U.S. counterterrorism officials say the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was assassinated today by a friend and body guard, will be a loss to intelligence officials in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot in his own home by an assassin at close range by Sardar Mohammed. The Taliban is said to be behind the hit. The gunman was cut down immediately by other armed body guards for Karzai.
Ahmed Wali Karzai was a known drug kingpin in Kandahar, dealing mostly in locally grown and processed heroin, but he was also on the CIA payroll.
"He was a necessary evil. Many will be glad to see him gone, but security in Kandahar may also take a nose dive," a senior U.S. counterterrorism official told The Baz File.
President Hamid Karzai, at a press conference with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy did not seem to be surprised by the news of his half-brother's death.
"This is the life of all Afghan people," Karzai said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by phone to President Karzai today to extend her "deepest condolences to him and to his family."
"The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms. For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism," Clinton said.
It harkened back to the assassination earlier this year of the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, who was whacked by one of his machine-gun wielding bodyguards in Islamabad. The turncoat assassin was miffed that Taseer defended a Christian woman sentenced to death.
"You can't hire good help these days, as Karzai's brother and Pakistan's Punjab governor can attest to," the counterterrorism source quipped.