Meet Rahmatullah Nabeel - Afghanistan's new intel boss

Meet Afghanistan's new intel boss
By Kate Clark, AfPak Channel, Foreign Policy, July 19, 2010
The appointment of a new head of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS, the country's intelligence agency) has come with a lot less fanfare than the departure of the old one, Amrullah Saleh, who resigned after deep disagreements with the president over policy towards the Taliban. The acting director, Engineer Ibrahim Spinzada, has returned to the shadows and his day job as deputy head of the National Security Council (NSC), leaving one of his protégés, Engineer Rahmatullah Nabeel, in charge of Afghanistan's intelligence apparatus.

Engineer Nabeel is from Wardak and, according to Pajhwok News Agency, was born in 1968. He went to primary school in Kabul, then, after the Soviet invasion, to secondary school in exile in Peshawar. He also studied for a degree in engineering in Peshawar from a private university and then worked as an engineer with NGOs (reportedly in Peshawar and Jalalabad). By the late 1990s, he was working in Kabul for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while Engineer Ibrahim was with UNHCR in Kandahar.

In late 2002, Nabeel went from being an engineer working on projects around Kabul to security officer at the Presidential Palace. He was one of a number of UNHCR staff who followed Engineer Ibrahim to the Palace (Ibrahim and Karzai know each other from Quetta -- there are family connections). The new recruitment was part of an attempt to create a professional, Afghan security apparatus at the Palace which would be unwaveringly loyal to Karzai.

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Intelligence Chief, a brilliant appointment by Karzai! - Pashtunforums


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