News / USA

US says Haqqani Network Will be Designated as Terror Group

Jalaluddin Haqqani (R), the leader of the Haqqani network, points to a map of Afghanistan during a visit to Pakistan while his son looks on in this October 19, 2001 photograph.
Jalaluddin Haqqani (R), the leader of the Haqqani network, points to a map of Afghanistan during a visit to Pakistan while his son looks on in this October 19, 2001 photograph.
VOA News
The U.S. is declaring the Pakistan-based Haqqani network a terrorist organization, a move that paves the way for tough financial sanctions against the militant group.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Friday that she had signed a report to Congress that says the network meets the criteria for a terrorist designation. The U.S. says it will also urge other countries to freeze any assets linked to the militant group.

The Haqqani network has been blamed for a series of high-profile attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, including an attack at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last year.

The group, which has ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida, is reportedly based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area.  It is also believed to have close ties with elements of Pakistani intelligence -- a charge Pakistani officials have rejected.

Senior Haqqani commanders said the terror designation shows the U.S. is not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan.  They told Reuters news agency the move would result in "hardship" for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, held captive since disappearing in 2009 from his base in Paktika province.

The Haqqani Network


ORIGINS: Founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, an Afghan guerilla. In the 1980's, Jalaluddin received American support in fighting against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

WHY TARGETED: The United States believes the al Qaida and Taliban-linked Haqqani network is responsible for a series of high-profile attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, including a 2011 attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul that left four people dead and more than 100 wounded.

PREVIOUS US EFFORTS: The United States has previously imposed sanctions on Haqqani leaders, including founder Jalaluddin Haqqani and two of his sons. In late August, U.S. and Pakistani officials confirmed that Badruddin Haqqani, the commander of the group's day-to-day operations, was killed in a drone strike.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan has denied assertions that the Haqqani network has close ties to elements of Pakistani intelligence.

The Pentagon declined Friday to discuss details of efforts to gain the soldier's return.  But spokesman George Little welcomed the announcement, saying U.S. forces will continue with "aggressive military action against this threat" to U.S. security in the region.

The Pakistani embassy in Washington called the U.S. move to blacklist the Haqqani network a U.S. "internal matter." It said Pakistan would continue to work with all international partners, including the United States, in combating terrorism.

However, Afghanistan analyst Lisa Curtis of the U.S.-based Heritage Foundation voiced skepticism about Pakistani efforts to pursue the network.

“Well, I am sort of doubtful that Pakistan is going to change any of its policies overnight. Let’s take for example [the banned militant group] Lashkar-e-Taiba. They have been listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. for the last 10 years, yet Pakistan has not really taken any concrete measures to shut that group down. So I think that, you know, it would be premature to expect Pakistan to take any concrete measures on its own," Curtis said.

Congress has been pressing to have the entire network branded a terrorist organization because it is now widely seen as the biggest threat to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.  Clinton faced a September 9 U.S. Congressional deadline for making a decision concerning the entire group.

However, some U.S. officials have expressed concern that placing the network on a blacklist could further damage already fragile relations with Pakistan and slow efforts to negotiate a political settlement to the Afghan war by undercutting talks with the Taliban.

Months of sour relations between the U.S. and Pakistan are only just now easing with July's reopening of crucial military supply lines across the Afghan border.  Pakistan had closed the routes after 24 Pakistani troops were killed in a U.S. air strike last year.

The U.S. has been pressing Pakistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan, but the Pakistani army has said its forces are stretched too thin to target militants in the tribal agency.  

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Friday welcomed any move by the United States to target the Haqqani network.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NRG1006 from: New York, NY
September 07, 2012 8:49 PM
I'm not sure why America is now identifying Haqqani as a terrorist network when all along they have taken responsibility for killings in India and the opposition in Pakistan. They are also responsible for the double-cross at the Khyber Pass to blame the US for their attempt to alienate Paki-US policies. Pakistan is a "drift" Country accepting bribes from all sides.

by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
September 07, 2012 2:32 PM
Please expedite. The Haqqani network's creator, trainer and financier, the ISI should also be declared a terrorist outfit.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 07, 2012 1:54 PM
Looks like round-tripping. Pakistan is at home with Haqqani network, so who's worried? Pakistan itself is wooed because it has nuke. Pakistan is angry because USA killed Osama bin Laden. Pakistan is not happy with USA branding Haqqani a terrorist group, and US is worried. This is because US already knows that Pakistan is an access of terror/evil - a terrorist state. Pakistan is only different from Iran in its insidious treachery while Iran boasts of it. It's coming a shade too late to tell Pakistan to its face, 'YOU'RE A TERRORIST STATE' for harboring and nurturing terror outfit like Haqqani that thrives on the blood of innocent people, if the shame of finding Osama bin Laden next door to the presidential lodge in Islamabad is not enough.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More