Largest Afghan narcotrafficker was CIA, DEA informant

Haji Juma Khan

Haji Juma Khan

The history of operational collision between the Central Intelligence Agency and illicit narcotics traders is both long and largely documented. But new revelations published in The New York Times this week come to add a new chapter in this ever-expanding saga. The revelations this time concern Haji Juma Khan, perhaps the most notorious of Afghanistan’s drug lords, who has been described by US federal officials as arguably the most dangerous narcotrafficker in Central Asia. In 2008, Khan was finally arrested in New York, where he was charged with conspiracy to fund terrorist operations through trading in narcotics. American prosecutors allege that Khan literally “helped keep the Taliban in business”, providing them with weapons and cash on a systematic basis. But The Times reveal that, over a number of years, Khan also acted as an informant for both the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration and was “paid a large amount of cash” in return for his services. The paper says that it is not clear why the US government suddenly decided to reverse course and arrest Juma Khan, after enticing him to come to New York for talks with American intelligence officials. There are suggestions that Khan repeatedly failed to provide actionable intelligence comparable to his stature and importance in the criminal underworld. There are also indications that he became too brazen in his commercial and military dealings with the Taliban, eventually forcing the CIA and the DEA to drop him from their list of protected assets. What is certain is that neither DEA nor CIA officials are currently prepared to discuss the reasons behind Khan’s arrest. When contacted by The Times, both agencies simply responded that they do not comment on cases being tried before US courts.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

4 Responses to Largest Afghan narcotrafficker was CIA, DEA informant

  1. Chris says:

    Is this suprising? No it’s not. Matter of fact it’s the norm. I wonder who he pissed off?

  2. I think it’s time for Obama to tell the truth about the real reason we are at war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The official US narrative justifying these wars makes no sense whatsoever. However more and more Pakistani commentators feel it relates to fierce US competition with our major economic rival (China) for limited oil and natural gas resources. They point to the Chinese-built port in Gwadar in the tribal areas and to all the highways and other infrastructure the Chinese have built to transport Iranian oil and natural gas (liquified) from the port – via Pakistan – to China. And they point to CIA and support for the Baloch separatist movement, in the hope energy and mineral rich Balochistan will secede from Pakistan and become a US client state, just like energy and mineral rich Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and other former Soviet Republics. It’s an open secret in Pakistan that the CIA is training young Baloch separatists in bomb making and other terrorist activities, which are very effectively disrupting the energy transit route China has set up for itself. I blog about this at

  3. westleak says:

    very clear go on

  4. Check out this analysis of an article Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters wrote in the June 2006 ARMED FORCES JOURNAL:

    Also this guest post on my blog (Balochistan)
    Make sure you check the references – sure like high level military think tanks to me.

    Then there’s the article I helped to translate from Urdu from
    from Khalid Baig’s website. It describes in detail efforts to sabotage Gwadar Port operations. Sometimes Khalid’s links don’t work, but you can email his translator at He will send you the current link for this article.

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