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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid