Coalition and Afghan special operations forces captured the brother of a top-level Haqqani Network leader during a May 13 raid in eastern Afghanistan.
The Haqqani Network commander was captured during a raid in the district of Zadran in Khost province. He is described as “a senior adviser for the insurgent network” who was “responsible for logistics and communications for a major portion of Haqqani operations” in Khost province, the International Security Assistance Forces stated in a recent press release. He also “recruited young men and suicide bombers for the Haqqani Network.”
The captured Haqqani Network adviser is “the brother of the third highest ranking Haqqani leader, and though not a commander or fighter, he was intimately involved with the Haqqani command structure and tactical operations,” according to ISAF.
ISAF did not provide the name of the captured adviser, but US intelligence officials familiar with the Haqqani Network and the raid told The Long War Journal that he is the brother of Jan Baz Zadran, who is considered to be the third in command of the Taliban subgroup.
Jan Baz Zadran is a powerful leader in the Haqqani Network. He considered to be the top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network. Jan Baz serves as the Haqqani Network’s logistical and financial coordinator, and also acquires weapons and ammunition for the network. He is one of the most-wanted Taliban commanders in Afghanistan.
Coalition and Afghan forces have been hunting top Haqqani Network leaders and fighters in the Afghan east. Between Jan. 1 and April 22, ISAF said it was “able to disrupt multiple planned attacks by targeting key Haqqani personnel.” Security forces killed or captured 15 Haqqani Network leaders and detained more than 130 fighters. “More than 90 of these captures were in Khost province,” ISAF stated in an April 22 press release.
Background on the Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network operates primarily in the Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia, and Paktika, and also has a presence in Kabul, Logar, Wardak, Ghazni, Zabul, Kandahar, and Kunduz.
The terror group has extensive links with al Qaeda and the Taliban, and its relationship with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) has allowed the network to survive and thrive in its fortress stronghold of North Waziristan, a tribal agency in Pakistan. The Haqqani Network has also extended its presence in the tribal agency of Kurram.
In North Waziristan, the Haqqanis control large swaths of the tribal area and run a parallel administration with courts, recruiting centers, tax offices, and security forces. In addition, the Haqqanis have established multiple training camps and safe houses used by al Qaeda leaders and operatives, as well as by Taliban foot soldiers preparing to fight in Afghanistan.
The Haqqani Network has been implicated in some of the biggest terror attacks in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, including the January 2008 suicide assault on the Serena hotel, the February 2009 assault on Afghan ministries, and the July 2008 and October 2009 suicide attacks against the Indian embassy.
The terror group collaborated with elements of Pakistan’s military and intelligence service in at least one of these attacks. American intelligence agencies confronted the Pakistani government with evidence, including communications intercepts, which proved the ISI’s direct involvement in the 2008 Indian embassy bombing. [See LWJ report Pakistan’s Jihad and Threat Matrix report Pakistan backs Afghan Taliban for additional information on the ISI’s complicity in attacks in Afghanistan and the region.]
Four of the Haqqani Network’s top leaders have been added to the US’ list of specially designated global terrorists over the past several years. Siraj Haqqani, who also is a member of al Qaeda’s executive council, was added in March 2008. Nasiruddin Haqqani, a key financier and “emissary” for the Haqqani Network, was placed on the US’ terrorist list in July 2010. Khalil al Rahman Haqqani, a key fundraiser, financier, and operational commander for the Haqqani Network who also aids al Qaeda, was added to the US’ list of terrorists in February 2011. Badruddin Haqqani, an operational commander who also aids al Qaeda, was designated as a terrorist on May, 11, 2011.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, the father of Siraj, Nasiruddin, and Badruddin, and the brother of Khalil, has not been added to the US’ list of terrorists, despite his close links to both the Taliban and al Qaeda. In an interview with Al Somood, the Taliban’s official magazine, Jalaluddin admitted he served on the Taliban’s executive council, which is known as the Quetta Shura.
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