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Targeting the Haqqani Network

Jalaluddin Haqqani (R), the Taliban's Minister for Tribal Affairs, points to a map of Afghanistan during a visit to Islamabad, Pakistan while his son Naziruddin (L) looks on in this October 19, 2001 file photograph.

Terrorist organization pioneered the use of suicide attacks in Afghanistan.

In early September, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated the Haqqani Network, an al-Qa’ida-linked insurgent group that originated in Afghanistan nearly 40 years ago, meets the statutory criteria for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. The Government of Afghanistan fully supports this step.

Targeting the Haqqani Network
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Today, the Haqqani Network is based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan's North Waziristan. Consisting largely of members of the extended Haqqani family, is the group is active in Afghanistan's southeastern areas of the Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni Provinces. It earns money from trucking, racketeering, and primarily extortion. The fighters conduct kidnappings for ransom, collect illegal taxes and shake down Afghan shopkeepers for protection fees.

The Haqqani Network pioneered the use of suicide attacks in Afghanistan. They are believed to be responsible for the bombing attack on the Kabul Serena Hotel in January 2008, the July 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, and the 2011 attacks on the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad and the Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul.

Last November, the United States government designated six top Haqqani Network commanders in order to block them from accessing the global banking system to raise money. The latest round of designations broadens that ban to include all of the organization’s members and assets.

“The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, engaging in other transactions with the Haqqani Network, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons,” said Secretary of State Clinton. “We also continue our robust campaign of diplomatic, military, and intelligence pressure on the network, demonstrating the United States’ resolve to degrade the organization’s ability to execute violent attacks.”

“The Haqqani Network represents a significant threat to US national security and we will continue our aggressive military action against this threat,” said Spokesman for the Department of Defense George Little.

“These new group designations will build on our efforts to degrade the Network’s capacity to carry out attacks, including affecting fundraising abilities [and] targeting them with our military.”