Afghan as well as Western officials said insurgents were aware how easy it was to blend in with the crush of daily traffic in and out of the city. Mohammadi, the interior minister, said some of the attackers disguised themselves with burkas, the all-enveloping veils worn by many women, and used ordinary vehicles to transport their weapons.
The broadside against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization took American officials by surprise, coming on the heels of laudatory statements about the Afghan personnel from U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the American commander of Western forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen.
American officials in Afghanistan declined to comment specifically on Karzai's criticism, but one military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said tracking the movement of insurgent fighters and weapons into the city was a task that would have mainly come under the purview of Afghanistan's main intelligence agency.
In Washington, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference, "We had received a great deal of intelligence indicating the Haqqanis were planning these kind of attacks." But Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added that the information was not specific about when or where the attacks would occur.