Badruddin Haqqani, a top leader in the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, has been designated by the US State Department as a terrorist.
Today under Executive Order 13224, the US State Department added Badruddin Haqqani to the list of specially designated global terrorists. The designation allows the US to freeze his assets, prevent him from using financial institutions, and prosecute him for terrorist activities.
The State Department said Badruddin is “an operational commander” of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban subgroup that operates in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s tribal agencies of North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and Kurram. The Haqqani Network maintains close ties to al Qaeda and is part of the Taliban.
Badruddin “sits on the Miramshah Shura [council], which has command and control over all Haqqani Network activities, and helps lead insurgents and foreign fighters in attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan,” the State Department designation said. The Miramshah Shura, also known as the Miramshah Regional Military Shura, is one of the Afghan Taliban’s four regional commands. The US military and government often use the term “foreign fighters” to describe members of al Qaeda and allied terror groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
Jason Blazakis, the chief of the State Department’s Terrorist Designations Unit, told The Long War Journal that Badruddin does indeed aid al Qaeda operatives in attacking US forces in Afghanistan.
“The foreign fighters supported by Badruddin include al Qaeda fighters,” Blazakis said.
State also said that Badruddin is “believed to be in charge of kidnappings for the Haqqani Network.” According to State, he “accepted responsibility for keeping New York Times reporter David Rohde hostage.” Rohde was captured in November 2008, held in North Waziristan, and escaped in June 2009.
Badruddin is one of several Haqqani family members who have been designated by the US as global terrorists. His brother, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the overall leader of the Haqqani Network as well as the leader of the Miramshah Regional Military Shura. Siraj was designated by the State Department as a terrorist in March 2008; and in March 2009, the State Department put out a bounty of $5 million for information leading to his capture. US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal that Siraj is a member of al Qaeda’s top council.
Nasiruddin Haqqani, one of Badruddin’s brothers, was placed on the US’ terrorist list in July 2010. Nasiruddin is a key financier and “emissary” for the Haqqani Network, and is known to have traveled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 2004-2009 to carry out fundraising for the Haqqani Network, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
Khalil al Rahman Haqqani, Badruddin’s uncle, was added to the US’ list of terrorists in February 2011. Khalil is a key fundraiser, financier, and operational commander for the Haqqani Network, and has been crucial in aiding and supporting al Qaeda’s military, the Lashkar al Zil or Shadow Army.
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.
Background on the Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network 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. 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.]
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.