For the most current information on the Haqqani Network, please read Afghanistan Report 6- The Haqqani Network: From Pakistan to Afghanistan by Jeffrey Dressler.
Named after its leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, the Haqqani Network is a group within the insurgency in Afghanistan that is based out of North Wazirstan in the Pakistani Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The group has been active mainly in the east of Afghanistan—in Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni Wardak and even Kabul provinces.
The group is still believed to be led by the old (estimated over sixty years) and ailing Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani. Mawlawi Haqqani is a former anti-Soviet resistance commander known for ruthless effectiveness as a fighter. His ties to Pakistan, and his base in and around Miram Shah, go as far back as his exile during the Republican government of Sardar Daud in early 1970s. He was initially a part of the many mujahideen leaders that formed Hizb-e-Islami. When Hezb-e Islami fractured in the late 1970s, Haqqani followed Yunis Khalis rather than Hekmatyar, and became one of the most important commanders in the Hezb-e Islami (Khalis) or HIK. When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Haqqani was in Pakistan with the other key mujahideen leaders. Haqqani later became a field commander in Mawlawi Yunis Khalis’s Hizb-e-Islami. He received significant support from the CIA and from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), and built up a sizable and competent militia force by the mid-1980s. Haqqani is believed to be influenced by radical Islamist principles drawn from the early Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which were prevalent among many of the religiously-motivated Afghan mujahideen of that time. Mawlawi Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani run a number of madrassas and training camps in North Wazirstan.1 Due to his father’s ill health, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reported to be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the movement.
The Haqqanis hail from the Zadran qaum (tribe), who are mostly based in Paktia and Khost provinces in the east of Afghanistan. Their support base has always been in that area with a base in the FATA’s North Wazirstan.
The Battles for Khost, 1985-1987
The mujahideen had isolated the Soviet/Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) garrison at Khost early in the war, taking advantage of the fact that there is only one major road linking Khost with the rest of Afghanistan—the Khost-Gardez road that runs through the Satekandav Pass. In summer 1985, Haqqani gathered several thousand fighters and assaulted the city of Khost itself, overrunning Soviet and DRA outposts and requiring a significant Soviet counter-attack to save the city.2 Heavy fighting continued in 1986, including operations during which Haqqani was reportedly burned by napalm while leading his soldiers.3 On each occasion, Haqqani and other key leaders in his group withdrew to Waziristan when it became clear that the temporary Soviet firepower would overwhelm them if they continued to resist. The Soviets lacked any overall operational concept for their efforts in the Greater Paktia area (and, generally, in the war), and never attempted to maintain military dominance in the area over the long term.
In 1987, the Soviet leadership decided to undertake a major effort to open the Khost-Gardez road long enough to get supplies in to the town and its garrison. Operation MAGISTRAL (MAINLINE), as it was called, was the major Soviet military effort of that year, overseen directly by Colonel General Boris Gromov, commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Gromov made numerous attempts to negotiate with Haqqani and Zadran tribal elders to secure safe passage for supplies to Khost without fighting. It is not clear whether or not Haqqani himself participated in negotiations, but Zadran tribal elders certainly did and they drew out the discussions intentionally to allow time for their forces to react. Two weeks of hard fighting allowed the Soviet forces to secure the Satekandav Pass. The arrival of Soviet reinforcements and the elimination of a key insurgent base convinced Haqqani to withdraw his forces temporarily. The Soviets resupplied the garrison and then withdrew from the area.4 By 1989, all Soviet forces had withdrawn from the country.
Haqqani had consolidated his military position in Greater Paktia, establishing a Shura (Council) to coordinate military operations in the area, but he did not attempt to establish political control as Ismail Khan did in western Afghanistan. Nor was he able to extend his reach by forming regional coalitions, as Ahmad Shah Masood did in the north.5 His forces were, however, able to capture Khost in 1991 from the communist government of Dr. Mohammad Najibullah—becoming the first mujahideen commander to seize and hold a major Afghan city after the Soviet withdrawal. (The final assault on the city was led by his brother Ibrahim Haqqani. Jalaluddin was in Miram Shah at that point.) Haqqani received a ministry in the new government of Burhanuddin Rabbani, but defected to the Taliban in 1995.6
The relationship between Haqqani and the Taliban government was not smooth. Haqqani is a member of the Ghilzai tribe of Pashtuns, whose lands lie generally east of Kandahar, whereas the Taliban leadership was largely from the Durrani tribe and particularly from sub-tribes around Kandahar itself. Ghilzais prided themselves on the role they had played in defeating the Soviets, and Haqqani and other Ghilzais resented the primacy of the Kandahari Taliban. Haqqani received a large sum of money to recruit soldiers after the Taliban’s massive 1997 defeat in Mazar-e Sharif, but tensions with the Kandahari officers he was assigned, among other things, led to mass desertions from among his forces.7 He nevertheless remained loyal to the Taliban government, becoming Minister of Tribal Affairs. In late September 2001, Mullah Omar appointed Haqqani the commander-in-chief of the Taliban armed forces.9
Haqqani speaks fluent Arabic and one of his two wives is from the United Arab Emirates10 – assets that have helped him raise a great deal of money from Saudi Arabia and individuals in the Persian Gulf. He also frequently travels to Gulf Arab states, where he is highly respected and has key contacts from the times of the anti-Soviet war.11 Haqqani established a close relationship with Osama Bin Laden in the 1980s and: “It’s not a coincidence that the first camps that bin Laden created in Afghanistan, Lion’s Den and some related infrastructure that he started to build, were in Haqqani’s territory.”12 The Haqqanis currently run a network of religious seminaries and training bases of Afghan and foreign fighters in North and South Waziristan.13 A U.S. military spokesman in eastern Afghanistan, Maj. Chris Belcher, has accused the Haqqanis of inviting foreign fighters from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Turkey and Middle Eastern countries into Afghanistan.14
Haqqani’s connection with the ISI dates back to the times of the Soviet jihad. According to U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Afghanistan (1989-1992), Peter Tomsen, the ISI has maintained its Jihad era ties with Haqqani.15 Right after the U.S. invasion in October 2001, Haqqani was invited to Islamabad for talks about a post-Taliban government.16 In a transcript passed to Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence in May 2008, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani was heard referring to Haqqani as “a strategic asset.”17
A top ISI official was reported to have held talks with Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of Jalaluddin’s sons who has replaced him as the leader of the movement due to his father’s ill-health, in Miranshah of North Waziristan in early March 2009.18 In a prisoner exchange with Pakistani Taliban led by Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani government released three family members of the Haqqani family in November 2007 – Haqqani’s brother Khalil Ahmad, son Dr. Fazl-i-Haqqani and brother-in-law Ghazi Khan.19 Haqqani is said to have mediated peace deals between the Pakistani government and Waziri and Mehsudi commanders of the Pakistani Taliban in North and South Waziristan.20
U.S. military officials says the Haqqanis were behind most of attacks in eastern Afghanistan in 2008.21 Sirajuddin has been working to expand his father’s traditional operational base of Khost, Paktia and Paktika to other provinces in the east, such as Ghazni, Logar, Wardak and Kabul.22 He has also sought closer ties with foreign terrorist groups and adopted far more brutal tactics. “Siraj Haqqani is the one who is training, influencing, commanding and leading,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dave Anders, Combined Joint Task Force-82 director of operations. “Kidnappings, assassinations, beheading women, indiscriminate killings and suicide bombers – Siraj is the one dictating the new parameters of brutality associated with Taliban senior leadership.”23
The Haqqanis, with the help of ISI, are alleged by Afghan and American intelligence officials to have been behind the recent simultaneous attacks on government buildings in Kabul,24 a suicide attack on the Indian Embassy on July 7, 2008,25 and an assassination attempt against President Hamid Karzai in April, 2008.26 The Afghan National Security Directorate said it had destroyed a terrorist network involved in at least six suicide bombings in the capital, Kabul, which was run jointly by the Haqqanis, Harakat-al-Mujahedin, and ISI.27
The Haqqanis collaborate with the Mullah Omar-led Taliban forces, but try to keep their leadership in the east. A letter reportedly issued by the Haqqanis in 2008 grieving about the loss of Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah Lang called on the Taliban forces to replace Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders in Quetta.28 While the letter praised Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, Siraj Haqqani has repeatedly voiced loyalty to Mullah Omar.
1 Carlotta Gall, “Old-Line Taliban Commander Is Face of Rising Afghan Threat,” The New York Times, June 17, 2008.
2 US DoS, Bureau of Public Affairs, “Afghanistan: Six Years of Soviet Occupation,” Special Report no. 135, December 1985.
3 US DoS, Bureau of Public Affairs, “Afghanistan: Seven Years of Soviet Occupation,” Special Report no. 155, December 1986. (Available from the Digital National Security Archive).
4 Boris Gromov, Ogranichennyi contingent [The Limited Contingent], Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1994, pp. 298-304. Tactical vignettes of the fight for the Satekandav Pass (now called the K-G Pass by US forces), are available in Lester Grau, ed., The Bear Went Over the Mountain, and Grau and Ali Jalali, eds., The Other Side of the Mountain.
5 Neamatollah Nojumi, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region, (New York: Palgrave, 2002), 94.
6 Marc W. Herold, “The Failing Campaign to Kill Jalaluddin Haqqani,” Cursor, January 18, 2002.
7 Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, p. 60; William Maley, ed., “Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban,” p. 60; Neamatollah Nojumi, “The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan,” p. 146.
8 Rashid, p. 60.
9 “Haqqani Appointed Taliban Commander,” Dawn , September 29, 2001.
10 “Rebel chief Haqqani loses his son in battle,” Quqnoos, July 13, 2008.
11 “Return of the Taliban: Jaluluddin Haqqani,” Frontline, PBS.
12 “Interview with Steve Coll,” Frontline, PBS.
13 Shaiq Hussain, “U.S. Missiles Said To Kill 20 in Pakistan Near Afghan Border,” The Washington Post, September 9, 2008, A14.
14 Carlotta Gall, “Old-Line Taliban Commander Is Face of Rising Afghan Threat,” The New York Times, June 17, 2008.
15 “Interview with Steve Coll,” Frontline, PBS.
16 John F. Burns, “A Nation Challenged: The Aftermath; Taliban Army Chief Scoffs At Report of Peace Talks,” The New York Times, October 21, 2001.
17 Catherine Philp, “Pervez Musharraf was playing ‘double game’ with US,” The Times (London), February 17, 2009.
18 “ISI officer met Haqqani: Indian media,” The News (India), March 02, 2009.
19 “Pakistan frees Haqqani relatives under swap deal,” Pajhwok Afghan News, November 13, 2007.
20 M Ilyas Khan, “The Afghan-Pakistan militant nexus,” BBC News, September 10, 2008.
21 Jim Garamone and David Mays, “Afghan, Coalition Forces Battle Taliban, Narcotics, Emphasize Training,” American Forces Press Service, October 19, 2007.
22 U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Dinneen, “ANSF, Coalition Forces Focus on Haqqani Network,” Combined Joint Task Force-82 Public Affairs Office.
23 U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Dinneen, “ANSF, Coalition Forces Focus on Haqqani Network,” Combined Joint Task Force-82 Public Affairs Office.
24 Richard A. Oppel Jr., Abdul Waheed Wafa, and Sangar Rahimi, “20 Dead as Taliban Attackers Storm Kabul Offices,” The New York Times, February 11, 2009.
25 Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, “Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say,” The New York Times, August 1, 2008.
26 “US arrests ‘Haqqani terror commanders’,” Quqnoos, September 24, 2008.
27 “Afghan Security Services Capture Terrorist Cell in the Capital,” Quqnoos, February 3, 2009.
28 See a copy of the letter in Farsi at http://www.azmoone-melli.com/index.php?number=3676.
More info here: https://mediachecker.wordpress.com/?s=muslim+brotherhood+obama
‘Diplomatic sources’ in Pakistan say, “The US and Pakistan have reached an understanding on joint operations against the Haqqani network but no final decision has been taken yet”. Outside, ‘leaks’ have appeared in the press indicating that “understanding for joint operations against the Haqqani network was reached at a meeting between senior US and Pakistani military commanders in Islamabad”. More clearly, The Wall Street Journal reported “that plans for joint operations” against the Haqqanis and Maulavi Fazlullah “were discussed in meetings between ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam and top CIA, State Department and Pentagon officials in Washington”. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik used to throw broad hints at Americans for helping the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) assist in carrying out attacks inside Pakistan from the Afghan provinces, Kunar and Nuristan. Now, he says the Afghan government and its secret agency are doing the dastardly deed, not the Americans.
Apparently, our ISI chief General Islam got nowhere with the drones and an understanding on the subject was deferred. He is believed to have offered a proposal which urges the US to identify targets and let Pakistani F16s carry out the attacks. If there is no agreement on the drones, it could derail the whole process, not so much because the Pakistan Army hates the drones but because the Pakistani people and the media have been subjected to a hype about them by the concerned quarters, which may not be speaking with one voice.
Another question must bother the Pakistani side — if not the Americans — because they have more information about Pakistan’s real capacity to control events on its soil. The Haqqanis have a close relationship with al Qaeda and Admiral Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accused the Haqqani network of being “one of several extremist organisations serving as proxies of the Government of Pakistan”. The Haqqanis are lodged safely in North Waziristan, which the Pakistan Army says it cannot attack just yet for various reasons, in order to flush them out. But the network has extended itself to other areas, too, including the Kurram tribal agency. The Americans want to take the Haqqanis out because of their ability to kill in large areas of Afghanistan. They operate in the Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika and have an extensive presence in Kabul, Logar, Wardak, Ghazni, Zabul, Kandahar and Kunduz. Their outreach also includes the distant Afghan provinces of Badakhshan and Faryab.
If Pakistan gives up the Haqqani network, it gives up its trump card in the Afghan endgame. But the new line in Pakistan is that the doctrine of strategic depth is no longer the embraced philosophy and a new approach has been adopted. As far as the drones are concerned, the world sees pressure rather than conviction behind the Pakistani stand. Every time the Taliban attack and kill innocent Pakistanis, the clearly enunciated message is ‘get the Americans to stop their drones’. There is yet more lack of clarity. Is Pakistan able to deliver on the commitment it is vaguely making to the Americans through its ‘understanding’ on the Haqqanis? This is the question most analysts in the US will ask.
The question about the capacity of the state to control its territory is being asked in Pakistan but it is diverted to other emotive aspects of the sovereignty of the state vis-à-vis an intrusive strategy of the Americans to tackle terrorists that Pakistan cannot handle. If the Taliban were not obliged to own up to their acts of terrorism to make their presence felt, Pakistan is inclined to link all terror on its soil to America and India, as it is doing with respect to Balochistan. The problem here is that Pakistan is alone in the world in this thinking and its economy is in the process of a meltdown that cannot be halted without international help.
It is time to make a comprehensive policy shift. It is going to be difficult but as long as the international community understands that it is taking place, Pakistan’s chances of surviving remain bright.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012
(Failed) War on Terror: The Haqqani Terror Network has built its reputation on drug smuggling, extortion and kidnapping in cooperation with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their numerous offshoots are terrorist wings of the Muslim Brotherhood which is supported by the Obama regime.
(Failed) War on Drugs: The Drug Lords in Latin America continue to reign supreme. One can’t foresee that the money-making Drug Lords in Afghanistan being banished anytime soon.
The Muslim Brotherhood represents the nexus where fanatical Islamists, deviant elites, and the criminalized elements in government and the Intelligence Community meet.
Does anyone believe that the International Bankster-Gangsters aren’t getting a cut of this very lucrative drug (kidnapping/slave trade–sex slave trade…) trafficking enterprise? So why would they stop it? There are rogue factions working for the international bankster-gangsters within the ISI, MI5, MI6, FBI, CIA, KGB, NSA, DIA, DEA and loads of other alphabet organizations in countries around the world involved.
Jeffrey Dressler – from Pakistan to Afghanistan:
Banks Are “Where the Money Is” In The Drug War
Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wachovia (acquired by Wells Fargo in 2009), HSBC Holdings, ING Bank, Standard Chartered, American Express Bank International, and not a few others, have a common bond beyond ranking among the largest banks in the world.
All have been accused within the past five years (and several this year) of failing to comply with US anti-money laundering laws — thereby enabling, collectively, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of suspicious transactions to move through the banking system absent adequate monitoring or oversight.
Yet not one these banks, nor any of their top executives, has been hit with criminal sanctions….
Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks
…In March 2010 Wachovia cut a deal with the US government which involved the bank being given fines of $160 million under a ”deferred prosecution” agreement. This was due to Wachovia’s heavy involvement in money laundering moving up to $378.4 billion over several years. Not one banker was prosecuted for illegal involvement in the drugs trade. Meanwhile small time drug dealers and users go to prison.
If any member of the public is caught in possession of a few grammes of coke or heroin you can bet your bottom dollar they will be going down to serve some hard time. However, if you are a bankster caught laundering billions of dollars for some of the most murderous people on the planet you get off with a slap on the wrist in the form of some puny fine and a deferred prosecution deal…
numerous articles on the Haqqani Network from ISI: