“The evolution of the Haqqani network from a localized jihadi outfit into a sophisticated, diversified and transnational crime network implies that tactics which have been applied successfully against other criminal networks around the globe could be applied in the effort to degrade the Haqqanis,” the Combating Terrorism Center report says.
The foreign terrorist group designation gives the U.S. more leverage to attack terrorist funding and additional justifications for counterterrorism efforts.
But few expect it will be a game-changer when it comes to Pakistan’s support for the terrorists.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that old partners don’t break up easily,” said a U.S. official who spoke on background. “You still have to call out the Haqqanis for who they are: They are violent terrorists.”
The Haqqanis are ethnic Pashtuns and belong to the Zadran tribe in Paktia province in southeastern Afghanistan. Their network is active across much of southeastern Afghanistan and seeks to regain control over its traditional bases in Khost and Paktia provinces.
The Haqqani Network was led by the father-son duo Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani. However, Jalaluddin Haqqani has been relegated to the role of a figurehead since suffering a stroke in 2005.
Sirajuddin Haqqani grew up in North Waziristan in the company of foreign jihadists. He is viewed as an ideological extremist who has ambitions that go far beyond southeastern Afghanistan.
The Haqqani Network has headquarters in and around Miram Shah, the capital of North Waziristan. It allows al Qaeda and Taliban militants to use its safe havens and encourages them to attack targets in Afghanistan.
Jalaluddin Haqqani and Osama bin Laden forged a friendship during the fight against the Soviets, and when U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan in October 2001, Haqqani allowed the al Qaeda leader to use his group’s safe havens in Pakistan.
Bin Laden was killed in a May 2, 2011, raid by Navy SEALs on his compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, 60 miles from the capital, Islamabad.
‘Pakistan is at risk’
“There is probably nothing that the international community can do with respect to sanctions on the Haqqani Network that would force the Pakistani security services or government to go after the Haqqanis, because nothing has fundamentally changed about their calculus,” Mr. Dressler said.
The group’s fighters travel freely across the porous border that divides North Waziristan from Afghanistan because of an understanding with Pakistani security forces that they will not target Pakistani military interests, analysts say.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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