5 years, 8 months ago
Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani is said to be the newest leader of the Taliban war in Afghanistan, but there is nothing new about him, being a veteran of the war against Russia.
His son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is said to be taking over operational command of the Taliban fight in the Kunnar region of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, and in fact Sirajuddin might be the next rival to Mullah Omar for overall leadership of the Afghan Taliban.
The Haqqani faction has sided with Baitullah Mehsud, and so despite the denials in the following interview, they are well connected to the Tehrik-i-Taliban. The following interview is provided to you by NEFA Foundation, who has obtained video of a conversation with Taliban Deputy Commander Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the infamous Afghan mujahideen leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. Though only in his early thirties, Haqqani is considered one of the most powerful Taliban military commanders in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has been rumored as a possible internal political rival to the current Taliban administration of Mullah Mohammed Omar. Haqqani has freely acknowledged his role in organizing recent terrorist attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul, and his partnership with foreign fighters arriving from elsewhere in the Muslim world. This video was made by Rahimullah Yousufzai, a veteran reporter/analyst based in Peshawar.
The entire video is worth the study time, but a few things are worth mentioning. First, their fight is stated to be ideological and religious, not just political. Second, note a tactic we have discussed before here at TCJ. He states that in the terrain owned by the Taliban they can field 100-200 fighters at a time for attacks, but that his real intent is not to control terrain. He has sanctioned 15-20 fighters at a time to cause distuptions and harrass NATO forces, something we pointed out in The Taliban and Distributed Operations.
Finally, it bears mentioning once again – in order to maintain a consistent theme at TCJ – that force projection is the only answer to the growing Taliban threat. The high value target program, relying on Pakistan to end the threat, and more NATO forces who cannot fight due to rules of engagement won’t solve the problem.