Saturday, October 1, 2011

Special Op Forces Capture Haqqani Network's Top Commander in Afghanistan

Via The Long War Journal -

Coalition and Afghan special operations forces today announced the capture of the Haqqani Network's commander for Afghanistan during a raid in Paktia province on Sept. 27.

Haji Mali Khan, who is described by the International Security Assistance Force as "one of the highest ranking members of the Haqqani Network and a revered elder of the Haqqani clan," was captured during a raid in the Jani Khel district of Paktia. Security forces also captured his deputy, his bodyguard, and "multiple additional insurgents." Khan was "heavily armed" but he "submitted to the security force without incident or resistance," ISAF stated.

Khan "worked directly under Siraj Haqqani," the operational commander of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network. Khan is Siraj's uncle and the brother of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the patriarch of the Haqqani family, who "consistently placed Mali Khan in positions of high importance," ISAF said.

One of Khan's duties included acting as an "an emissary between the late Baitullah Mehsud and senior leaders within the Haqqani leadership." Baitullah led the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan before he was killed in a US Predator airstrike in August 2009.

As the top commander in Afghanistan, Khan "managed bases and had oversight of operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan," ISAF stated. In the past year, Khan established bases for Haqqani Network fighters in the Mangal tribal areas of Paktia. He also facilitated the movement of forces from Pakistan to Afghanistan, financed terrorist operations, and served as a logistics coordinator for forces in the field.


The Haqqani Network is an independent insurgent group originating in Afghanistan that is closely allied with the Taliban. Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani along with his son Sirajuddin Haqqani lead the Haqqani network, which is based in the Afghanistan–Pakistan border areas. According to US military commanders it is "the most resilient enemy network" and one of the biggest threats to NATO and United States forces in Afghanistan.

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