US kills Haqqani Network’s 3rd in command in North Waziristan strike

The Haqqani Network’s third in command was killed in a US Predator airstrike in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today, US officials said.

Jan Baz Zadran was killed in the town of Miramshah, US officials told The Associated Press. Unmanned US Predators conducted an airstrike in the Miramshah area today, and according to previous news reports, a Haqqani “coordinator” identified as “Jamil” was said to be one of three people killed in the strike. A US official told The Long War Journal that Jan Baz and Jamil are the same person.

The Haqqani Network has not confirmed reports that Jan Baz was among those killed in today’s Predator strike in North Waziristan.

US officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Jan Baz was high on their “target list” due to his role in the top tier of the Haqqani Network’s leadership circle. The officials described him as the Haqqani Network’s third in command. He is the senior-most Haqqani Network leader killed or captured in either Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Jan Baz was a powerful leader in the Haqqani Network. He was considered to be the top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network. Jan Baz served as the Haqqani Network’s logistical and financial coordinator, and also acquired weapons and ammunition for the network.

He is one of the most wanted Taliban commanders operating in the Afghan theater. Coalition and Afghan special operations forces have been hunting Jan Baz for years. His brother was captured during a May 13 raid in the Zadran district in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan. At the time of his capture, the brother was described by the International Security Assistance Force 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 brother “was intimately involved with the Haqqani command structure and tactical operations,” ISAF stated. He also “recruited young men and suicide bombers for the Haqqani Network.”

Jan Baz is the third senior Haqqani Network leader killed or captured along the Afghan-Pakistan border in three weeks. On Sept. 27, special operations forces captured Haji Mali Khan, the Haqqani Network’s operational commander for Afghanistan, during a raid in Paktia province. ISAF described Khan as “one of the highest ranking members of the Haqqani Network and a revered elder of the Haqqani clan.” He managed bases used by Haqqani and foreign fighters in eastern Afghanistan, and served as a key link to the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Khan is Sirajuddin Haqqani’s maternal uncle, and is an Arab from the Middle East.

And on Oct. 4, US forces killed Dilawar, “a principal subordinate to Haji Mali Khan,” during an airstrike in the district of Musa Khel in Khost, ISAF stated. Dilawar “actively coordinated numerous attacks against Afghan forces and facilitated the movement of weapons” along the Afghan-Pakistan border. He also “facilitated the movement of foreign fighters and was associated with both al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.” The Haqqani Network is known to work closely with both al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

The Haqqani Network has become a focus of ISAF operations in Afghanistan and CIA operations in Pakistan as the terror group remains entrenched in the Afghan east and continues to direct high-profile attacks in Kabul. In August, Major General Daniel Allyn, Commanding General of Regional Commander East, told The Long War Journal that the Haqqani Network is “enemy number one.”

In September, the US ramped up the pressure on Pakistan, the Haqqani Network’s benefactor, after accusing the terror group of attacking the US Embassy and ISAF headquarters in a daylong assault in Kabul. In his recent testimony to Congress, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, of directly supporting Haqqani Network attacks inside Afghanistan. Mullen, who was one of Pakistan’s biggest supporters in Washington, described the Haqqani Network as a “veritable arm” of the ISI.

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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  • Charles says:

    You gotta love the ISI. They are determined to fight to the last drop of Haqqani blood.
    Why not brand the ISI a terrorist organization. Their commercial interests are so great that such a brand would put a real squeeze on them–unlike current chess moves with the Haqqanis–which just blunts ISI efforts.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    Great news. It’s about some time some destruction and death were delivered to the Haqqani senior commanders. They’ve caused enough of it, from refuge, themselves.

  • Witch Doctor says:

    Good job! Now let’s finish up with this terrorist family and move on to the rest of the enemy in Karachi. I hope the terrorists in the ISI are watching this carefully as they urinate in their Salwar Kameez . No need for boots on the ground, drones are getting it done. Go America!
    No where to run to baby, no where to hide! No where. Are you hearing us Quetta Shura?

  • Ed says:

    I gotta invest in Raytheon stock. That AGM-114 is a great weapon.

  • Marlin says:

    Surprisingly, the other two militants killed along with Jan Baz Zadran have been identified. Not surprisingly, there were Arabic speakers at at least one of the funerals.

    More then 2,000 mourners including armed men have allegedly buried two militants killed alongside a top commander of the militant Haqqani network in an American missile strike.
    They were buried Friday in Lakki Marwat, a town just outside the tribal region of North Waziristan, where mourners say they were killed Thursday by the US missile.
    Locals identified the two as Maulana Iftikhar and Noor Ali Shah and said both were involved in

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Obama is doing what he said he would do, and I for one applaud him for it. If the patetic Pakis, will not take on the Haqqauni’s…we will decimate them via Spec Ops and Drone attacks. These attacks are sending a message to the Haqqauni’s that their is a price to be paid for attackingthe world’s dealdiest military.

  • Charles says:

    More then 2,000 mourners including armed men have allegedly buried two militants killed
    One of the funerals was attended by armed men who were speaking Arabic.
    Since immediate funerals are predictable–you would have thought they would have placed a predator in the sky above them to take out more bad guys.
    2000 mourners sounds like the number of active combatants in theatre.
    Any info on Maulana Iftikhar and Noor Ali Shah? Were they favorites of the bad guys or power brokers.

  • KaneKaizer says:

    The Haqqanis have been taking some serious hits lately. Their top two leaders in Afghanistan have been killed or captured and their #3 in NW is now dead. Sounds like Siraj’s days are numbered.


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