Mullah Accused of Killing Afghan-American Woman in Kabul

Lisa Akbari Foundation/Facebook
Lisa Akbari Foundation/Facebook

A Mullah allegedly shot dead a young Afghan-American woman in Kabul who used to work for the U.S. military, according to various news outlets.

CNN learned from Col. Faridoon Obaidy, head of the Kabul police criminal investigation department, that the “Afghan-American woman was leaving the gym of her apartment complex in Kabul, Afghanistan [Sunday night], when a mullah allegedly shot her to death.”

The woman has been identified as Lisa Akbari, 34.

“Lisa Akbari, a dual Afghan-American citizen, had an Afghan father and grew up in the US,” reports The Telegraph. “She first worked in Afghanistan in 2009 with the US army as a human terrain team analyst, engaging with local women on patrols in some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas to help the US military better understand communities and earn their trust.”

“She later worked with World Vision and continued her efforts with Afghan women with other NGOs in Afghanistan, including with women’s shelters,” adds the report.

Col. Obaidy reportedly confirmed that the attacker was arrested.

However, CNN notes that the Kabul police chief “didn’t provide information about any charges the mullah faces, adding that “the chief did not provide the man’s name but said he is being interrogated.”

The Telegraph quoted Obaidy as saying that “the suspect resisted arrest and was injured.”

“A security official said a police officer opened fire and seriously wounded the man,” added the UK news outlet.

The motive behind the attack remains a mystery, according to Col. Obaidy.

“We will start the investigation as soon as he has recovered,” he reportedly said.

CNN quotes Obaidy as saying “that investigators have seized documents from the mullah’s residence that show he allegedly has links to terrorist groups, but the chief did not specify which groups.”

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the U.S. State Department have confirmed the young Afghan-American woman’s death Monday, according to news reports.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones on their loss. We are providing all possible consular assistance. Out of respect for the privacy of those affected, we decline further comment,” the embassy said in a statement.

TOLO News reports that the mullah is from a mosque located within the victim’s housing complex.

The mullah is a graduate from the Sharia faculty at the Ustad Rabani University in Kabul, adds the report.

“Unlike many foreigners in Kabul that reside behind large concrete blast walls and armed guards, Ms. Akbari lived in a low-profile apartment building, without major security infrastructure, where other Afghan families resided,” points out The Telegraph.

Friends and family called Ms. Akbari a “beautiful soul” and “brave and bold,” as they paid tribute to her on Facebook Monday.

“R.I.P. to my beautiful older sister Lisa,” her sister, Mayana Aliah Akbari, posted on Facebook. “You were taken soon and very suddenly while in Afghanistan… I know God got back his Angel and is proud of you for all that you’ve done on Earth.”

“Ms Akbari avoided telling people about her previous roles with the US army, according to one of her friends,” reports The Telegraph. “But if someone with extremist links had discovered she previously worked with the US army, that could have made her vulnerable to attack, they said.”

“Afghans who are known to have worked for the US army also regularly face threats from the Taliban,” it adds.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for killing six American troops and wounding others Monday in southern Afghanistan, about 34 miles away from where the Afghan-American woman was fatally shot.