Ahmed Wali Karzai 1961-2011. Isaf Media, some rights reserved under creative commons.
It looks like President Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been the latest victim in a series of assassinations in Kandahar that claimed Chief of Police Khan Mohammad and Deputy Provincial Governor Abdul Latif Ashna this year.
The New York Times amongst others claimed that AWK, (as he’s known in ex-pat circles), had numerous links to the Afghan heroin trade and was accused by many of corruption. But President Karzai famously said, when confronted, bring me the evidence and I will convict my brother. Or words to that effect. He was the leader of the Provincial Council and is described by Al-Jazaeera’s James Bays as the second most powerful person in Afghanistan.
Now he’s been killed, seemingly by his own bodyguard while at home. The Taliban will very likely take credit for it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it wos them wot dun it. AWK had enough enemies, rivals, power and influence to make the space he’s now left very inviting. Also, his very presence in a position of authority has always been an embarrassment to the international community. This is in no way pointing any fingers - the likelihood is that the Taliban have been planning this for a long time - but just underlines the complexities of the case.
The bodyguard in question seems to be a very close aide, according to @mattaikins, which suggests infiltration from the highest levels.