Pentagon says Taliban and Haqqani ‘commingling’ as State Division defends calling them ‘separate entities’
The Pentagon mentioned that there’s “marbling” and “commingling” between the Taliban and the Haqqani community because the State Division defends calling the 2 teams “separate entities” — regardless of robust hyperlinks and interlocking ties between the organizations, together with Haqqanis serving to fill out the highest ranks within the Taliban’s management.
When requested about whether or not the Pentagon thought of the Taliban and Haqqani community separate entities, Protection Division spokesman John Kirby at first tried to dodge , saying, “I am not going to present you a breakdown right here — a characterization of the Taliban or Haqqani. … I am undecided what profit it does for me to attempt to characterize one group or one other.” After a reporter mentioned that Sirajuddin Haqqani is the “deputy chief” of the Taliban and has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, Kirby conceded some “commingling” between the teams.
“We all know that there’s a sure matter of commingling. I imply, there’s a marbling, if you’ll, of Taliban and Haqqani,” Kirby mentioned Saturday. “What I am pushing again on you a bit … is the relevance of that dialogue to what we’re making an attempt to do as we speak.”
TALIBAN AND HAQQANI NETWORK ARE INTERWOVEN
Kirby’s assertion contradicted the evaluation of State Division spokesman Ned Value, who was requested on Friday whether or not U.S. coordination on safety on the airport with the Taliban prolonged to the Haqqani community.
“No, it doesn’t,” he mentioned. “The Taliban and the Haqqani community are separate entities.”
After a reporter famous that members of the Haqqani household had distinguished positions contained in the Taliban, Value mentioned, “The Haqqani community is a delegated terrorist group. We aren’t coordinating with the Haqqani community.”
The State Division reiterated its characterization Saturday, with a spokesman telling the Washington Examiner, “The Haqqani community and Taliban are separate entities, however they’re affiliated. The State Division has lengthy famous the affiliation between the Haqqani community and the Taliban. … Any data sharing with the Taliban has been targeted on very particular tactical threats across the airport and resolving particular issues round entry to the airport.”
The Taliban, the Haqqani community, and al Qaeda are deeply intertwined in Afghanistan, and the Taliban have built-in Haqqani community leaders and fighters with al Qaeda hyperlinks into their command construction. The native Islamic State affiliate, ISIS-Ok, has lengthy clashed with the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, claiming that Taliban rule is illegitimate. Former Pakistani Taliban militants based ISIS-Ok, the group recruits Taliban defectors, and it appears to have some connections with the Haqqani community as properly.
Biden nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan acknowledged the ties final weekend, saying, “The Taliban, clearly, to a substantial extent, are built-in with the Haqqani community. Our effort is with the Taliban army commanders presently answerable for safety in Kabul.”
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the “deputy emir” of the Taliban, “presently leads the day-to-day actions of the Haqqani Community,” in response to the State Division’s web site, which defined that “the Haqqani Community is allied with the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda.” Haqqani has been designated a terrorist by the USA, and the State Division’s Reward for Justice program has provided $10 million for his arrest.
Haqqani notably wrote a February 2020 opinion piece for the New York Occasions titled “What We, the Taliban, Need” with a subheadline of “I’m satisfied that the killing and the maiming should cease, the deputy chief of the Taliban writes,” saying that “everyone seems to be uninterested in battle.”
The Lengthy Battle Journal reported in 2017 that “the Taliban once more affirmed that the Haqqanis are an integral a part of its group — not an unbiased faction,” and Haqqani additionally denied that the Taliban and the community have been separate entities.
“There is no such thing as a reality to such claims and rumors in any respect; they’re a part of the battle of rumors by the enemies of Islam,” Haqqani mentioned in a 2012 version of a Taliban journal. “We’re one of many fronts of the Islamic Emirate. … We obey fully in good deeds the Emir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar.” Omar, now deceased, was the Taliban’s founder.
Haqqani is the nephew of Khalil Rahman Haqqani, one other high Taliban determine, who’s reportedly answerable for safety in Kabul. Khalil, whom the Treasury Division designated as a worldwide terrorist in 2011 for allegedly “offering help to al-Qaeda,” instructed al Jazeera on Sunday that “all Afghans” ought to really feel secure underneath Taliban rule.
In June, the United Nations launched a report that known as the Haqqani community “the first element of the Taliban in coping with al Qaeda.”
“Ties between the 2 teams stay shut, primarily based on ideological alignment, relationships cast by frequent wrestle and intermarriage,” the report learn.
The U.S. first designated the Haqqani community as a terrorist group in 2012. The Nationwide Counterterrorism Heart inside the Workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence describes the Haqqani community as a “Sunni Islamist militant group” whose founder was “one in every of Bin Laden’s closest mentors.” NCTC mentioned the Haqqani Community was thought of a terrorist group “due to its involvement within the Afghan insurgency, assaults on U.S. army and civilian personnel and Western pursuits in Afghanistan, and due to its ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.”
For the reason that fall of Kabul, some with ties to the Haqqani community have been given management positions within the Taliban’s command. Mohammad Nabi Omari, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee with robust ties to the community, was reportedly appointed the provincial governor of Khost in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Hamid Karzai, a former president of Afghanistan, and Abdullah Abdullah, the previous chairman of the Excessive Council for Nationwide Reconciliation, have tried to insert themselves into the Taliban’s authorities creation efforts. Abdullah and Karzai reportedly met with Khalil on Aug. 19, with Abdullah saying Khalil promised to “work exhausting to offer the suitable safety for the residents of Kabul.”
Shortly after the Taliban’s Aug. 17 pledge of “amnesty” for Afghans, 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghan civilians have been killed in a suicide bombing exterior the airport in Kabul on Thursday. The U.S. army mentioned ISIS’s affiliate in Afghanistan was behind the lethal suicide bombing assault , and ISIS-Ok took duty for it. The Pentagon mentioned Saturday it had carried out a drone strike and killed two ISIS-Ok members.
Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie mentioned Thursday that the U.S. would proceed to ask the Taliban to help with safety, saying he hadn’t seen proof that the Taliban let the assault happen.
“There is no such thing as a proof to date that I have been given, as a consequence by any of our commanders within the subject, that there was collusion between the Taliban and ISIS in finishing up what occurred as we speak,” President Joe Biden mentioned Thursday,
There may be additionally proof of ties between the Haqqani community and ISIS-Ok. A report from the U.N. in July mentioned ISIS-Ok “was largely underground and clandestine” and is led by Shahab Muhajir, whom one member state says “might also have been beforehand a mid-level commander within the Haqqani Community.” He “continues to keep up cooperation with the entity” and offers “key experience and entry to [attack] networks,” the member state reportedly added. The doc indicated some member states “have reported tactical or commander-level collaboration between ISIL-Ok and the Haqqani Community,” however “others strongly deny such claims.”
“Approved motion of personnel with a tacit understanding that each teams profit from sure three way partnership assaults can also be seemingly,” the report added, warning that one member state “has advised that sure assaults might be denied by the Taliban and claimed by ISIL-Ok, with it being unclear whether or not these assaults have been purely orchestrated by the Haqqani Community, or have been joint ventures making use of ISIL-Ok operatives.”