227. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • U.S. Aid Reaching Afghan Insurgents

1. Attachment A is a complete list of the arms and ammunition given to the Afghan insurgents by Pakistan as of 26 February 1980.2 This list, given to us by the responsible Pakistan liaison officer, tallies with the list of supplies provided by this Agency to Pakistan as of that date. The Pak liaison officer said that his people closely monitor the movement of the supplies to the tribesmen and slow down or stop deliveries to those who cannot move them rapidly. There have been seven groups receiving supplies to date:

a. The Hezbe-Islami (HI) headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar;

b. The Jamaat-I-Islami-Afghanistan (JIA) led by Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani;

c. The Harakat-E-Inqalab-I-Islami (Movement of Islamic Revolution—MIR) led by Maulana Muhammad Nabi Muhammad;

d. The Jahbe-I-Nejat-I-Melli-Afghanistan (Afghan National Liberation Front—ANLF) led by Sebqatullah Mojedidi;

e. The Afghan Islamic and National Revolutionary Council (AINR) or Surah-E-Melli-Inqalabi-Islami-Afghanistan led by Syed Ahmed Gailani;

f. The Khalis Faction which is a break-away group from the Hezbe-Islami and led by Yunus Khalis; and

g. The Hazaras which are a Shi’a minority group.

2. Obtaining independent confirmation of these deliveries is very difficult. An Afghan informant with access to this information reported that during the past three months the Gailani group has been receiving regular supplies of ammunition and military hardware from the Government of Pakistan. The informant stated that during the week of 17 [Page 619] February 1980 the following items were delivered: (See Attachment B for full report).3

a. 60 AK–47 Assault rifles,

b. 60,000 rounds of AK–47 ammunition,

c. 20,000 rounds of .303 ammunition,

d. 200 magnetic anti-tank mines, and

e. 3 RPG–7 launchers and no more than 50 rockets.

During the week of 24 February the delivery to Gailani consisted of:

a. “About” 200 magnetic anti-tank mines,

b. “About” 60 anti-tank rockets, and

c. 30 AK–47 Assault rifles and a quantity of ammunition.

3. AmEmbassy Kabul on 20 February 1980 reported on the insurgency in Wardak Province and stated that it might parallel insurgency in other provinces.4 Paragraphs 5–8 concern the smuggling of arms from Peshawar to Wardak. Paragraph 9 states: “A caravan reaching Wardak on about January 25 reportedly brought twelve ‘shoulder-fired anti-tank guns,’ ninety ‘long-range’ rifles, one ‘dah shoba’ (phonetic—10 branches?) anti-aircraft weapon, and three ‘multi-purpose’ weapons usable against aircraft or tanks. The rifles were allegedly ‘American made.’ The other arms were of Chinese origin, one source’s informants say. A 120-man caravan is expected to reach Wardak from Peshawar on about March 5 . . . with more weapons. (Comment: The information about the arms smuggling was provided in early February, before the Washington Post and New York Times published stories alleging that the U.S. was clandestinely supplying arms to Afghan rebels.5 None of our sources has indicated that any of the smuggled arms came from U.S. or Pakistani suppliers.)” (Kabul Embtel 0690, Attachment C).

4. In sum, the weapons and supplies supplied by this Agency appear to be getting through to the insurgents and without the U.S. hand showing.

Stansfield Turner 6
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 82M00501R: 1980 Subject Files, Box 12, C–367, 1 Jan–30 Jun 80, Afghanistan. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified].
  2. Attachment A, not printed, is a table listing the weapons distributed to the seven resistance groups.
  3. Attachment B, not printed, is an intelligence information cable, March 3, that reported comments made by Hossain Gailani, nephew of Syed Ahmed Gailani, who noted the insurgents’ greatest need was for anti-aircraft weapons, because Soviet “helicopter gunships are almost impossible to bring down with conventional arms.”
  4. Attachment C, not printed, is telegram 690 from Kabul, which reported claims made by insurgents in Wardak, a province west of Kabul, that they were preparing a Spring offensive, and that these plans might be part of a broader plan for increased rebel attacks in other provinces. The Embassy concluded that the information was accurate.
  5. See footnote 3, Document 209.
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.