Siraj Haqqani threatens to attack Afghan judges, courts

Siraj Haqqani, the operations commander of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, has threatened to strike at Afghan judges and courts if one of his fighters who was captured during the Feb. 19, 2011 attack on the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province is executed by the Afghan government. From Reuters:

“If our man in Afghan custody is executed, we will launch a new operation to only target judges and courts,” Sirajuddin Haqqani said before the executions were confirmed by the NDS.

The secretive Haqqani network rarely makes public statements and Haqqani’s comments were relayed to Reuters through Salahuddin Ayoubi, a top Haqqani commander.

Haqqani denied that civilians had been targeted during the bank attack. He said the mission “was to kill Afghan troops who were there in Kabulbank in civilian clothes.”

“Any ruling from the court against our man, will have a severe consequences for the executioners, we will not spare them,” he said.

Both of the men arrested in the bank attack were executed today, so expect Siraj to make good on his promise.

What makes this report interesting is that it reinforces what we already know about the Kabul Attack Network. Here is our brief primer on the network, with a couple of embedded links for more information:

The Kabul Attack Network is tasked with hitting the Afghan government and Coalition forces in and around the capital. The network is made up of members from the Haqqani Network, Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and al Qaeda. A Haqqani Network commander known as Daud, or Dawood, co-leads the Kabul Attack Network along with a Taliban commander known as Taj Mir Jawad. The Kabul Attack Network was formed with the help of Siraj Haqqani, the operational leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network.

Note that two men were captured and subsequently executed by the Afghan government. Yet Siraj is concerned only about one of them. Siraj says [emphasis added]:

If our man in Afghan custody is executed….

This means that the other man involved in the Jalalabad bank attack wasn’t Siraj’s man. It would be interesting to know which group he belonged to.

Reuters identified the two men who were executed as “Zarjam, a Pakistani national, and Matiullah, from eastern Kunar province near the border with Pakistan.”

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Mirage says:

    wow, I think this is the first time i heard Siraj Haqqani make a public statement like this. Now only if we can find him

  • Mr T says:

    These murderers don’t need excuses to continue their cowardly attacks. They do it anyway.
    Siraj is a low life and hopefully soon he will be a no life so that so many other innnocent people will not be killed or harmed by him anymore.

  • Soccer says:

    It’s not technically a “public statement”, just a leaked footnote quote from a senior deputy of his.
    The reason the Haqqani Network is so dangerous and vital is because they don’t care that much for propaganda; instead, they turn all their resources towards actual combat operations as well as criminal activities to finance themselves.
    I should know, since I’ve flagged and removed hundreds upon hundreds of jihadi videos from the Internet. I can never, EVER, recall any videos coming from the Haqqani network. Most came from AQAP, TTP and AQI. Some also came from the IMU and AQC, but not that many.

  • Jim Clark says:

    do the Afghan courts have capital punishment for the Taliban?

  • Gabriel says:

    There going to attack after they were executed? What in the world were the taliban up to before these men were executed.

  • Uqab says:

    Soccer: I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out the Haqqani militant network’s (HQN) propaganda activities. While the HQN does not “own” its own media studio like some other groups stake claim to, the HQN does in fact utilize the Manba-ul Jihad media label which also produces QST Taliban video materials.
    One infamous Manba-ul Jihad video attributed to HQN was released following the March 3, 2008 Sabri district HQ suicide bombing (Khost province) that destroyed the newly built and defended complex (killing several US soldiers); and all jihadi videos that show captured POW US Army PFC Berghdal (who was seized by the HQN after he was lured off his remote COP in RC-E) are also attributed to the HQN. The commander who holds the POW is Maluvi Sangeen, the HQN appointed shadow governor for Paktia (or Paktika). Additional, Siraj himself frequently speaks to the media and jihadi media outlets, as does other members of the network, including his brother Badruddin. Statements are also relayed through letter-head stamped paper newsletters; complete with a Haqqani letter head similar to the one used by the QST (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
    Anyhow, kudos for taking off as many videos of this kind you discover, keep up the good work.

  • Soccer says:

    Uqab, of course the Haqqanis have their own outlets for propaganda, but I just meant it wasn’t as focused and intense as the other ones were from different groups.
    But I am aware that I most likely simply did not run into any of their videos during that flagging onslaught. But I believe a vital part of this Long War is removing propaganda from the enemy. So if nobody else does it, or cares about it, I guess I’m the one who has to pick up the slack.
    I’m fine with that, though.


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