US drone strike kills Haqqani network commander?
Afghanistan's intelligence agency said Aug. 26 that the operational commander of the Haqqani network, held responsible for audacious on Kabul, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan. "We confirm that Badruddin Haqqani, who was the mastermind of almost all sophisticated attacks in Kabul, was killed in a drone strike," National Directorate of Security spokesman Lutfullah Mashal told AFP. "Our information is based on interception of the conversation of the guys [Haqqani members] on the ground who confirmed he was dead," Mashal said. The death of Badruddin, the son of network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, has been rumoured for days despite denials from the closely allied Taliban, whose spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP: "This is propaganda of the enemy. Badruddin is alive and he will soon talk to the media. He is inside Afghanistan and busy with operations." In Pakistan, senior Haqqani network commander Maulvi Ahmed Jan also denied Badruddin had been killed. He told Reuters that a distant relative, aged 13, was killed in the strike and his funeral had been mistaken by locals for Badruddin's. (AFP, Aug. 26; Reuters, Aug. 25)
Haqqani network makes FTO list
In a designation order signed by Hillary Clinton Sept. 7, the Haqqani network was officially added to the US State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. A senior Haqqani commander responded by calling it a sign of the United States' "lame tactics."
"Americans are claiming that by declaring us terrorist, we would lose support of some Muslim countries," said the commander, who spoke by satellite phone through an intermediary in Pakistan. "Let me assure everyone that we only seek Allah’s and the Afghan nation’s support." (NYT, Sept. 7)