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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs