Taliban Commander Turns Himself In, Demands Reward Money

No doubt, it helps when the people you are fighting against are exceedingly stupid:

Sometimes, capturing a Taliban commander requires vast resources and complex operations. Last week in eastern Afghanistan, it hinged on an insurgent’s “improbable stupidity,” as one U.S. official put it.

Mohammad Ashan, a mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, strolled toward a police checkpoint in the district of Sar Howza with a wanted poster bearing his own face. He demanded the finder’s fee referenced on the poster: $100.

Afghan officials, perplexed by the man’s misguided motives, arrested him on the spot. Ashan is suspected of plotting at least two attacks on Afghan security forces. His misdeeds prompted officials to plaster the district with hundreds of so-called “Be on the Lookout” posters emblazoned with his name and likeness.

When U.S. troops went to confirm that Ashan had in fact come forward to claim the finder’s fee, they were initially incredulous.

“We asked him, ‘Is this you?’ Mohammad Ashan answered with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, ‘Yes, yes, that’s me! Can I get my award now?'” recalled SPC Matthew Baker.

A biometric scan confirmed that the man in Afghan custody was the insurgent they had been looking for.

“This guy is the Taliban equivalent of the ‘Home Alone” burglars,” one U.S. official said.

Well, at least they were just actors playing a role. This guy is apparently for real.

H/T: The Right Sphere

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Asia, Terrorism, World Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Sounds fair to me. #economics

  2. Tillman says:

    …how much money have we spent on military operations on Afghanistan? We should’ve just been bribing them.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    We should’ve just been bribing them.

    Not to mention buying up all the opium, but enough about sensible policies…

  4. 11B40 says:


    Well, the way the Talibunnies are able to break their guys out of what they have for prisons over there, this may be a bit a Islamic entrepreneurship. Pay me today, my guys will be here tomorrow. Sticking it to the kuffar is Islam’s business plan. As many as you can, as often as you can, anywhere and any way you can.

  5. James in LA says:

    Let us see if this business plan is healthy enough to reach its IPO.

  6. Peacewood says:

    Man, if only Dillinger had thought of that, he wouldn’t have needed to rob so many banks.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman: It has been said, time and again, that you can not buy an Afghan…. but you can rent one easily enough.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Wow, how much more “American” can you be?
    They should fast-track US citizenship for this guy.