The US military made an unusual public plea for information yesterday in its hunt for eight members of a terrorist network which is plotting attacks in four provinces in eastern Afghanistan. The organization, known as the Kabul Attack Network, is comprised of fighters from various jihadist groups operating in the country, and has endured for years.
“Insurgents from the Haqqani and Taliban networks are known to be planning attacks on the Afghan people in the Parwan, Khost, Kabul, and Logar Provinces, Afghanistan,” US Forces Afghanistan, or USFOR-A, reported in a press release.
USFOR-A identified the “insurgents” as Hayatullah, Mullah Mushfiq, Sangari, and Faruq from Parwan province; Tila Khan and Mansour from Khost; Hamdard-Hasib from Kabul; and Talha from Logar. Anyone with information on those individuals was encouraged to call 0702210396, USFOR-A said.
Yesterday’s call for information from USFOR-A followed a deadly suicide assault on a security installation in Kabul which took place on April 19. The Taliban killed 64 people and wounded 347 more in that attack.
The insurgents identified by USFOR-A are undoubtedly members of what the US military previously called the Kabul Attack Network. This network is made up of fighters from the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and cooperates with terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda.
Top Afghan intelligence officials have linked the Kabul Attack Network to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate as well. The network’s tentacles extend outward from Kabul into the surrounding provinces of Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Parwan, Kunar, Ghazni, and Zabul, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.
The Kabul Attack Network is led by Dawood (or Daud) and Taj Mir Jawad, military and intelligence officials told The Long War Journal in 2010. Dawood previously served as the Taliban’s shadow governor for Kabul (the current shadow governor is Hafiz Muhibullah). Taj Mir Jawad is a top commander in the Haqqani Network. In the US military files released by WikiLeaks, Taj Mir Jawad is identified as a key Haqqani Network leader.
The Haqqani Network is not a separate entity, as is implied by the USFOR-A press release, but an integral part of the Taliban. Jalaluddin Haqqani, the patriarch of the Haqqani Network and a member of the Taliban’s governing council, has maintained that his followers are part of the Taliban. After the Taliban announced the death of Mullah Omar and appointed Mullah Mansour as the new emir, Jalaluddin backed the new leader. His son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is one of the Taliban’s two deputy emirs. Siraj has also denied that the Haqqani Network operates independently of the Taliban.
“We are one of the fronts of the Islamic Emirate, and we do jihad in the Cause of Allah under its banner, and we are proud of our pledge to its Emir [Mullah Omar] and we carry out its orders and all its regulations,” Siraj stated in 2012.
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