Captured Translator Links US Forces to Afghan Civilian Deaths

Insists Role in Torture Was 'On Orders' From Handlers

Captured Afghan-American translator Zakeria Kandahari, who was shown in videos torturing Afghan civilians in US custody, has reportedly confirmed his involvement, insisting that his role was strictly “on orders” from US military handlers.

The Kandahari video was part of Afghan investigation into disappearances and killings around a US special forces base in Wardak Province, which locals had been complaining about and which the Afghan government unsuccessfully tried to expel from the Nerkh District.

The victim of the torture video, which US officials confirmed as authentic but insisted they didn’t know anything about, was a civilian named Sayid Mohammad who was disappeared from a nearby village. His body was found in May, in a military body bag, in a ditch just 200 yards outside the US base.

Locals have reported repeated raids from the base, with US troops on ATVs dragging people off, usually never to be seen or heard from again, though with the occasional discovery of one of their bodies not too carefully disposed off on the outskirts of the base. Kandahari was captured last month by Afghan forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of