The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan is offering a reward of two-hundred-thousand dollars for information that leads to the capture Siraj Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani terrorist network.
U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Anders, director of operations for Combined Joint Task Force-82 said Haqqani “is the one dictating the new parameters of brutality associated with the Taliban senior leadership,” including kidnappings, assassinations, beheading women, indiscriminate killings and suicide bombings.
Coalition officials say Haqqani is facilitating suicide attacks throughout Afghanistan, including the capital city of Kabul. He is also believed to oversee several extremist madrassas in Pakistan responsible for the training of Taliban insurgents. He reportedly has close connections with al-Qaida from which his network draws financial support and foreign terrorists. Siraj Haqqani’s extended reach brings foreign fighters from places like Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Turkey, and Middle Eastern countries into Afghanistan.
U.S.-led coalition troops and Afghan national security forces are taking the initiative to disrupt his network. Recent Afghan and coalition force operations have captured more than thirty Haqqani terrorists as well as numerous weapons and explosives. Coalition officials say Pakistan’s military has contributed to the capture of Haqqani operatives and other insurgents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Siraj Haqqani is reported to be about forty years old. He has amassed a fortune in weapons and narcotics smuggling. He operates in eastern Afghanistan and has strong ties to Pakistan’s tribal region. Anyone with information about Siraj Haqqani should contact Afghan national security forces or coalition troops. The identities of those who give information will be protected.
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai says terrorism continues to pose a serious obstacle to his country’s economic development. “This [development] will not be possible," he says, "if we do not isolate the handful of terrorists wherever they are and organize. . .a joint campaign against them.”