Badruddin Haqqani 'is alive and healthy,' Taliban spokesman says


Badruddin-Haqqani.jpg

Badruddin Haqqani. Click to view slide show of the Haqqani Network leaders.

A top spokesman for the Afghan Taliban denied reports that senior Haqqani Network leader Badruddin Haqqani was killed several days ago in a drone strike in North Waziristan.

"A number of media have reported that Badruddin Haqqani has been killed. We would like to inform all media that this rumor is not correct," Zabihullah Mujahid, an official spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, or the Afghan Taliban, said in an email that was obtained by The Long War Journal.

"Badruddin Haqqani is in the country and he is occupied with his operational responsibilities. He is alive and healthy. The rumor about him being killed is more propaganda of the enemy," Mujahid continued.

Ahmad Jan, who identified himself to The Express Tribune as a spokesman for the Haqqani Network, also denied reports of Badruddin's death and said a 13-year-old cousin named Osama had been killed.

"We will not hide it if any of the Haqqani family members are martyred," Jan told The Express Tribune. "Martyrdom will only boost our jihadi spirit. Some people assumed it was Badruddin Haqqani who had been killed when they saw his family members at the funeral."

Afghan National Directorate of Security deputy spokesman Shafiqullah Taheri told TOLONews that Badruddin was killed, however. An unidentified Haqqani Network family member has also claimed that Badruddin is dead.

Pakistani intelligence officials have said they believe that Badruddin was killed in the Aug. 21 drone strike in Miramshah, North Waziristan. The officials said they had picked up communications that indicated he was killed, and they claimed to be 90 percent certain the reports were true. US officials also said that they had intelligence that Badruddin may have been killed in a strike in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency.

Badruddin is one of the most senior leaders of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network. He is thought to serve as the top deputy to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the group's operational commander. In May 2011, he was added to the US's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists for his ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban [for more information on Badruddin, see LWJ report, Badruddin Haqqani rumored killed in US drone strike].

The US has launched five drone strikes in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan since Aug. 18. Four of the strikes have taken place in the Shawal Valley, a terrorist haven near the Afghan border, and one more occurred in Miramshah.

In addition to Badruddin, Emeti Yakuf, the emir of the Turkistan Islamic Party who is also known as Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, is rumored to have been killed in the Aug. 24 drone strike in the Shawal Valley that hit a training camp. His death has not been confirmed. Yakuf directs al Qaeda operations in Pakistan's tribal areas and has been involved in the global jihad since 1996.

Across the border in Afghanistan, the US killed Mullah Dadullah, and his deputy, Shakir, in an airstrike in Kunar province on Aug. 24. Dadullah, who was also known as Maulana Mohammad Jamal, was the emir of Bajaur branch of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.



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READER COMMENTS: "Badruddin Haqqani 'is alive and healthy,' Taliban spokesman says"

Posted by Max at August 26, 2012 10:22 AM ET:

Obtained by the Associated Press. Not the Long War Journal.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gy3tihpwxsbdaQ25qVIE-uQ7InXw?docId=92a1b653a745485499a3d9094419ef5a

Posted by Bill Roggio at August 26, 2012 10:56 AM ET:

Recently updated with new info, this should be sorted out quickly. Mujahid and a supposed Haqqani Newtork spokesman have now denied he is dead (as have unidentified family members). The NDS and unidentified family members have said he's dead. We'll see.

Max, not sure what you mean by "Obtained by the Associated Press. Not the Long War Journal." If you are saying I didn't get the info from NDS confirming he's dead, that is true. I read it at TOLONews, as is clearly stated above. Unlike some news organizations, LWJ will always source where we get the information, via a link or direct attribution (to an outside news agency or our own sources).

Posted by Max at August 26, 2012 11:04 AM ET:

I'm talking about you not getting the e-mail from Mujahid. And for God's sake, work on your spelling.

Posted by Golap Mohi Uddin at August 26, 2012 11:20 AM ET:

So, which one is correct? Is he alive yet? It should be clear.

Posted by Bill Roggio at August 26, 2012 11:30 AM ET:

Max,

I wouldn't normally publish your rude comment, but since you won't use your real email (a clear violation of the posted comments policy, by the way), and I couldn't send this to you privately, I'll make an exception and respond here.

If there is a problem with spelling or anything you see on the site, just email me and I'll fix it. My email is out there for all to see and use. I appreciate the help from the readers, who are often my best editors. I don't claim to be perfect, this is why LWJ has an editor. The sad fact is she isn't available 24/7 (I have very limited resources), and there are times where I need to get information out quickly. I have an awful habit of reading past my own errors (I read for content, not detail, it is a failing of mine that I am fully aware of). If the spelling or grammar or other mistakes that you see are too much for you to take, by all means, go get your news somewhere else. If you like the additional context that LWJ provides, and can tolerate the occasional (more too often for my liking) mistakes, please stay.

As far as the statement from Mujahid, I did not receive the email directly from Mujahid. I am not on his mailing list. I was forwarded a copy of his statement from a source of mine. I never said I received the email from him, in fact this is what I said:

"A number of media have reported that Badruddin Haqqani has been killed. We would like to inform all media that this rumor is not correct," Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email that was obtained by The Long War Journal.

Note the "that was obtained by The Long War Journal" part. I said the email was obtained, not received.

Now, you can criticize my spelling all you like, but perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension skills. If you don't like the insult, then don't lead off with one.

Posted by villiger at August 26, 2012 12:44 PM ET:

Max, i was struck by your first snide remark--thought you were having a bad hair day. But when i read your second remark it struck me that you definitely need to see a shrink. Your ego couldn't handle the fact that Bill didn't receive the email directly but alluded to it nevertheless?!
----
Bill, thanks for not bumping Max off--we need some dramatic relief, amidst all the intense news these days, even if it is psychotic. Not necessary to waste your time responding to rudeness though. Your readers understand too well your commitment to your work and your high standards, for which thank you and have a nice Sunday.
---
Now, Max again: prove it that you're a gentleman, or even a man, by apologising to Bill after he laboured in writing you a polite response you did not deserve. If you don't take my latter advice, definitely take the former.

Posted by bb at August 26, 2012 12:47 PM ET:

Dear Bill,

Most of your readers are here for information. Please don´t stop to publish your data even if hasn't been reviewed by you editor.

B.B.

P.S: This week has been really interesting times.

Posted by Charu at August 26, 2012 1:11 PM ET:

From Badruddin soon to Badderuddin (Sirajuddin). Thanks very much for your superb work in sifting through the disinformation out there, Bill. Your readers come from all backgrounds and from around the world, and certainly don't need a self-appointed Grammar Czar who appears to be more concerned with who the terrorists have on their rolodex than with doing a Judith Miller.

Posted by Tony Buzan at August 26, 2012 1:35 PM ET:

I think it is an overt policy of our psyops teams to, from time to time, facilitate the insertion of false stories into the information battlespace (what you hear on the news) about supposed "deaths" of militant leaders in South Asia.

The resulting chatter is then tracked with a hope to picking up vital clues about the location of that militant leader target, with an eye to killing that target in the future.

I'm not saying that is the case here, but it is simply wise to discount ALL stories of this nature and suspend belief one way or another until the facts arrive through the fog of war.

Posted by Bill Roggio at August 26, 2012 2:34 PM ET:

Max of course left a profanity-laced comment. I bet none of you saw that one coming...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. It has been an extremely busy week-plus, and here is hoping these reports are sorted out sooner than later.

Posted by JRP at August 26, 2012 2:37 PM ET:

I never understood why Taliban/AQ would ever want to acknowledge the killing of a HVT whose death cannot be confirmed with the certainty that attended OBL's death. It would make more sense to plant disinformation that at worst keeps our search resources as divided as possible and at best takes advantage of our eagerness to know for sure to lure us into a FOB Chapman-type ambush. For instance, has Ilyas Kashmiri's death ever been 100% confirmed or are our intel people still expending resources to find out what became of him?

Posted by kafantaris at August 26, 2012 3:01 PM ET:

Good riddance to Badruddin Haqqani; and good riddance to Mullah Dadullah.
Pakistan and NATO should now make every effort to strike the Taliban.
The only thing these savages know -- and deal with -- is force. Let's serve it up to them.
The opportunity is fleeting.

Posted by rk at August 26, 2012 4:16 PM ET:

@JRP

Looks like we'll never know the full details behind Kashmiri's death at the open-source level...

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-127460-Authorities-unsure-Taliban-insist-Ilyas-Kashmiri-is-dead

Posted by Bilal at August 26, 2012 5:16 PM ET:

I agree with Bill rogio

Posted by Charles at August 26, 2012 5:53 PM ET:

Hmmm, a couple weeks ago Afghan intel actually busted up a Kabul attack network squad before they struck.

That showed a real intelligence break through, Why? Because previously, the only time we ever heard about the Kabul attack network was after they would make a raid.

Now the leader of the Kabul attack network Badruddin Haqqani is killed.

How did the intelligence break though come about?

A couple weeks ago I speculated that it was the ISI. Why? Because the withdrawal of the USA made the Haqqani's a rival with Pakistan for power in the Afghanistan--given that the Afghan government has shown every indication that they are --and will be-- willing to follow the lead of Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has publicly said they will invade North Waziristan. 1000 fighters and their families have left in anticipation of the invasion. Perhaps Bill is right and the Pakistanis won't actually invade North Waziristan--because they have said one thing and done another many times before.

However, even if the Pakistanis don't invade North Waziristan--what looks like the destruction of the Kabul attack network...gives one pause as to whether an advance in North Waziristan by Pakistani troops would be necessary.

(I'm sure there is more that the ISI can do if they are so inclined. For example, since the USA is on the way out, it would be nice if the whole list of MOST WANTED in Pakistan were fingered.)

The ISI is also a business organization. They are going to have to send their ambitious young men to mining school if they are going to be as big as Saudi Armaco. And they can't have a lot of marauding bandits up in the hills kidnapping people & growing dope.

Posted by Dan from AZ at August 26, 2012 6:08 PM ET:

Bill, I just want to know that I'm a regular reader of "The Long War Journal" because the regular "news" outlets have basically forgotten about this war on terror. Your commitment to provide this information is needed and I respect you for doing it.
Thank you,
Dan

Posted by JT at August 26, 2012 6:38 PM ET:

Bill,

It would be nice if people like Max would avoid using the relative anonymity of the web to spill their !@#$.

Good Sunday to you and your readers. I appreciate the LWJ for its reporting without the ridiculous filtering that goes with most reporting. I plan to continue to read LWJ and will provide input if and when I can. My apologies for a recent post where I referred to the wrong "militant." My attention to detail was lacking that day and I appreciate the correction.

Here's hoping that the Taliban are now worried about morale sufficiently that they are denying deaths rather than celebrating them.

JT

Posted by Sam Bronstein at August 26, 2012 8:16 PM ET:

@ JRP

They don't do disinformation because they pride themselves on being honest in public statements. I think a good rule of thumb in these situation is that if al Qaeda or one of their affiliated groups makes an official martyrdom statement, that person is dead.

@ RK

I tend to think Kashmiri is dead because al Qaeda mentioned him in a statement with a bunch of other martyred leaders. Still though, Kashmiri is a slippery SOB. It seems like he has been declared dead only to rise from the ashes, or get put in prison only to get out, a lot more than other people. The only reason I would say that Kashmiri's semi-martyrdom statement may have been faked was that Kashmiri was never a public face, he was just an operational nuts and bolts type guy. Therefore there would be more incentive for al Qaeda to claim he was still alive because the burden of proof would be so low. Still though, I think he's dead. By the way, that article was a great find.

Posted by Ray at August 26, 2012 9:38 PM ET:

Bill, keep up the good work and don't let people like that bring you to their level.

Posted by Jason at August 26, 2012 10:30 PM ET:

Bill, I want to start out by saying you have become almost a daily stop on my internet habit and provide the most complete/progressive information about all of the hot spots America faces. For this and all your work I want to thank you.

Second, I am curious to see what you or other readers think about this idea. Could Mullah Dadullah and Badruddin Haqqani be a trade. Pakistan has been encouraging Afghan and US to go after militants that have been on the Afghan side for a while now, and the US has been pushing for several years for Pak to help with the Haqqani network. Could this have been an agreement finally reached were the US said we will go after Dadullah for you but you have to give us something valuable in return, i.e. Badruddin? Just a thought and I would like to see what others think.

Jason

Posted by JimBoMo at August 27, 2012 9:34 AM ET:

@ Charles

Well said. I agree that the quality of the intel getting to the US, the number of strikes, and the locations of the strikes point to some kind of new level of information sharing and coordination between US / Pakistani.

Notice the the quid pro quo: A Haquini for a MTP.

Don't discount the ability of Afgan counter-intel to disrupt plots on their own. As Bill R. has pointed out a number of times, Afgan muscles remember Soviet training and they were quite effective during the Soviet occupation. Afgan counter intel foiled a number of recent attacks (including several Haquini network) and I wouldn't be in least bit surprised if they did so using their own sources and methods. In the case of these most recent drone strikes, however, I'd guess that intel in the Shwal valley is coming from ISI and not Afgan sources and is being routed directly to US.

Just imagine how the distrust, suspicion, and paranoia sown by Hellfires! Millitants will wonder if their long time ISI contacts have been turned into forward observers for Reapers.

And the MTP now has to worry that ISI has swallowed its pride and aksed for US help to strike.

I'm forecasting lots of chaos and turmoil in the tribal areas.

Posted by sundoesntrise at August 27, 2012 9:56 AM ET:

Max is the type of guy you see on the Internet all too often these days - they will criticize and criticize, and yet they will do absolutely nothing to contribute on their own with their own work, all they will do is sit there and literally insult other people's work, and then when people defend themselves against their venom, they have the gall to start dropping the 'f' bombs like it's going out of style. I guess Max has some type of chip he needs to get off his own shoulder - that almost always is the case with these types of Internet-goers.

Anyways, not surprised that this spokesman denied the death of the Haqqani figure. The Taliban have always kept up the tale that all "resistance" figures are inside Afghanistan, rather than somewhere else, but since the senior Haqqani leadership is indeed inside Pakistan, I wonder where the spokesman is getting his info. And besides, Zabiullah Mujahid is too elusive, there have been many contradictory statements released by him on the same day on multiple occasions. Some people question if he is even in Afghanistan, or if he is even one person, rather than a collection of multiple people propping up his fake identity. You never know, with the Internet comes knowledge - but there also comes deceit, so when I read reports of over-inflated casualty figures I find his credibility is a joke to begin with. So I would be sceptical about his information, whatever that might be.

Posted by Shayo at August 27, 2012 1:35 PM ET:

This article indicates that ISI has fingered Haqqani for the US. It also states that the Haqqani family has confirmed that Baduddin Haqqani has been killed.

http://www.khaama.com/badruddin-haqqani-killed-in-coordination-with-pakistans-isi-144/

Posted by hibeam at August 27, 2012 10:39 PM ET:

Why doesn't Obama turn the drones loose? Our troops pay a heavy price for Obama's timid use of the drone weapon.

Posted by Mr T at August 28, 2012 3:16 PM ET:

Max, Send money, not profanity. And try to be more honest by supplying your real email. Life will be better for you. Bill supplies his readers with a wealth of information about the long war and it is greatly appreciated. The Taliban even read his blog or maybe you already know that.

It will be interesting to see if this guy actually ends up dead. I suspect some of the confusion is to not give intel to the West. Another reason is that sometimes the person has been injured but they do not want to let that information out. That all appeared to be the case with Hakemullah. So we shall see if he is wounded and either dies or gets better.

I always wonder what hospital treatments injured Taliabn receive. They would seemingly not be able to go to a major military or public hospital. They would more likely be treated at a M.A.S.H. type hospital that may not have all the luxuries of a permanent one.

How many Taliban die from wounds not treated properly and timely? Do they go back home as heros to recuperate? Why would they be safe to do so? We should find them wherever they go. Murderers would not be allowed to just check into a hospital or move back home and not expect the police to come knocking.

Posted by Andre at August 28, 2012 5:07 PM ET:

Hello Bill,

first of all, excuse my poor english, i'm from germany and i do not write/speak in english very often.
But i want you to know, that i visit your site nearly every day and so i say just "thank you, for your work"

It's for sure a long war und i'm grateful that the U.S. Troops also defend Germanys security.

Greetings
Andre