April 17, 2012
NYC Letter: Today's Big Stupid -- Mohammad Ashan
Day 1,179 of CHOPE
Or this mook.
SAR HOWZA, Afghanistan April 17, 2012 (WaPo) - Mohammad Ashan, a mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, strolled toward a police checkpoint in the district of Sar Howza with a wanted poster bearing his own face. He demanded the finder’s fee referenced on the poster: $100.
Afghan officials, perplexed by the man’s misguided motives, arrested him on the spot. Ashan is suspected of plotting at least two attacks on Afghan security forces. His misdeeds prompted officials to plaster the district with hundreds of so-called "Be on the Lookout" posters emblazoned with his name and likeness.
When U.S. troops went to confirm that Ashan had in fact come forward to claim the finder’s fee, they were initially incredulous.
"We asked him, 'Is this you?' Mohammad Ashan answered with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, 'Yes, yes, that’s me! Can I get my award now?'" recalled SPC Matthew Baker.
A biometric scan confirmed that the man in Afghan custody was the insurgent they had been looking for.
... Officials have guessed at what the unusual details of Ashan’s arrest might tell us about the state of the insurgency — its desperation, its lack of resources, its defiance of law and order. But, for now, the consensus has landed on the singularity of Ashan’s act, and the intellectual calculus that led to it.
Self-financing terrorism.Posted by Damian at April 17, 2012 10:00 PM