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US charges alleged Taliban commander with killing Americans in 2008

Haji Najibullah allegedly led Taliban troops from 2007 to 2009 in attacks on US and NATO forces

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 08.10.2021
US charges alleged Taliban commander with killing Americans in 2008

WASHINGTON 

An alleged Taliban commander has been charged with federal terrorism-related offenses in relation to attacks on US troops from 2007 to 2009, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday 

Haji Najibullah was detained in Ukraine and extradited to the US in 2020. He was previously charged with a 2008 kidnapping of a US journalist and two Afghan nationals.

A new superseding indictment unsealed by a grand jury in New York charges Najibullah with attacks he and Taliban fighters under his command carried out on US and NATO forces, including one in June 2008 that left three US soldiers dead as well as their Afghan interpreter.

The following October, the Taliban commander's troops allegedly shot down a US military helicopter, but no troops died as a result of that attack.

"Neither time nor distance can weaken our resolve to hold terrorists accountable for their crimes and to see justice done for their victims," US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said in a statement. "Najibullah will answer for his heinous acts in an American courtroom."

Court documents indicate Najibullah was the Taliban commander for Jaghato district in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province beginning in 2007 and commanded over 1,000 fighters there while sometimes also serving as a Taliban spokesman.

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