The Afghan government is contradicting findings by the U.S. and NATO that attacks on Western troops by men in Afghan uniforms is a result of Taliban infiltration, saying instead that they are the work of foreign spy agencies, the New York Times reports.
So-called "green-on-blue" attacks, in which Afghan security forces have turned their weapons on the Western troops tasked with training them, has been on the rise this year, with nine attacks in the last two weeks. With dozens of Americans killed in the insider attacks, the Pentagon has placed blame, at least in part, on the Taliban infiltrating police and military forces in Afghanistan. The rest of the attacks have been blamed on personal disputes between Afghan and NATO troops.
On Wednesday, however, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office offered a different theory. After a meeting with security advisers, who interrogated several of the attackers and reportedly investigated each attack, Karzai came to the conclusion that the attackers were working for intelligence agencies of neighboring countries, specifically naming Pakistan and Iran.
"The investigation done so far shows there is infiltration by foreign spy agencies," Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizisaid told the Times. "There is no doubt there is infiltration."
The Pentagon's findings, however, contradict the assertion. "We don't have indications that foreign entities are the locus of sponsorship for insider-attack threats," a senior Pentagon official told the Times.
Karzai's office also said that some of the attacks could be blamed on other controversial actions by Americans, including the burning of Korans and an incident where Marines urinated on dead insurgents.
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