By Adam Levine
Afghanistan's president said the attacks this weekend in his country represent a "serious intelligence failure" by NATO and other allies.
President Hamid Karzai made the comment about the coordinated attacks in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan in an interview with Christiane Amanpour during the premiere of her new CNN International program, “Amanpour."
"This is indicative, ma'am, of serious intelligence failure, especially an intelligence failure of our allies in NATO and others, because of the equipment that they have, because of the resources that they have, because of the time that they've spent in this part of the world," Karzai said in the interview, which aired Monday.
Asked if he was blaming NATO for the attacks, Karzai said he was not, but was "simply asking a question as to the efficiency of our intelligence gathering systems. Whether these systems are working all right."
The United States had intelligence that a big attack was planned by the Haqqani network, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Monday.
"We had received a great deal of intelligence indicating that the Haqqanis were planning these kinds of attacks," Panetta told reporters during a news conference.
The intelligence was "vague" regarding timing, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at the same press conference.
"There was intelligence suggesting that, as the winter became the spring, and the fighting season reopened, on or about the 21st of March, you know, the beginning of the new year in some societies, that the Taliban wanted to make a statement that they were back. And so, I mean, that was kind of one thread," Gen. Martin Dempsey said. "Then the other thread was that the simultaneity of attacks across the country would, in their view, have … kind of attenuator, actually accent that. But there was no specificity regarding location or time."
Dempsey said the information the United States has so far doesn’t show that the plot originated in Pakistan.
"The Haqqani network exists on both sides of the border, so we're not prepared to suggest this emanated out of Pakistan," Dempsey said. "I mean, the evidence may at some point lead us there, but we're not there yet."
Panetta rebuffed the suggestion the attacks call into question capabilities of the Afghan security forces.
"There were no tactical gains here,” he said. “These are isolated attacks that are done for symbolic purposes, and they have not regained any territory. They haven't been able to really conduct an organized attack since last year."
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