News - Afghanistan
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Wednesday reported that preliminary investigations show Monday's attack on Parliament was conceived in Peshawar, Pakistan, by the Haqqani Network. What's more, the NDS has asserted that an officer of the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) aided the attack.
According NDS spokesman Haseeb Sediqi, the leader of the Haqqani Network's military arm, Mawlawi Sheerin, was the mastermind of the attack. However, in a development that is likely to complicate an the national unity government's attempts to make Islamabad a partner for peace, an ISI officer named Bilal is thought to have provided financial and logistical support for the Haqqani Network.
"This attack by the Haqqani group was organized with major support from someone named Bilal, an officer of the ISI," Sediqi said on Wednesday. "In this operation, the attackers were provided with approximately 7.5 million Pakistani rupees."
Sediqi also claimed that two other attempted attacks on the Parliament building had been foiled earlier in the year thanks to arrests made by the NDS. Even in those cases, he said, there were signs that the attackers received institutional support. "They had a lot of help, such as a very professional blueprint of Parliament and a very sophisticated attack."
The attack on Parliament occurred just as the Minister of Defense nominee, Masoom Stanekzai, was scheduled to appear in front of lawmakers to receive his vote of confidence. Over 30 civilians were injured and five others were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility.