CHICAGO (CBS) — The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai who was shot and killed Tuesday used to run a restaurant in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was known as the “King of Kandahar,” was gunned down by one of his own body guards, according to multiple reports.
CBS News reports the Taliban is already claiming responsibility, and is calling the assassination one of its biggest successes ever.
The Karzai family used to own Helmand Restaurant, at 3201 N. Halsted St. in the Boystown neighborhood, and Ahmed Wali Karzai ran the eatery. The Afghan restaurant has since closed, and Jack’s on Halsted now operates on the site.
Helmand was the subject of a review by Chicago Tribune critic Phil Vettel in 1990. He described a dining room with “elaborately framed photographs and pretty tapestries,” and “a large grateful chandelier (that hung) from a pressed-tin ceiling.” Vettel gave the food a “very good” rating of two stars.
The restaurant closed later in the 1990s, and Jack’s has operated at the site since 1997.
The long-gone restaurant received renewed attention last fall, when it was the subject of a document revealed by Wikileaks. In the document, the Tribune reported, Ahmed Wali Karzai talked about running the restaurant and his experiences in Chicago.
Ahmed Wali Karzai has been a controversial figure in Afghan politics since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2001, if not longer. He was allegedly on the CIA payroll even as accusations ran rampant that he was one of the facilitators – and likely benefactors – of Kandahar’s booming opium trade.
He had survived previous assassination attempts.