US Says Haqqanis Behind Afghan Attacks

Luis Ramirez

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says members of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani insurgent group were behind the spectacular string of coordinated attacks in Afghanistan early Sunday, and they came as no surprise.

The coalition says the attacks mark the start of the spring fighting season in Afghanistan.

Haqqani Network

  • FOUNDER: Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former anti-Soviet resistance commander.
  • BASE: North Waziristan, Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan.
  • TOP COMMANDERS: Siraj Haqqani, son of founder Jalaluddin Haqqani. Haji Mali Khan, uncle of Siraj Haqqani.
  • LINKS: U.S. officials have linked the network to Al-Qaida, Pakistani Taliban, and the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency.
  • THREAT: U.S. considers it one of the biggest threats to the U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. It is blamed for many high-profile attacks, including last year's attack on a NATO base that wounded 77 U.S. soldiers, and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Militants pounded Kabul and other parts of eastern Afghanistan in coordinated attacks for nearly 18 hours. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that is not so.

“The intelligence indicates that the Haqqanis were behind the attacks that took place," said Panetta.

Panetta told reporters U.S. intelligence knew the attacks were coming, and the militants achieved nothing.

“There were no tactical gains here," he said. "These are isolated attacks that are done for symbolic purposes and they have not regained any territory.”

U.S. officials are portraying the attack as a sign that the Afghan security forces they are training are now more capable of standing up to the militants on their own.  Afghan soldiers and police led the fight against the insurgents.

General Martin Dempsey is the top officer in the U.S. military:

“The French provided a couple of helicopters," said Dempsey. "We provided a couple of helicopters, but this was very much an Afghan show.”

But while Afghan forces won American praise for how well they fought, their president blamed the assault on NATO intelligence failures.

The attacks also raise broader questions of what lies ahead when U.S. forces leave in 2014.  

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Comment Sorting
by: Sadat
April 17, 2012 8:57 AM
people should not say, Haqani or Taliban carry out attack, instead they should say ISI does.
ISI is worse than any terrorest group in the world

by: Rahim
April 17, 2012 8:44 AM
The funy think is. after every attack made by ISI in Afghanistan, they make false attack or some type of problem in Pakistan as well to show to the worl they are not behind any attack in Afghanistan because even they are not able to stop attacks in Pakistan.

by: Michael
April 17, 2012 5:38 AM
USA on it's last leg of super powerism? Of course, countires like Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran are on the rise in your view? Brilliant comment.

We will leave Afghanistan and the country will be returned to the goats who live there. Should those goats be foolish enough to attack us once more, we will once again pay your one of your rag tag armies with a personal vendatta to hunt down their own countrymen. I will sleep well knowing this is your version of victory.

by: Ozair
April 16, 2012 6:23 PM
Not sure why US does not take action against this terrorist organisation and its main supporter ISI. Don't wait until it is to late, they might strike you again in New York or Washington DC.

by: Bassey
April 16, 2012 12:38 PM
Please l urge all the leaders of Africa's to come together inorder to empower the Youth & to develope the economic of our countinent's.

by: Stephen Real
April 16, 2012 12:07 PM
Another Haqqani Network job right out of Pakistan. The haqqani's are bought and paid for by opium and the Pakistani ISI. How many times does this same scenario has to play out over and over again? Pakistan tribal areas have to be penetrated and operatives terminated plain and simple. Any two-bit hillbilly from Timbuktu could have called this one.

by: khan
April 16, 2012 10:40 AM
usa on its last leg of superpowerisom is the cause of the troubles in the world its power is ebbing away and with all its power plus 60 countries cannot defeat the courage of the brave talibans and its secret behind deals trying to save its arse who are the cowards?

by: Haron 2 of 2
April 16, 2012 10:24 AM
if conditions continue like this. from one side when ISAF, NATO & combat troops leave Afg. from another side when there won't be a real president for this TORN-heart country the result will complete to beneficiary of Pakis & Iran. & a big anguish for those people whom fought 23 year with problems. when Russia says NATO must stay in Afg what is the need when Karzai doesn't sign partnership strategic early? i think he wait to russia come & support his brother as a future president.

by: Haron 1 of 2
April 16, 2012 10:08 AM
i think it's the result of an obstacle declared against night raids operations second all people can claim in these 17 hours battle in Kabul there was nationalism observe there was no armies which was Pashtoon. i think Karzai wants to bring his brothers (Taliban) & get support from Pakistan ISI & Iran spies. CON'T

by: Vijay Dandapani
April 16, 2012 9:57 AM
"US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the attacks "cowardly" in a call Sunday to the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker."

That must have the Haqqani network going into paroxysms of shame.

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