U.S. looks into Afghan air force drug allegations

A member of the Afghan air force stands in the doorway of a hangar in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 3, 2010.

Story highlights

  • The Wall Street Journal reports the Afghan air force is being investigated
  • There are allegations of drug and weapons transportation
  • The U.S. military confirms the investigation

The United States is investigating allegations that some members of the Afghan air force have used their planes to transport drugs, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.

Investigators want to know whether the drug-running allegations, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, are linked to the shooting deaths last year of eight U.S. Air Force officers at the airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

"The allegations of improper use of AAF aircraft is being looked into," said Lt. Col. Tim Stauffer, referring to the allegations that Afghan air force equipment has been used to illegally ferry drugs and arms.

He said that he was aware of media reports linking this investigation to a shooting at Kabul International Airport in 2011 but that the investigation was ongoing.

A U.S. Air Force investigation into the killing of the eight American officers found that the shooter acted alone.

The exhaustive report describes a shooter who was radicalized and vocally anti-American at times but at other times interacted with American mentors and trainers in his capacity as a pilot.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the majority of the officers killed were involved in an early investigation into the misuse of Afghan planes.

The shooter, Ahmed Gul, was the Afghan officer who coordinated the Afghan air force's cargo movement, the newspaper said.

According to the paper, Western officials say early findings suggest that Afghan air force officials may have been involved in drugs and weapons transporting or at least turned a blind eye to it.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.