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Haqqani Network blamed for coordinated attacks in Afghanistan



This should come as no surprise to readers of The Long War Journal. Yesterday, as the attacks in Kabul, Nangarhar, Paktia, and Logar were underway, we said that the likely culprit was the Haqqani Network, working under the aegis of the Kabul Attack Network. Today, Afghan officials said that a fighter captured in Nangarhar admitted the Haqqanis organized and executed the suicide assaults. From The Associated Press:

A militant arrested in the attacks on the Afghan capital and three other cities has confessed that the 18-hour assault was carried out by the Haqqani network, a lethal group of fighters with ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida, a top Afghan security official said Monday.

Thirty-six insurgents were killed during the brazen attacks that also claimed the lives of eight policemen and three civilians, said Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi...

"One terrorist who was arrested in Nangarhar province confessed, saying 'It was the Haqqani network that launched these attacks,'" Mohammadi told reporters in Kabul.

The US Department of Defense also said that the Haqqanis likely orchestrated the terror attacks. From AFP:

"Initial indications are that the Haqqani network was involved in this set of attacks that occurred yesterday in Kabul," press secretary George Little said of Sunday's assault.

At The Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn noted that, given Pakistan's support for the Haqqani Network, that country is likely sending yet another message to the US and NATO: Get out of Afghanistan.



READER COMMENTS: "Haqqani Network blamed for coordinated attacks in Afghanistan"

Posted by Devin Leonard at April 16, 2012 2:29 PM ET:

Well our response needs to be that "America isn't going anywhere, and we will have a presense in Afghanistan for a long time to come." If the ISI or the Haqqani's don't like it...tuff titti, we will use drones and Spec Ops to kill them and their leaders. We need to re-engage against the Haqqani network and hammer them untill they get the message as to why we are the world's dominant military machine.

Posted by mike merlo at April 16, 2012 3:06 PM ET:

No big deal. Haqqani was primed to show their hand at some point in time. With an operation of this 'type' their interests would've been better served had they waited until the latter part of summer of thereabouts. Unless of course they're capable of staging something like this bi-weekly, which I seriously doubt

Posted by blert at April 16, 2012 4:00 PM ET:

The REAL message: turn the money tap back on -- you really need Pakistan -- on ISI's terms.

To use so many, many assets to achieve so little results indicates that this play 'comes from hunger.'

In this case, money hunger.

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The Haqqani Network = the 'imperial guard of the ISI proxy army.

They are the 'go-to' fellows when all else is flagging.

Meaning that this outburst is a 'tell.'

Islamabad is likely freaking out at their cash flow.

They're campaigning on empty.

After all, what could be cheaper than suicide teens?

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The prison breakout fiasco may prove a watershed in Pakistani internal politics.

That was supposed to be a high security prison.

Everything points to a slow-motion civil war inside Pakistan -- much more so than any Afghan civil war.

For the Taliban are alien elements imposing ISI's grip on the Pashtun, et. al. Certainly, it's no insurgency.

They, the Talib, stick out like Bostonians in Dallas.

Sheesh.

Posted by Paul D at April 16, 2012 4:22 PM ET:

Pakistan or Iran.Who is our biggest enemy?

Nevermind China or Russia pulling the strings.

Posted by Villiger at April 16, 2012 7:28 PM ET:

Thats what i've said before: Its not AfPaq, its Paq-Paq, stupid.

So Paq beats up her old faithful ally the US yet again, is that what this amounts to? Gosh the US is having to pay one helluva price for its long-standing, unstinting erstwhile client-state partner, Paqistan.

Is there a bigger, more spectacular, more expensive, historic foreign policy blunder by the US in its history? I wonder.

Has the US learnt from it? Apparently not quite yet. And its people just go around sleep-walking day-to-day oblivious of being taken for a ride by this poxy little terror-republic.

Who says that the US only has the watch and not the time? Couldn't be farther from the truth. After all, the US has been screwing up its policy toward Paqistan for 60 years and apparently still is.

Posted by Birbal Dhar at April 16, 2012 7:37 PM ET:

Pakistan knows it can't militarily beat India or the United States, so instead they use proxy forces such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Haqqani network to launch attacks.

The relationship between Pakistan and America is so bad, that the Pakistanis are prepared to use islamic terrorists to attack American and foreign embassies in Afghanistan. I suspect after 2014, when NATO leaves, we will see more drone attacks not only in Pakistan, but also in Afghanistan, where the Taliban may try and take over isolated valleys.

The Americans realise that drones are effectively better in disrupting islamic terrorist plans than having US troops roaming around Afghanistan, who are like sitting ducks to the Taliban.

Posted by Villiger at April 16, 2012 7:38 PM ET:

And I should add the obvious: Paqistan has accumulated its atomic-weapons arsenal under the US's watch. Perhaps that is why one never heard a squeak against this at the recent Obama-led Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

Posted by Mr T at April 16, 2012 7:45 PM ET:

So the good Taliban protected and supported by the Pakistani state attacks civilians in Afghanistan.

Doesn't that mean that Pakistan attacked Afghanistan?

Pakistan doesn't like it when people attack them, why do they think it's ok if they attack other countries?

Posted by Paul D at April 17, 2012 6:34 AM ET:

The US will use this to pressurize Pak to invade North Waziristan and Pak army will say no.

Groundhog day.

Who are we fighting in Afghanistan, Afghan Taliban or Pakistan?

Posted by Spooky at April 18, 2012 12:25 AM ET:

@ Villiger: Didn't hear a peep from GWB either. The US institutions aren't going to say a word about Pakistani nukes until the soldiers are safe, no matter who is in charge. After that, only then will Pakistan get the pariah state label. Assuming it still exists by then.

As for the Haqqani Network being behind the attack, thats of no surprise to me. The ISI is trying to up the deadline, perhaps realizing that Frankenstein has escaped them and now they need the War next door over to concentrate on their own problems. Not that it will likely happen, but its rather amusing to see them panic now that over half of Pakistan is outside government writ, requiring more military resources just to hold it together.