Video: Taliban target “safe” Kabul hotel; 9 dead

posted at 9:21 am on March 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Shades of Mumbai, in a capital that supposedly was won years ago? The Serena Hotel has been considered one of the safest places in Kabul to stay while the Taliban battle NATO and native Afghan forces for control of the country. Yet the Taliban managed to get gunmen inside the hotel and execute nine of its guests before being killed by special forces. NBC has raw video from the scene:

Nine people were slain execution-style while they dined at Kabul’s most upscale hotel on Thursday, government officials and sources told NBC News.

The victims included four women and two children. Four foreigners were among those killed at the Serena Hotel.

A three-hour battle involving Afghan special forces ended with the gunmen dead, officials said.

Among the dead were a reporter for Agence France-Presse, along with his wife and two children:

Being a native didn’t mean much, according to witnesses:

The shooters, who are believed to have smuggled pistols into the heavily guarded hotel by hiding them in their socks, took a table at the restaurant. They ordered apple juice before launching the attack, a waiter in the Silk Route Restaurant said.

“Don’t kill us, we’re Afghan,” pleaded one man at a nearby table, according to a witness. The gunmen proceeded to kill the man and two of the children at his table, the witness said.

CBS noted that this comes as part of a crescendo of terrorism and violence in Afghanistan’s capital, putting lie to the notion that the war is winding down:

It also came on the heels of an uptick in bombings and shootings against foreigners in Kabul, something that had been relatively rare. Earlier this month, a Swedish journalist was shot on the street execution-style and a Lebanese restaurant popular with foreigners was attacked by a suicide bomber and gunmen in January.

The attacks show the Taliban are following through on their threat to use violence to disrupt next month’s elections. The presidential vote will be the first democratic transfer of power since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Islamic militant movement. President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the hotel attack, saying it shows that “our people, if they decide to attack any place, they can do it.”

The restaurant was packed with Afghans celebrating the eve of the Persian New Year, Nowruz as well as foreigners who frequent the hotel.

While natives did not get spared in the attack on the Serena, the point of the attack might have been to frighten off foreign observers of the election, the Christian Science Monitor writes.  At least some of them would have stayed at the Serena, assuming that it would have adequate security. And that strategy appears to be working:

It follows by just weeks a commando-style assault at a Kabul restaurant that killed 21 people, more than half of whom were foreigners. Both attacks, in establishments catering to expatriates, represent a “new trend,” Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told the Washington Post.

Many have expressed concern that the events will deter foreign observers from supporting next month’s election, which would mark the first democratic transition of power as the nation elects a successor to President Hamid Karzai.

The Wall Street Journal reports that at least one observer mission withdrew from the country Friday morning, while other groups said they would be assessing their plans.

Those elections will take place in just two weeks, which means that the observers would either have just arrived or will soon.

The issue here isn’t that the Taliban remain determined to disrupt the elections; everyone knew they intended to do so. Their success in conducting these attacks is what will have everyone reconsidering their positions on the election, and the war in general. The West, and especially the US, talk about “winding down” the war, but that’s only true from the perspective of Western involvement. The civil war in Afghanistan has not “wound down,” and will likely explode into the open when Afghanistan’s native security forces have to fight the Taliban entirely on their own. So far, even with NATO support in place, they’re having a very difficult time keeping the capital secured, let alone the rest of the country.

We may choose to end our involvement in Afghanistan for entirely legitimate reasons of national self-interest, but we shouldn’t indulge in national self-delusion about the consequences of that decision, either.


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The Religion of Violence Strikes Again!

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:23 AM

No metal detector, I guess.

Akzed on March 21, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I blame Obama. But hey, what difference does it make now?

oldennis on March 21, 2014 at 9:29 AM

No metal detector, I guess.

Akzed on March 21, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I suspect there were a lot of mohammeds and mahmuds, abdul-abdulla-abduls and such in this hotel, thus making sure it was NEVER “safe”.

muslims are murderers, potential murderers, supporters of murderers or potential supporters of murderers. That is the mainstream. The “radical muslims” are those who REJECT any and all violence in the name of their moon-rock worshiping pedophile prophet.

This is why islam cannot be permitted to exist in civilization.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM

An undeniable Truth: The World is governed by the aggressive use of force.

The Taliban know exactly what they want and how they plan to take it. Fear. When we pull out, they will have it. You cannot negotiate with someone who would rather die than lose. None of those guys had any intention of getting out of there alive.

Mord on March 21, 2014 at 9:31 AM

ROE should have been changed to snuff these puke taliban any chance you have. To rid the world of their ilk would be a great service. To the land of Phelps with all of them.

Bmore on March 21, 2014 at 9:31 AM

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM

No Muslim detector, I guess.

Akzed on March 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM

An undeniable Truth: The World is governed by the aggressive use of force.

The Taliban know exactly what they want and how they plan to take it. Fear. When we pull out, they will have it. You cannot negotiate with someone who would rather die than lose. None of those guys had any intention of getting out of there alive.

Mord on March 21, 2014 at 9:31 AM

We never should have put troops on the ground in Afghanistan in the first place other than Special Forces to take out specific targets. We should have continually and INDISCRIMINATELY bombed the damn place for 10 years as punishment for 9/11.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

By “safe” you mean gun – free zone? Like our schools, movie theaters and Back woods pups in SC?

LtGenRob on March 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

No Muslim detector, I guess.

Akzed on March 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Yes. Anyone who thinks that old men should be allowed to force 6 year old girls into “marriage” (which is the majority of them) isn’t allowed in the hotel.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

By “safe” you mean gun – free zone? Like our schools, movie theaters and Back woods pups in SC?

LtGenRob on March 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

The SAFEST place is where EVERYONE is armed. An armed society is a polite society.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Can we just disconnect this part of the world and just throw it away?

Oil Can on March 21, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Can we just disconnect this part of the world and just throw it away?

Oil Can on March 21, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Just drop a nuke on it and get it over with.

Nothing useful ever came out of Afghanistan. It’s never been civilized in human history, and introducing islam to it didn’t help.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:42 AM

This is the same type of fanaticism that the Japanese had for their emperor and country in WW2 and you see what it took to bring that to an end. The only course of action against this is to put the hurt on Muslims to the point where they renounce their religion. If we don’t have the intestinal fortitude to put that kind of hurt on the Muslim countries, we will always have Muslims that are terrorists or potential terrorists. Its the nature of the religion. To believe anything else is fooling yourself. Read Robert Spencer to get a handle on what their religion is all about.

Deano1952 on March 21, 2014 at 9:44 AM

used to guard the Lance missile (mgm-52 iirc) in the field as we attached to 1/32FA in Germany, the neutron bomb would fix so many issues there.

dmacleo on March 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

This is the same type of fanaticism that the Japanese had for their emperor and country in WW2 and you see what it took to bring that to an end. The only course of action against this is to put the hurt on Muslims to the point where they renounce their religion. If we don’t have the intestinal fortitude to put that kind of hurt on the Muslim countries, we will always have Muslims that are terrorists or potential terrorists. Its the nature of the religion. To believe anything else is fooling yourself. Read Robert Spencer to get a handle on what their religion is all about.

Deano1952 on March 21, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Japanese society became flexible enough to change only after being completely defeated and being unable to resist any further.

How do we replicate that with a so-called “religion” with over a billion members? I have no desire to massacre them, but what is the inevitable outcome if the muslims continue to REFUSE to accept “live and let live” as civilized peoples of Judeo-Christian civilization does?

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

This is So Yesterday….. Now….America is busy creating Terrorists in the Ukraine…..

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 21, 2014 at 9:54 AM

This is So Yesterday….. Now….America is busy creating Terrorists in the Ukraine…..

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 21, 2014 at 9:54 AM

The Regime we are backing in Kiev is neo-nazi. The place is a mess and we have no business there.

That said we should NOT be allowing Putin to roll tanks into any sovereign nation he pleases.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

We may choose to end our involvement in Afghanistan for entirely legitimate reasons of national self-interest, but we shouldn’t indulge in national self-delusion about the consequences of that decision, either.

Jihadi Barbarism…It’s Tradition

workingclass artist on March 21, 2014 at 9:57 AM

The Taliban kills innocent men, women and children. Their intent is to use terror and the most despicable means of murdering people to instill fear and return to despotically ruling the country.

Karzai implies American and coalition forces are rogues and murderers. He puts restrictions on their activities which would wipe this filth from our planet- or at least set them back to the Stone Age they live in.

When we kill the Taliban leadership structure they scream “no-fair!” and lie that we’ve killed “innocent” civilians. Karzai becomes an accomplice and echoes their mendacity.

Mr. Obama complies by putting restrictive ROE’s on our troops that not only get them killed, but keeps them from completing the mission. He (and Hillary for that matter) could not even get a Status of Forces Agreement, which my dog could be trained to do.

This is the combined effect of the Clinton-Obama foreign policy. People seem to continually be paying with their lives for the feckless, foolish and naive actions of those who have been entrusted with leadership. It is a disgusting, destructive circus of fools who have made the world a more dangerous place with their politics first agenda.

Marcus Traianus on March 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The West, and especially the US, talk about “winding down” the war, but that’s only true from the perspective of Western involvement.

Well, at least the Chicago Messiah isn’t calling it Vietnamization Afghanization.

I still believe we’re going to end up with a Saigon-style “last helicopter out” climax.

Complete with champagne parties in the DNC. Just like last time.

The One has somehow managed to combine all the worst attributes of Carter and Nixon. All we need to make it complete are a wage-price freeze and a vorpal bunny.

Of course, the twit still has three years to play golf on our nickel, so we may yet see those, too.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Remember yesterday when we were told how awesomely awesome and prescient Pope Paul VI was on the matter of contraception?

Then there’s this:

“Then [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially, deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God.”

“My brothers, when I think of this spiritual heritage (Islam) and the value it has for man and for society, its capacity of offering, particularly in the young, guidance for life, filing the gap left by materialism, and giving a reliable foundation to social and juridical organization, I wonder if it is not urgent, precisely today when Christians and Muslims have entered a new period of history, to recognize and develop the spiritual bonds that unite us, in order to preserve and promote together for the benefit of all men, ‘peace, liberty, social justice and moral values’ as the Council calls upon us to do (Nostra Aetate 3).

How’s that workin’ out for ya?

JPII took it to new heights, but we’ll leave it there.

mankai on March 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM

The Regime we are backing in Kiev is neo-nazi. The place is a mess and we have no business there.

That said we should NOT be allowing Putin to roll tanks into any sovereign nation he pleases.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

John McCain’s freedom fighters have been busy…These folks target Christians and other undesirable muslims…The ritual killings evoke medieval jihadi methods/ideology

Don’t click to shoebat website unless you have a strong stomach

I’ll link rightscoop. Mark Levin interviewed Shoebat who is a former muslim brotherhood member and now a peace activist.

Actual And Literal Islamic Human Slaughterhouses For Christians Discovered

http://therightscoop.com/must-listen-walid-shoebat-talks-to-mark-levin-about-the-horrendous-human-slaughter-houses-run-by-syrian-rebels/

workingclass artist on March 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

That said we should NOT be allowing Putin to roll tanks into any sovereign nation he pleases.

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Yep…. I don’t mind the thuggery ….just as long as my guy is doing the loot’n

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Afghanistan continues its inexorable march into the 8th century…

vnvet on March 21, 2014 at 10:38 AM

I have no desire to massacre them,
ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

This is what I meant by not having the “intestinal fortitude.” Nobody (except Muslims)wants to annihilate anybody,but if that is the only choice you either do it or live with the consequence of not doing it. It starts by believing you are on the side of right. If you can’t make that determination, then you might as well learn to be a good Kafir.

Deano1952 on March 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I have no desire to massacre them, but what is the inevitable outcome if the muslims continue to REFUSE to accept “live and let live” as civilized peoples of Judeo-Christian civilization does?

ConstantineXI on March 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Annihilate Mecca once a year until change is found. If no change is found, add Medina to that yearly event. If after a decade no change is made, outlaw immigration from that region and cut all monies off.

nobar on March 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM

It’s so confusing. Will Afghanistan have that hijacked Islam or the regular sugar sweet Bush Islam of peace?

BL@KBIRD on March 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Just a taste of things to come.

jnelchef on March 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM

obama’s comrades, doing what they do.

Pork-Chop on March 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Well there’s goes my plans for family vacation in Kabul next summer

jaywemm on March 21, 2014 at 12:08 PM

…the guests…should have had guns!

KOOLAID2 on March 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM