Amb. Crocker: Taliban attacks not connected to Obama visit

The Taliban launched suicide attacks Wednesday morning in Kabul that left seven people dead, taking place hours after President Obama visited Kabul to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Taliban, which said its “spring offensive” will begin on Thursday, claimed the attack was tied to the president’s visit, but the secretive nature of Obama’s visit makes that scenario unlikely.

Crocker brushed aside questions about whether Kabul, which also saw a coordinated Taliban attack last month, was a dangerous place for Obama to visit.

Obama landed at Bagram Air Base and then traveled by helicopter to Kabul to sign the agreement with Karzai, before returning to Bagram to deliver his televised address. The president arrived in the night and left before dawn.

“Clearly, it was secure enough for the president enough to make the trip,” Crocker told CNN. “We looked at all aspects of that; everybody was comfortable. It went precisely according to schedule.”