Haqqani network

Haqqani network

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The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 fighting against US
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

-led NATO forces
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. Maulvi
Mawlawi (Islamic title)
Mawlawi is an honorific Islamic religious title given to Sunni Muslim religious scholars or Ulema preceding their names, similar to the titles Maulana, Mullah, or Shaykh. Mawlawi generally means highly-qualified Islamic scholar...

 Jalaluddin Haqqani
Jalaluddin Haqqani
Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. He also fought in the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, including in the Operation Magistral...

 and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani
Sirajuddin Haqqani
Sirajuddin "Siraj" Haqqani is a Pashtun warlord and military leader who fights against American and coalition forces from his base within North Waziristan in Pakistan, where it is claimed he provides shelter to Al Qaeda operatives...

 lead the group, which operates on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

 but US officials believe is based in Pakistan's Waziristan
Waziristan
Waziristan is a mountainous region near the Northwest of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . The area is entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto...

 tribal frontier
Fata
The FATA or FC-ATA is a type of computer hard disk drive. FATA is simply the low cost ATA or SATA disk drive equipped with a small external converter, that changes the interface to Fibre Channel...

. It is allied with the Taliban
Quetta Shura
The Quetta Shura is a militant organization composed of top leadership of the Afghan Taliban, that is believed to be based since about 2001 in the city of Quetta in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Shura was formed after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was toppled in late 2001 and the...

.

According to US military commanders it is "the most resilient enemy network" and one of the biggest threats to the US-led NATO forces and the Afghan government in the current war in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. In October 2011, U.S. Secretary
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Hillary Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

 explained that American officials have contacts with the group.

Background and origins


The Haqqani family hails from southeastern Afghanistan and belongs to the Mezi clan of the Zadran Pashtun tribe
Pashtun tribes
The Pashtun people are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest in Pakistan. Pashtun, tribes are divided into four supertribal confederacies: the Arbanee , Betanee , Gharghasht, and Karlanee .Traditionally, according to folklore, all Pashtuns are said to have descended, at...

. Jalalludin Haqqani rose to prominence as a senior military leader during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

, Haqqani was more successful than other resistance leaders at forging relationships with outsiders prepared to sponsor resistance to the Soviets, including the CIA, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI), and wealthy Arab private donors from the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. In the late 1980s, Haqqani had the CIA's full support. Foreign jihadists recognized the network as a distinct entity as early as 1994, but Haqqani was not affiliated with the Taliban until they captured Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 and assumed de facto control of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in 1996. After the Taliban came to power, Haqqani accepted a cabinet level appointment as Minister of Tribal Affairs. Following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the subsequent overthrow of the Taliban government, the Haqqanis fled to the Pakistani bordering tribal regions and regrouped to fight against coalition forces across the border. As Jalaluddin has grown older his son Sirajuddin has taken over the responsibility of military operations. Journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad
Syed Saleem Shahzad
Syed Saleem Shahzad was a Pakistani investigative journalist who wrote widely for leading European and Asian media. He served as the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online and Italian news agency Adnkronos . He was found dead in a canal in North-east Pakistan, showing signs of torture, two...

 reported that President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 had invited the elder Haqqani to serve as Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Afghanistan
The Prime Minister of Afghanistan is a currently defunct post in the Afghan Government.The position was created in 1927, and was appointed by the king, mostly as an advisor, until the end of the monarchy in 1973...

 in an attempt to bring "moderate" Taliban into the government. However, the offer was refused by Jalaluddin.

Leadership

  • Jalaluddin Haqqani
  • Sirajuddin Haqqani
  • Badaruddin Haqqani - younger brother of Sirajuddin
  • Sangeen Zadran - According the US State Department, he is a senior lieutenant to Sirajuddin and the shadow governor for Paktika province in Afghanistan.
  • Nasiruddin Haqqani - He is Siraj's brother and a key financier and emissary of the network. As the son of Jalaluddin's Arab wife, he speaks fluent Arabic and has traveled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for fundraising.
  • Abdul Aziz Abbasin - According to the U.S. Treasury, he is "a key commander in the Haqqani Network" and serves as the "Taliban shadow governor of Orgun District, Paktika Province, Afghanistan."
  • Haji Mali Khan - According to NATO, he is "the senior Haqqani commander in Afghanistan" and is uncle to Sirajuddin and Badaruddin. ISAF also reported that he acted as an emissary between Baitullah Mehsud
    Baitullah Mehsud
    Baitullah Mehsud was a leading militant in Waziristan, Pakistan, and the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan . He formed the TTP from an alliance of about five militant groups in December 2007. He is thought by U.S...

     and the Haqqanis. He was captured by ISAF forces on September 27, 2011.


Following Wikileaks
Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

 July 2010 publication of 75,000 classified documents the public learned that Sirajuddin Haqqani was in the tier one of the International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

's Joint Prioritized Effects List—its "kill or capture" list.

Activities


The Christian Science Monitor, citing unnamed US and Afghan sources, reported in June 2009 that the leadership is based in Miranshah
Miranshah
Miranshah is the capital or headquarters of North Waziristan in Pakistan. It is the site of a town, which has s small airfield that was built by the British for World War II. The area in which Miranshah sits is extremely dangerous mainly due to Taliban activities and U.S. Drone...

, North Waziristan
North Waziristan
North Waziristan is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's...

 in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 of Pakistan along the Afghan border It operates from at least three compounds: a Miranshah bazaar camp containing a madrassa and computer facilities, a compound in the nearby suburb of Sarai Darpa Khel and another compound in Danday Darpa Khel, where some of Jalaluddin's family stay. The network is active in Afghanistan's southeastern areas of Paktia Province
Paktia Province
Paktia , is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the east of the country. Its capital is Gardez. The population is predominantly Pashtun.- History:...

, Paktika Province
Paktika Province
Paktika is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the south-east of the country. Most of the population is Pashtun. Its capital is Sharan.-Political and military situation:...

, Khost Province
Khost Province
Khost is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the east of the country. Khost province used to be part of Paktia province in the past...

, Wardak Province
Wardak Province
Maidan Wardak Province is one of thirty four provinces of Afghanistan located in the central east region of Afghanistan. It has a population of approximately 540,100. The capital of the province is Maidan Shar...

, Logar Province, and Ghazni Province
Ghazni Province
Ghazni is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. Babur records in his Babur-Nama that Ghazni is also known as Zabulistan It is in the east of the country. Its capital is Ghazni City...

. In September 2011, Sirajuddin Haqqani told Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 that the group feels "more secure in Afghanistan besides the Afghan people."

Haqqani is reported to run his own training camps, to recruit his own foreign fighters, and to seek out financial and logistic support on his own, from his old contacts. Some of Sirajuddin's brothers travel to the Persian Gulf region to raise funds from wealthy donors. The New York Times reported in September 2011 that the Haqqanis have set up a "ministate" in Miranshah with courts, tax offices and madrassas, and that the network runs a series of front companies selling automobiles and real estate. They also receive funds from extortion, kidnappings and smuggling operations throughout eastern Afghanistan. In an interview a former Haqqani commander called the extortion "the most important source of funding for the Haqqanis." According to a tribal elder in Paktia, "Haqqani's people ask for money from contractors working on road construction. They are asking money or goods from shopkeepers... District elders and contractors are paying money to Afghan workers, but sometimes half of the money will go to Haqqani's people."

Estimates of the Haqqanis's numbers vary. A 2009 New York Times article indicates that they are thought to have about 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under their command while a 2011 report from the Combating Terrorism Center
Combating Terrorism Center
The Combating Terrorism Center is an academic institution at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York that provides education, research and policy analysis in the specialty areas of terrorism, counterterrorism, homeland security and weapons of mass destruction...

 places its strength roughly at 10,000-15,000. During a September 2011 interview, Sirajuddin Haqqani said the figure of 10,000 fighters, as quoted in some media reports, "is actually less than the actual number." Throughout its history the network's operations have been conducted by small, semi-autonomous units organized according to tribal and sub-tribal affiliations often at the direction of and with the logistical support of Haqqani commanders. The network is comprised broadly of four groups: those who have been with Jalalludin since the Soviet-era jihad, those from Loya Paktiya who have joined since 2001, those from North Waziristan who have joined in more recent years, and foreign militants of primarily Arab, Chechen and Uzbek origins. Leadership roles are mostly filled with personnel from the first group while the relative neophytes from Loya Paktia and non-Pushtuns are not part of this inner circle.

The Haqqani network pioneered the use of suicide attacks in Afghanistan and tend to use mostly foreign bombers whereas the Taliban tend to rely on locals in attacks. The network, according to the National Journal
National Journal
National Journal is a nonpartisan American weekly magazine that reports on the current political environment and emerging political and policy trends. National Journal was first published in 1969. Times Mirror owned the magazine from 1986 to 1997, when it was purchased by David G. Bradley...

, supplies much of the potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate is a compound containing potassium, chlorine and oxygen atoms, with the molecular formula KClO3. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline substance. It is the most common chlorate in industrial use...

 used in bombs employed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Also, the network's bombs use more sophisticated remote triggering devices than the pressure-plated activators used elsewhere in Afghanistan. Sirajuddin Haqqani told MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 in April 2009 that his fighters had, "acquired the modern technology that we were lacking, and we have mastered new and innovative methods of making bombs and explosives."

In late 2011, a 144-page book attributed to Sirajuddin Haqqani began circulating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Described by Newsweek as a "manual for guerrillas and terrorists," the Pashto-language book details instructions on setting up a jihadi cell, receiving financing, recruiting and training. The manual advises recruits that parental permission is not necessary for jihad, that all debts should be paid before joining, and that suicide bombings and beheadings are allowed by Islam.

Attacks and alleged attacks

  • January 14, 2008: 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack
    2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack
    The 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack was an attack on the gym of the Kabul Serena Hotel, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, January 14, 2008 for which the Taliban claimed responsibility....

     is thought to have been carried out by the network.
  • March, 2008: Kidnapping of British journalist Sean Langan
    Sean Langan
    Sean Langan is a British journalist and documentary film-maker. Langan works in dangerous and volatile situations; including environments noted for war, conflict and civil unrest. In 2008 he was kidnapped along with his translator while filming in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region...

     was blamed on the network.
  • April 27, 2008: Assassination attempts on Hamid Karzai.
  • July 7, 2008: US intelligence blamed the network for 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul
    2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul
    The 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul was a suicide bomb terror attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on 7 July 2008 at 8:30 AM local time. The bombing killed 58 people and wounded 141. The suicide car bombing took place near the gates of the embassy during morning hours when...

    .
  • November 10, 2008: The Kidnapping of David Rohde
    Kidnapping of David Rohde
    New York Times journalist David Stephenson Rohde and two associates were kidnapped by members of the Taliban in November 2008. Rohde was in Afghanistan doing research for a book...

     was blamed on Sirajuddin Haqqani.
  • December 30, 2009: Camp Chapman attack
    Camp Chapman attack
    The Camp Chapman attack was a suicide attack against Forward Operating Base Chapman, a key facility of the Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan, on December 30, 2009. The base is located near the eastern Afghan city of Khost, in a stronghold of the Taliban movement...

     is thought to have been carried out by the network.
  • May 18, 2010: May 2010 Kabul bombing
    May 2010 Kabul bombing
    The May 2010 Kabul bombing occurred on May 18, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Eighteen people including five US soldiers and a Canadian soldier were killed and fifty-two were injured when a NATO convoy was targeted by a Taliban suicide attacker. It was the deadliest attack against NATO forces in...

     was allegedly carried out by the network.
  • February 19, 2011: Kabul Bank
    Kabul Bank
    Kabul Bank is a commercial bank in Afghanistan, with its main branch in the capital of Kabul. Established in 2004, it is the main bank used to pay the salaries of the army and security forces. The bank provides facilities to maintain accounts in Current, Savings Bank and Fixed Deposits; and offers...

     in Jalalabad
    Jalalabad
    Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

    , Afghanistan.
  • June 28, 2011: According to ISAF
    ISAF
    ISAF may refer to:* International Sailing Federation, the world governing body for Olympic and other competitive sailing.* International Security Assistance Force, the NATO-led security mission operating in Afghanistan since 2001....

    , elements of the Haqqani network provided "material support" in the 2011 attack on the Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
  • September 10, 2011: A massive truck bomb exploded outside Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in Wardak province, Afghanistan, killing five Afghans, including four civilians, and wounding 77 U.S. soldiers, 14 Afghan civilians, and three policemen. The Pentagon blamed the network for the attack.
  • September 12, 2011: US Ambassador Ryan Crocker
    Ryan Crocker
    Ryan Clark Crocker is a Career Ambassador within the United States Foreign Service and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He currently is the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan. He was the United States Ambassador to Iraq until 2009; he previously served as the U.S...

     blamed the Haqqani network for an attack on the US Embassy and nearby NATO bases in Kabul. The attack lasted 19 hours and resulted in the deaths of four police officers and four civilians. 17 civilians and six NATO soldiers were injured. Three coalition soldiers were killed. Eleven insurgent attackers were killed.
  • October 2011: Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security said that six people arrested in an alleged plot to assassinate President Karzai had ties to the Haqqani network.

Links with Pakistan


Abdul Rashid Waziri, a specialist at Kabul's Center for Regional Studies of Afghanistan, explains that links between the Haqqani network and Pakistan can be traced back to the mid-1970s, before the 1978 Marxist revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

 in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. During the rule of President Daoud Khan
Mohammed Daoud Khan
Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan or Daud Khan was Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and later becoming the President of Afghanistan...

 in Afghanistan (1973-78), Jalaluddin Haqqani went into exile and based himself in and around Miranshah
Miranshah
Miranshah is the capital or headquarters of North Waziristan in Pakistan. It is the site of a town, which has s small airfield that was built by the British for World War II. The area in which Miranshah sits is extremely dangerous mainly due to Taliban activities and U.S. Drone...

. From there he began to form a rebellion against the government of Daoud Khan in 1975. The network allegedly maintains ties with the Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI), and Pakistan's army has been reportedly reluctant to move against them. The ISI spy network had links with the Haqqanis since at least the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They provided CIA funds and assistance to the group during the Afghan resistance. While Pakistan has declared the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , alternatively referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist militant groups based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan. Most, but not all, Pakistani Taliban groups coalesce under the TTP...

 (TTP) as an enemy which engages in attacks against civilians and the state, the Haqqani group refrains from attacking the Pakistani state and thus, has traditionally been considered to be in the Pakistani sphere of what some analysts call the "good" Taliban. According to a July 2011 report published by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center
Combating Terrorism Center
The Combating Terrorism Center is an academic institution at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York that provides education, research and policy analysis in the specialty areas of terrorism, counterterrorism, homeland security and weapons of mass destruction...

, the network acts as a key facilitator of negotiations between the Pakistani government and the TTP and as the "primary conduit" of many Pakistani Taliban fighters into Afghanistan. The News International
The News International
The News International , published in tabloid size, is the largest English language newspaper in Pakistan. The News has an ABC certified circulation of 140,000. It is published from Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi/Islamabad...

also reported in October 2011 that the Haqqanis were urging the TTP to not fight Pakistani forces.

The New York Times reported in September 2008 that Pakistan regards the Haqqani's as an important force for protecting its interests in Afghanistan in the event of American withdrawal from there and therefore have been unwilling to move against them. Pakistan presumably feels pressured that India, Russia, and Iran are gaining a foothold in Afghanistan. Since it lacks the financial clout of these other countries, Pakistan hopes that by being a sanctuary for the Haqqani network, it can assert some influence over its turbulent neighbour. In the words of a retired senior Pakistani official: "[We] have no money. All we have are the crazies. So the crazies it is." The New York Times and Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 later reported in June 2010 that Pakistan's Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, NI, HI is a four-star general in the Pakistan Army, and the current Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army. He replaced General Pervez Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff and the commandant of the army on November 29, 2007...

 and chief of the ISI General Ahmad Shuja Pasha
Ahmad Shuja Pasha
Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha , HI is the current Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence , Pakistan's premier intelligence service since October 2008. He was due to reach the age of superannuation on 18 March 2010, but has received two extensions. His tenure was extended by a...

 were in talks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 to broker a power-sharing agreement between the Haqqani network and the Afghan government. Reacting to this report both President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and CIA director Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 responded with skepticism that such an effort could succeed. The effort to mediate between the Haqqanis and the Afghan government was launched by Pakistan after intense pressure by the US to take military action against the group in North Waziristan
North Waziristan
North Waziristan is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's...

. Hamid Karzai later denied meeting anyone from the Haqqani network. Subsequently Kayani also denied that he took part in these talks.

In September 2011, Sirajuddin Haqqani
Sirajuddin Haqqani
Sirajuddin "Siraj" Haqqani is a Pashtun warlord and military leader who fights against American and coalition forces from his base within North Waziristan in Pakistan, where it is claimed he provides shelter to Al Qaeda operatives...

 claimed during a telephonic interview to Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 that the Haqqani network no longer maintained sanctuaries in northwest Pakistan and the robust presence that it once had there and instead now felt more safer in Afghanistan: "Gone are the days when we were hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Now we consider ourselves more secure in Afghanistan besides the Afghan people." According to Haqqani, there were "senior military and police officials" who are aligned with the group and there are even sympathetic and "sincere people in the Afghan government who are loyal to the Taliban" who support the group's aim of liberating Afghanistan "from the clutches of occupying forces." In response to questions from the BBC's Pashto service, Siraj denied any links to the ISI and stated that Mullah Omar is "our leader and we totally obey him."

Strain on Pakistan-US relations



Anti-American groups of Gul Bahadur and Haqqani carry out their activities in Afghanistan and use North Waziristan
Waziristan
Waziristan is a mountainous region near the Northwest of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . The area is entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto...

 as rear. The group's links to Pakistan have been a sour point in Pakistan – United States relations
Pakistan – United States relations
Pakistan – United States relations refers to the bilateral relationship between the Pakistan and the United States. The United States first established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on 20 October 1947. The relationship since then was based primarily on U.S. economic and military assistance to...

. In September 2011 the Obama administration warned Pakistan that it must do more to cut ties with the Haqqani network and help eliminate its leaders, adding that "the United States will act unilaterally if Pakistan does not comply." In testimony before a US Senate panel, Admiral Mike Mullen stated that the network "acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency." Although some U.S. officials allege that the ISI supports and guides the Haqqanis, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 declined to endorse that position and stated that "the intelligence is not as clear as we might like in terms of what exactly that relationship is" and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "We have no evidence of" Pakistani involvement in attacks on the US embassy in Kabul.

Pakistan in return rejected the notion that it maintained ties with the Haqqani network or used it in a policy of waging a proxy war
Proxy war
A proxy war or proxy warfare is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. While powers have sometimes used governments as proxies, violent non-state actors, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed...

 in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistani officials deny the allegations by asserting that Pakistan had no relations with the network. In response to the allegations, Interior Minister
Ministry of Interior (Pakistan)
The Ministry of the Interior is Pakistan's ministry of the interior. Its head office is in Islamabad.The Interior Minister of Pakistan heads the Ministry of Interior. He serves in the cabinet of the Prime Minister. The Minister is required to be a member of Parliament...

 Rehman Malik
Rehman Malik
27 April 2009 He has been the interior adviser since 27 March 2008.Senator A. Rehman Malik is a Pakistani politician, member of the Senate of Pakistan, and the current Interior Minister of Pakistan under the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani administration. His Second name is Shetan Malik and he...

 claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) had "trained and produced" the Haqqani network and other mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 during the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. The Pakistani interior minister also warned that any incursion on Pakistani territory by U.S. forces will not be tolerated. A Pakistani intelligence official insisted that the American allegations are part of "pressure tactics" used by the United States as a strategy "to shift the war theatre." An unnamed Pakistani official was reported to have said after a meeting of the nation's top military officials that "We have already conveyed to the US that Pakistan cannot go beyond what it has already done". However, Pakistani claims were contradicted by the network's warnings against any U.S. military incursions into North Waziristan
North Waziristan
North Waziristan is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's...

 .. However a month after the allegation, ties improved slightly and the US asked Pakistan to assist it help organize and kick-start reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

Military offenses


In July 2008 Jalaluddin's son Omar Haqqani was killed in a firefight with coalition forces in Paktia. In September 2008 Daande Darpkhel airstrike
Daande Darpkhel airstrike
The Daande Darpkhel airstrike took place on the morning of 8 September 2008 when a United States Air Force drone aircraft fired a number of missiles at a former madrassa complex located in the village of Daande Darpkhel, near the main town Miranshah, North Waziristan, Pakistan...

 drones fired 6 missiles at the home of the Haqqanis and a madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

 run by the network. However both Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin were not present though several family members were killed. Among 23 people killed was one of Jalaluddin's two wives, sister, sister in law and 8 of his grandchildren. In March 2009, the US State Department announced a reward of $5 million for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of Sirajuddin under the Rewards for Justice Program
Rewards For Justice Program
The Rewards for Justice Program is the counterterrorism rewards program of the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service . The Secretary of State is currently offering rewards for information that prevents or favorably resolves acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or...

. In May 2010 US senator and United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the federal government of the United States who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. The...

 Chair Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein is the senior U.S. Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988....

  wrote to United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Hillary Clinton urging her to add the Haqqani network to U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

.

ISAF and Afghan forces killed a network leader, Fazil Subhan, plus an unknown number of Haqqani militiamen, in a raid in Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 in the second week of June 2010. In a press release, ISAF reported that Subhan helped facilitate the movement of Al-Qaeda fighters into Afghanistan.

In late July 2011, U.S. and Afghan special forces killed dozens of insurgents during an operation in eastern Paktika province
Paktika Province
Paktika is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the south-east of the country. Most of the population is Pashtun. Its capital is Sharan.-Political and military situation:...

 to clear a training camp the Haqqani network used for foreign (Arab and Chechen) fighters; reports of the number killed varied, with one source saying "more than 50" to "nearly 80". Disenfranchised insurgents told security forces where the camp was located, the coalition said.

On October 1, 2011 NATO announced the capture of Haji Mali Khan, "the senior Haqqani commander in Afghanistan," during an operation in Jani Khel district of Afghanistan's Paktia province. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid
Zabiullah Mujahid
Zabiullah Mujahid is one of the self proclaimed spokesmen for the Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan. He has acted as a media conduit between the isolationist rebel forces and Western media teams. He was interviewed with his back towards the TV camera in early 2009 by CNN reporter...

 denied that the capture occurred while Haqqani network members declined to respond to the announcement.

According to an unnamed Pakistani official a US drone strike on a compound killed Jamil Haqqani
Jan Baz Zadran
Jan Baz Zadran , also known as Jamil or Jalil Haqqani, was a top aide to Pashtun warlord Sirajuddin Haqqani...

, an "important Afghan commander of Haqqani network" responsible for logisitics in North Waziristan, on October 13, 2011. Three other network fighters were also killed in the two missile blasts. The compound was located in Dandey Darpakhel village, about 7 km (4 miles) north of Miranshah.

In mid-October 2011, Afghan and NATO forces launched "Operation Shamshir" and "Operation Knife Edge" against the Haqqani network in south-eastern Afghanistan, with the intent to counter possible security threats in the border regions. An ISAF spokesman said that Operation Shamshir "was aimed at securing key population centers and expanding the Kabul security zone," while Afghan Defense Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, explained that Operation Knife Edge would "help eliminate the insurgents before they struck in areas along the troubled frontier." The two operations ended on October 23, 2011 and at least 20 insurgents, of the some 200 killed or captured, had ties to the Haqqani network according to ISAF.

On November 2, 2011 The Express Tribune reported that the Pakistani Army had agreed with the United States to restrict the network's movement along the Afghan border in exchange for America dropping its demands for a full-scale offensive. The report emerged soon after a visit by Hilary Clinton to Pakistan.

Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, has said that Haqqani can be defeated through a combination of a layered defense in Afghanistan and interdiction against the sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Sanctions


As of November 1, 2011, six Haqqani Network commanders have been designated as terrorists under Executive Order 13224
Executive Order 13224
Executive Order 13224 is an executive order signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on September 23, 2001 as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks....

 since 2008 and have had their assets frozen while prohibiting others from engaging in financial transactions with them:
  • In March 2008, the US State Department designated Sirajuddin Haqqani a terrorist and a year later issued a $5 million bounty for information leading to his capture.
  • The State Department placed Nasiruddin Haqqani on its list of terrorists in July 2010.
  • In February 2011 Khalil al Rahman Haqqani was designated a terrorist by the US State Department.
  • In an effort to stop the flow of funds to the network, the US State Department announced on August 16, 2011 measures against Sangeen Zadran as "Shadow Governor for Paktika Province, Afghanistan and a commander of the Haqqani Network." The US designated Zadran under Executive Order 13224 while the United Nations listed him under Security Council Resolution 1988
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1988
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1988, adopted unanimously on June 17, 2011, after recalling resolutions 1267 , 1333 , 1363 , 1373 , 1390 , 1452 , 1455 , 1526 , 1566 , 1617 , 1624 , 1699 , 1730 , 1735 , 1822 and 1904 on terrorism and the threat to Afghanistan, the Council imposed...

    .
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury added Abdul Aziz Abbasin, "a key commander in the Haqqani Network", to the list of individuals on the executive order in September 2011.
  • On November 1, 2011 Haji Mali Khan, who was already in ISAF custody, was added to the list.


In September 2011 the US Senate Appropriations Committee voted to make a $1 billion counter-insurgency aid package to the Pakistani military conditional upon Pakistani action against militant groups, including the Haqqani network. The decision would still need to receive approval from the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. According to the press release, "[t]he bill includes strengthened restrictions on assistance for Pakistan by conditioning all funds to the Government of Pakistan on cooperation against the Haqqani Network, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, with a waiver, and funding based on achieving benchmarks."

Attempts to negotiate


US officials confirmed that they had held preliminary talks during the summer of 2011 with representatives of the militant network at the request of the ISI. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US had reached out to the Haqqanis to gauge their willingness to engage in a peace process and that "Pakistani government officials helped to facilitate such a meeting." The New York Times reported that talks secretly began in late August 2011 in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 between a midlevel American diplomat and Ibrahim Haqqani, Jalalludin's brother. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of the ISI, brokered the discussion, but little resulted from the meeting.

See also

  • Drone attacks in Pakistan
    Drone attacks in Pakistan
    The United States government, led by the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division, has made a series of attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones . These attacks are part of the US' War on Terrorism campaign, seeking to defeat Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants...

  • Hafiz Gul Bahadur
    Hafiz Gul Bahadur
    Hafiz Gul Bahadur is the leader of a Pakistani Taliban faction based in North Waziristan. Upon the formation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in December 2007, he was announced as the militant group's overall naib amir under Baitullah Mehsud, who was based in South Waziristan, but has largely...

  • International Security Assistance Force
    International Security Assistance Force
    The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

  • War in North-West Pakistan
    War in North-West Pakistan
    The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the Pakistan Armed Forces and armed religious groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Islam, TSNM, Arab and Central Asian militants including Al-Qaeda, regional armed movements and elements of organized crime.The armed...

  • War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
    War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
    The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...


External links

  • Haqqani Network, GlobalSecurity.org
    GlobalSecurity.org
    GlobalSecurity.org, launched in 2000, is a public policy organization focusing on the fields of defense, space exploration, intelligence, weapons of mass destruction and homeland security...

  • Haqqani Network, Institute for the Study of War
    Institute for the Study of War
    The Institute for the Study of War is a think tank founded in 2007 by Kimberly Kagan. ISW describes itself as a non-partisan non-profit think tank which seeks to provide research and analysis specifically regarding issues of defense and foreign affairs...

  • Sirajuddin Haqqani, Rewards for Justice Program
    Rewards For Justice Program
    The Rewards for Justice Program is the counterterrorism rewards program of the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service . The Secretary of State is currently offering rewards for information that prevents or favorably resolves acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or...

  • Haqqanis: Growth of a militant network, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 14 September 2011
  • Q&A: Who are the Haqqanis?, Reuters
    Reuters
    Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...