A shocking exposé in The Intercept reveals CIA-backed death squads in Afghanistan have killed children as young as 8 years old in a series of night raids, many targeting madrassas, Islamic religious schools. In December 2018, one of the death squads attacked a madrassa in Wardak province, killing 12 boys, of whom the youngest was 9 years old.
The United States played key roles in many of the raids, from picking targets to ferrying Afghan forces to the sites to providing lethal airpower during the raids.
The Intercept reports this was part of a campaign of terror orchestrated by the Trump administration that included massacres, executions, mutilation, forced disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and airstrikes targeting structures known to house civilians.
“These militias … were established in the very early days of the Afghan War by CIA officers, many of whom had been brought back into the fold after the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 who had previously been working in Afghanistan during the 1980s,” says reporter Andrew Quilty.
“This network of militias was set up and appear to be entirely under the control of the CIA but made up entirely of Afghan soldiers.”