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Aid Killings Are Unsolved

New York Doctor Slain in Afghanistan

ICC Note:

Tom Little, an aid worker murdered in Afghanistan by the Taliban for ‘being Christian’ will be honored with a Medal of Freedom at the White House next year.

By Devlin Barrett

12/2/2010 Afghanistan (The Wall Street Journal) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been unable to link the killings of 10 aid workers in Afghanistan—including Tom Little, an optometrist from upstate New York—to any particular terrorist network, despite competing claims from the Taliban and another group.

The case has gone cold even as the public tributes for Dr. Little and his team have intensified. Early next year, Dr. Little will be honored posthumously with a Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony. His widow, Libby Little, is expected to accept the award in his honor.

In announcing the award, the White House said the Taliban had killed Dr. Little and his team of five other Americans, a German, a Briton, and two Afghans. Two counterterrorism officials, however, told The Wall Street Journal that they have found little evidence to link the killings to any particular group. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, as did Mrs. Little.

Charles Beckett, whose daughter Cheryl was one of the Americans killed with Dr. Little, said his family “has not heard anything definitive from anyone. The FBI has just told us the investigation is still open and active.”

Shortly after the aid workers were found dead in northern Afghanistan in August, the Taliban claimed responsibility. The aid workers were attacked while returning from a medical aid mission.

The killings marked the worst attack on foreign aid workers in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed they had killed the International Assistance Mission workers because they were Christian proselytizers, an accusation the group vehemently denied. In the past, the Taliban has falsely claimed credit for attacks, presumably for propaganda purposes.

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