The Taliban released Mark Frerichs, an American veteran who has been held hostage since early 2020, in exchange for Haji Bashir Noorzai, a convicted Taliban drug kingpin who was serving a life sentence for smuggling heroin into the United States.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who at the time was the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, was joined by his brother Badruddin Haqqani, Qari Zakir, the Taliban’s chief of suicide bombers, Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a dangerous Haqqani leader, and Ghani Muhammad, an Al Qaeda-linked military commander based in Pakistan, in the video. They give a send off to the suicide assault team that attacked Forward Operating Base Fenty on Nov. 12, 2010.
The Haqqani Network, an integral part of the Taliban whose leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the Taliban’s deputy emir and minister of the interior, is reported to have facilitated the negotiations.
Sanaullah Ghafar, who is also known as Shabab al-Muhajir, has been identified as an “ambitious new leader” of the Islamic State Khorasan Province. His challenge is to hold off the vastly superior Taliban, which controls Afghanistan.
With control of the Ministry of Interior, Sirajuddin now has the power to issue passports to Al Qaeda operatives and their allies, all in the name of the government of Afghanistan.
Noor Wali Mehsud has renewed the TTP’s allegiance to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the wake of the jihadis’ victory. The Taliban has released numerous TTP and al Qaeda figures from the former government’s prisons in recent weeks, including Faqir Mohammed.
In a message posted this week, Sirajuddin Haqqani provides guidance to the Taliban’s officials as they prepare to rule over newly seized territory. Haqqani explains that the campaign is evolving from a “military and jihadi” one into a “civilian situation,” meaning the Taliban is preparing to govern throughout much of the country.
A report by a U.N. monitoring team cites new intelligence concerning Sirajuddin Haqqani’s ties to al Qaeda. The report also mentions the Hattin Shura, which U.S. officials say is the most important decision-making body within al Qaeda.
In a newly released message, Sirajuddin Haqqani discusses the importance of the Taliban’s judges in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Haqqani is preparing his men to rule over more territory in Afghanistan.
The author is a designated terrorist closely allied with al Qaeda. That’s not mentioned. Neither is al Qaeda.
According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still “operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.” Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda’s most important allies in the region.
The Pakistani and American governments announced today that Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, along with their three children, have been released from the Taliban’s custody. The couple was abducted in Afghanistan in 2012.
The Taliban released a statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says that “peace” is only possible if the “occupation” is ended. The statement is entirely self-serving and contains absurd claims. For example, Akhundzada writes that the Taliban wants a “free, independent and progressive Afghanistan,” which is completely inconsistent with the group’s ideology and history.
The State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism says that Pakistan “did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban,” including the Haqqani Network, in 2016. The Taliban’s leadership has long had a presence in Pakistan.
The Taliban has issued a second statement denying any responsibility for the May 31 bombing in Kabul. Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) has accused the Haqqani Network and Pakistan of orchestrating the attack. The Taliban claims the NDS is lying and defends the Haqqanis, once again affirming their key role in the organization.