at a madrassa but also at a public high school in Pakistan, and then at a college where he majored in information technology.
IAVA is proud to announce "Big 6" policy priorities for 2018.
IAVA's "Big 6" will seek to transform the current landscape for veterans by elevating their voices and ensuring veterans, not politicians, drive the agenda.
The Taliban made an exception of sorts for talks with the Americans in Qatar, in hope of winning the release of senior insurgent commanders from Guantánamo Bay, but they abruptly broke off the dialogue in March, calling it “pointless.”Keep up with this story and more Instead, Taliban leaders have set out to transform and revitalize their war against Karzai and the Americans, assembling dozens of technologically sophisticated young militants like Jamal to help make it happen.
The young wizards use their specialized skills to perform all sorts of essential duties, not only gathering and transmitting intelligence but facilitating communications and maintaining electronic security as well.“Our teams are checking daily the security at embassies, hotels, and even guest houses where foreigners stay.”Some team members will drive around town with dashboard-mounted webcams, collecting images of sensitive neighborhoods, government buildings, and military facilities and transmitting them to Jamal and other remote operators.All this data helps insurgent commanders to plan and organize their attacks like never before.“We don’t have to all gather in one place,” Jamal says.“Now we can switch on a webcam and teach one man, a group, or groups, sitting in different places, how to make IEDs and other explosives.” The webcam classes can be less dangerous, too: there’s no need for militants to gather in large numbers for training or strategy sessions, exposing themselves to the risk of armed drone attacks. “The photos and videos they take have led the enemy to our mujahedin’s hideouts.” He says he and his colleagues have tried to figure out ways to thwart the eyes in the sky, but so far without success.His beard is neatly trimmed, and he doesn’t even carry a gun.