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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora