Abdul Aziz Haqqani, a senior member of the Haqqani Network and brother to the Network’s leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been added to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The designation allows the United States to freeze his assets, lock him out of the global financial network, and prosecute him for terrorist activities.
Based in the mountainous border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the al-Qa’ida affiliated Haqqani Network operates in both countries. It targets international and Afghan security forces in Afghanistan, and is responsible for many high-profile attacks. Consisting largely of members of the extended Haqqani family, the group raises money from supporters outside the region, and from trucking, racketeering, and extortion. The fighters conduct kidnappings for ransom, collect illegal taxes and shake down shopkeepers for protection fees.
Since 2008, 14 top Haqqani Network leaders have been placed on the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list. Six of them were designated in 2011. All of them have ties to al Qaeda, and at least four of them have already been killed or captured.
Abdul Aziz Haqqani has, for many years, been involved in planning and carrying out attacks against Afghan government targets. Recently, he assumed command for all major Haqqani Network attacks, replacing in this position his brother Badruddin Haqqani, who was killed three years ago. Just last year, the U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice program offered a $5 million dollar for information leading to the location of Abdul Aziz Haqqani.
By naming Abdul Aziz Haqqani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, the United States is taking a decisive step toward ensuring that he and other terrorists associated with the Haqqani Network, find it even more difficult to finance, and ultimately carry out, their acts of violence.