News

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.  

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs