The founder of the Haqqani militant network has died after several years of illness, the Afghan Taliban has announced. Jalaluddin Haqqani was an Afghan, learned the Arabic language by bin Laden, al Qaeda leader, while the organization and the network united in the war against the Soviets.
Jalaluddin Haqqani was a significant militant figure in Afghanistan and had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. His son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is believed to have taken over control of the group.
Haqqani was born in the south-eastern part of Afghanistan, the traditional home of his Zadran tribe. His father owned land and ran businesses that would help make Haqqani to establish his network in 1970s.
Haqqani was fluent Arabic speaker because he was close to the Arabians jihadist under bin Laden during the Afghan war against Soviets.
He first took up arms against Moscow with US support, then befriended Osama bin Laden and embraced the Taliban and finally came full circle to lead some of the most brutal attacks against American troops after 11 September 2001 attacks, and the Afghan government they backed.
His military career began in earnest when Soviet forces overthrew the Afghan government in 1979 and Haqqani became a leader of resistance fighters based in Pakistan. He was a key figure in the cold war showdown that played out through the 1980s in Afghanistan, funded and feted by Washington.
He pledged allegiance to the Taliban when the group captured Kabul, and during their brief years in government he was made a minister.
During the authority of the Taliban government, Haqqani assumed the post of Minister of Frontiers and Tribes and was a member of the movement’s leadership shura.
During 2001, the UN Security Council included Haqqani on the list of freezing funds, banning travel and supplying arms to individuals, groups and entities associated with the Afghan Taliban.
Eleven years later, the United States classified the Haqqani network, based in Waziristan as a terrorist organization.
In 2007, the year that Sirajuddin, one of his five sons, is believed to have taken over the network’s roles after the death of his father, the Security Council listed Sirajuddin Haqqani on the terrorism list.
“The media reports of Haqqani’s death have been repeated more than once, but he was alive until the announcement of his death toda” Sami Yusufi, a Pakistani journalist and researcher on jihadist groups, told the Reference.
“In 2002, Haqqani was one of the first to fight the US forces that invaded the country. He had a large family, but lost four of his sons during the fighting. In 2007, he suffered a major health” Yusufi added.
“The change in the group will be in the future, not now” Omar al-Bashir al-Turabi, said. “The group is working as a faction within a large movement.