Afghan intel agency captures two senior Haqqani Network leaders

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Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid. NDS photos via Khaama Press.

The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence service, captured Anas Haqqani, the son of the group’s leader and the brother of its operational leader, and Hafiz Rashid, the network’s military commander for southeastern Afghanistan, during a special operations raid yesterday. The NDS released a statement on the raid and the two Haqqani Network leaders, which was excerpted by Khaama Press:

The statement further added that Anas Haqqani is one of the powerful members of Haqqani Network who is arrested by National Directorate of Security (NDS). Anas was the deputy of his brother Sirajudin Haqqani, the leader of Haqqani Network and was playing key role in strategic decisions of this network.

“Anas Haqqani has special skills in computer and was considered one of the master minds of this network in making propaganda through social networks. He was responsible for collecting and preparing funds from Arabic countries to carry out operations of this network,” NDS said.

The statement also added that military commander of Haqqani Network in South Eastern Afghanistan, Hafiz Rashid, is the son of Mohammad Omer. He is originally from Ismailkhil district of Khost province.

“Currently, he lived in Chakwal area of Pakistan Panjab province. He was a shadow governor of this network for the Ismailkhil district of Khost province. Recently, he was appointed as a military commander of Haqqani Network in south eastern provinces of Afghanistan’,” the statement said, adding that “Hafiz Rashid was responsible of choosing targets and providing equipment to the suicide bombers.”

According to NDS, Hafiz Rashid was considered one of the responsible people for transferring suicide bombers from Peshawar and Waziristan to Kabul. Hafiz Rashid is 34 years old and his brother Mohammad Nabi Omer was the deputy of Jalaludin Haqani at the ministry of Borders and tribal affairs during Taliban regime.

Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid are the first senior Haqqani Network leaders killed or captured in nearly a year. Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader and financier for the group who also was the son of Jalaluddin and brother of Sirajuddin, was gunned down outside of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, in November 2013.

Three other senior Haqqani Network leaders have been killed or captured since September 2011.

And Haji Mali Khan, who has been described by the US military as “one of the highest ranking members of the Haqqani Network and a revered elder of the Haqqani clan,” was captured by US special operations forces during a raid in September 2011 in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost.

Badruddin Haqqani, another son of Jalaluddin, was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in August 2012. Badruddin sat on the Miramshah Shura, was an operational commander of the Haqqani Network, and provided support to al Qaeda and allied terror groups.

Mullah Sangeen Zadran, who was closely linked to al Qaeda and served as a senior lieutenant to Sirajuddin and the Taliban’s shadow governor for Paktika province in Afghanistan, was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan in September 2013.

The Haqqani Network, which is a subgroup of the Afghan Taliban, has weathered the losses of these leaders and remains an effective foe in eastern Afghanistan to this day. The group has replaced its slain leaders and continues to receive support from both al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. See LWJ report, US adds 3 senior Haqqani Network leaders to terrorism list, for background information on the Haqqani Network as well as a list of leaders who are identified by the US as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. All thirteen Haqqani Network leaders who are on the list have been identified as having close ties to al Qaeda. Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid are not on the US list of designated terrorists.

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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5 Comments

  • David says:

    Who is taking wagers until how many days it will be before we see a report about “Taliban suicide bombers and operatives spring senior Haqqani network leaders from NDS custody.”?
    Put me down for 15 days.

  • Arjuna says:

    I hear you, David. Were this Yemen, Iraq or Pakiland, I’d take that bet. But there’s a new sheriff in town acting under the very gringo title of CEO. His name is Abdullah Abdullah and he used to run the NDS himself. Behind the sharp suit is a sharp knife and the willingness to use it. I bet that these canaries sing and cough up a name and location or two, given that he’s got them and we don’t call the shots there anymore. I bet we see some intel-driven victories based on their capture. Nice get NDS!!

  • Graeme says:

    Arjuna’s comments that they will sing like canaries appears to be based on a assumption that the National Directorate of Security will use torture and this is the best method of extracting actionable intelligence. There is a lot of evidence that other interrogation methods are more effective.

  • Arjuna says:

    Arjuna believes in karma or the principal of cause and effect. Sometimes a bad life is worth taking to save a hundred inncoent lives. These subhumans are like rabid dogs, sick beyond hope; put them out of their misery quickly after learning everything they know. If it’s bs, so be it. Tali terrorist scum. Child killers. Child rapers.

  • Arjuna says:

    Bang bang, you’re dead. This is how you do it, baby. Exploit and act. Well done, Afghans. Well done, OGA. A nice step closer to the doctor himself. Can you hear the drones in your sleep, Zzzzz?
    //www.aa.com.tr/en/world/406830–senior-al-qaeda-members-killed-in-afghanistan
    PS That’s the Dalai Lama’s analogy about the rabid dogs, not mine. When even he, Jimmy Carter and the Pope recognize the need for lethal action, you can bet you have so-called moral authority. Now get the doctor. He may be over the border.

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