Putting todays green-on-blue attack in context

“KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier killed a United States Army major general and wounded a German brigadier general and at least 14 other foreign and Afghan military service members on Tuesday at a military training academy on the outskirts of Kabul, officials of the American-led coalition said Tuesday. The major general appeared to be the highest-ranking member of the American military to die in hostilities overseas since the Vietnam War.”

From New York Times, (08/05/2014)

In response to the reported green-on-blue shooting that killed an American General officer and wounded up to 15 more,  Center for Terrorism and Security Studies Senior Research Associate, and Society for Terrorism Research 8th Annual Conference Organizer Neil Shortland discusses his research on green-on-blue attacks and how todays events fit the wider trends for this recurring threat in Afghanistan.

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The dynamics of a target selection process

Oslo view of city

With the Society for Terrorism Research (STR) 8th Annual International Conference fast approaching, STR, partnered with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), is launching a series of guest blog posts, written by those who will be presenting their research at STR14. In the first of this series Cato Hemmingby, Senior Advisor to the Norwegian Government Security and Service Organization and PhD Candidate at the Norwegian Police University College, provides a outline of the research he has been doing with Prof. Tore Bjorgo, aimed at understanding the process of target selection by terrorist actors.  Continue reading


Yesterday morning three Americans were killed by a member of the Afghan National Police who opened fire at a private hospital in Kabul. This is the second such attack on western non-combatants in Afghanistan this month. On April 4th two Associated Press journalists were also shot by an Afghan Police Soldier. Although both attacks do not meet the necessary criteria to be defined as a ‘green-on-blue’ attack (whereby a member of the Afghan National Security Forces, ANSF, kills or injury members of the coalition forces serving alongside them), their similarity is not going unnoticed. In light of the recent spike in violence against journalists and western personnel in Afghanistan it is important to consider if these attacks are an adaptation of green-on-blue attacks committed by similarly motivated offenders or if they represent a different phenomena entirely.

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