Skip to main content

Taliban-affiliated website releases purported video of Kabul suicide bombers

By Nick Paton Walsh, CNN
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri November 18, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The hour-long video was released on a Taliban-affiliated website
  • The attack was one of the most brazen to hit Kabul
  • The video includes testimony and footage from seven attackers who killed 11 at the Intercontinental Hotel

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A Taliban-affiliated website has released video that purports to show suicide bombers who targeted Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel in June preparing for the attack in the hills and studying a tiny model of the hotel in detail.

The video -- released on a Taliban-affiliated website in the past few days -- is an hour long. It includes testimony and footage - -even gymnastics -- from the seven attackers who killed 11 more people when they laid siege to a government conference at the hotel for six hours.

The attack -- one of the most brazen and penetrating to hit the capital -- was eventually suppressed by special forces, helicopters and a drone.

One of the apparent suicide bombers, Naseer Ahmad Anas, speaks of his motivation to take his own life and that of others.

"My message is life is too short," he says. "You can die of cancer, or a car accident. If you want God's blessing, be a suicide attacker."

CNN cannot prove the authenticity of the elaborate video.

The images also show masked and uniformed men training in the hills, the exercises they undertake clearly designed to show they are a more disciplined force than parts of the Taliban have been in the past.

In one scene, they appear to attack an Afghan military vehicle, killing the troops and stealing their weapons and uniforms. The footage is undated and the mountainous location where it was shot is unclear.

The hotel attackers are also filmed in a room sitting in a circle, surrounding a realistic mock-up of the Intercontinental Hotel. A tutor, whose face and voice are not discernible, offers tactical tips for the assault.

"Those of you with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, get on the roof and use it as a control tower, so the enemy can't enter easily."

The video shows footage of the attack obscured by darkness, but the tracer fire of the attackers, and their NATO and Afghan opponents is visible. The attack caused considerable concern in Kabul, the first of several attributed to the Haqqani network that penetrated the capital's so-called Ring of Steel.

The video is possibly also the first detailed glimpse of a part of the insurgency that is rapidly becoming America's main opponent here.

The Haqqani network, a group of militants active in Afghanistan's east but accused of receiving sanctuary and logistical support in Pakistan, were blamed for the Intercontinental Hotel attack and some observers have suggested the pictures are in fact a rare insight into the network.

The insurgent group -- which is linked to the Taliban but often considered a more sophisticated and independent adjunct to it -- has rarely been filmed.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT