Taliban Confirms Death of Haqqani, Founder of Afghan Militant Network

Saul Bowman
September 7, 2018

Tawab Ghorzang, Director at Afghanistan's National Security Council, said Haqqani died back in 2007 and the news is made public now as "part of (Taliban's) psychological warfare tactics".

The group is the bone of contention between Pakistan and the USA as the latter accuse that Haqqani militants were still using Pakistani soil to launch attacks - a charge denied by Pakistan.

USA and Afghan officials have said the group, based in Pakistan's region of North Waziristan, and considered close to Al Qaeda, operated with the support of Pakistani intelligence services.

Jalaluddin Haqqani was an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s with the help of the United States and Pakistan and came to prominence during that period.

Both Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son are seen as a proxy for Pakistani influence within the organization, having developed ties with the infamous Pakistani intelligence service ISI during the uprising against the Soviets in the 1980s.

Jalaluddin studied at the Darul Uloom Haqqania Nowshera in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province - an Islamic seminary dubbed as the "University of Jihad" as its alumni include slain Taliban chiefs Mullah Omar and Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent leader Asim Umar. The founder of the outlawed outfit had been paralysed for the past 10 years and reports of his death had even surfaced in 2015.

Apart from devastating bomb attacks, the Haqqanis have also been accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding kidnapped Westerners for ransom.

After Soviet-Afghan war: After the dwell of Soviet-Afghan war, Haqqani developed end ties with global militant financiers and leaders, alongside with Osama bin Laden, the long stir head of al-Qaeda.

► He was believed to have been ill and bedridden for several years, and the network has been led by his son Sirajuddin for some time now.

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which also operates in Afghanistan, has been blamed for a number of high-profile suicide attacks and violence.

Primarily based in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, the USA intelligence community believes that the Haqqani Network was responsible for some of the highest-profile attacks of the past 11 years.

His group became notorious for complex, well-organized attacks on both Afghan and US military, as well as civilian targets and high-profile kidnappings.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that Haqqani died on Monday inside Afghanistan.

The Haqqani Network gave assurances it has several well-trained leaders and its operations will not be compromised by the death of its founder.

The Haqqani network is notorious for its heavy use of suicide bombers in complex, urban attacks, indiscriminately killing civilians and Afghan and foreign security forces alike.

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