Afghanistan Averages an Insider Attack Every Four Days

33 incidents reported during fourth quarter of 2019

Insider attacks have been a growing problem in Afghanistan, and are happening at a rate of once every four days as of the latest data on the last quarter of 2019. 33 insider attacks were reported then, with 90 casualties.

SIGAR’s latest report to Congress showed that was an increase over the year’s average. In 2019, 82 insider attackers were reported, with 172 deaths and 85 others wounded. Attacks were overwhelmingly the result of Taliban infiltrators.

Insider attacks have been a problem for years, but appeared to surge in the last quarter, following the collapse of US-Taliban peace talks and the Afghan government’s attempted presidential election.

Getting even one infiltrator on a base or at a checkpoint is enough. In mid-December, a single infiltrator in Ghazni Province was able to kill 23 sleeping soldiers on the base, successfully taking all the weapons and ammunition, as well as a Humvee and defecting back to the Taliban. This was a major example, but not unheard of.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of