Prince Harry landed in Afghanistan on Friday and this time the British Army decided not to keep his assignment a secret, so the news that he's the Taliban's biggest target came as no surprise Monday. In fact, it almost seems late. The last time Harry (known in the army ranks as Capt. Wales) was sent to fight in Afghanistan, the UK press cooperated en masse in keeping his deployment a secret for the precise reason that if the Taliban knew he was there, he would be a major target. This time he deployed with publicity, but only after 800 news outlets agreed to coverage guidelines meant to preserve "operational security," so the only thing surprising about a Taliban spokesman's threat against the Prince on Monday was that it came three days after he touched down. Per Reuters:
"We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
"We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him," Mujahid added, declining to go into detail on what he dubbed the "Harry operations".
Obviously that's a serious threat, but it's also the kind of thing the Taliban says all the time. This is the group taking credit for all those green-on-blue attacks, the rocket barrage on Gen. Martin Dempsey's plane, and every helicopter that crashes, with Western commanders downplaying the group's claims each time it makes them.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.