Haqqani network

The Haqqani network is an Afghan Islamist group, built around the family of the same name,[17] that has used asymmetric warfare in Afghanistan to fight against Soviet forces in the 1980s, and US-led NATO forces and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan government in the 21st century. It is considered to be a "semi-autonomous"[18] offshoot of the Taliban.[19][20][21] It has been most active in eastern Afghanistan and across the border in north-west Pakistan.[22]

Haqqani network
د حقاني شبکې
Dates of operation1970s[1]–present
Allegiance Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Active regionsAfghanistan and Pakistan[2][3][4][5]
Islamic fundamentalism
Part of
Allies1995–present until 1992
Battles and warsSoviet–Afghan War
Afghan Civil War (1989–1992)
Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)
Afghan Civil War (1996–2001)
War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
Taliban insurgency
Operation Zarb-e-Azb
Islamic State–Taliban conflict[13]
2021 Taliban offensive[14][15]
Preceded by
Students of Darul Uloom Haqqania[16]

The Haqqani network was founded in 1970[23] by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a fundamentalist of the Zadran tribe, who fought for Yunus Khalis's mujahideen faction against the Soviets in the 1980s. Jalaluddin Haqqani died in 2018 and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani now leads the group.[24] The Haqqani network was one of the Reagan administration's most CIA-funded anti-Soviet groups in the 1980s.[25][3] In the latter stages of the war, Haqqani formed close ties with foreign jihadists, including Osama bin Laden,[18] becoming one of his closest mentors.[22] The Haqqani network pledged allegiance to the Taliban in 1995,[26] and has been an increasingly incorporated wing of the group ever since.[27] Taliban and Haqqani leaders have denied the existence of the "network", saying it is no different from the Taliban.[26] In 2012, the United States designated the Haqqani network as a terrorist organization.[28] In 2015, Pakistan banned the Haqqani network as part of its National Action Plan.[29]

The elusive[17] Haqqani network has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks during the War in Afghanistan (2001-2021), having a reputation of frequently using suicide bombings and being able to carry out complex attacks. They had long been suspected by the United States of ties with the Pakistani military establishment, a claim denied by Pakistan.[18][22] They have also been suspected of criminal activities such as smuggling and trafficking across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.[30] Alongside Al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network maintains close ties with the anti-India Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.[30] Following the Fall of Kabul (2021), the group was put in charge of domestic security by the Taliban.[30] The Wall Street Journal called the group the Taliban's "most radical and violent branch."[31]

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