The police commander who murdered Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, in his home had for years helped the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan arrest "scores" of Taliban fighters, the Washington Post reports.
Sardar Mohammed, a police commander in charge of 200 men and eight checkpoints, met several times with U.S. and British military officials, introducing new commanders to Kandahar. Mohammed also met six days a week with Karzai, who as head of Kandahar’s provincial council and leader of its extensive tribal networks was the region’s de facto ruler.
Despite their close relationship and Mohammed's work with the U.S., one of Karzai’s brothers and a senior Afghan official believe the Taliban somehow turned Mohammed and convinced him to murder Karzai. A senior Afghan official said “investigators are trying to determine whether Mohammad was a long-term Taliban sleeper agent or just recently joined the insurgents,” the Post reports.
The death of Wali Karzai, who possibly the most powerful -- and corrupt -- man in the southern province of Kandahar, could leave a power vacuum there as U.S. troops begin to draw down in the country. A suicide bomber on Thursday killed several people gathered at a mosque to mourn Karzai’s death.