Defence

Haqqani Network discussed forming new unit with al-Qaeda: US document

By Hindustan times

Pakistan-based Haqqani Network, blamed for the terror attack on Sikhs in Kabul in March last year, has discussed the formation of a new joint unit with al-Qaeda, according to the US treasury department.

In an assessment of its work to counter terror financing and money laundering, the treasury department also provided information of close links maintained by the Afghan Taliban with al-Qaeda, even after the signing of the agreement with the US in February last year.

The Haqqani Network, once famously described by former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff Admiral Mike Mullen as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, was blamed along with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for last year’s attack on the Sikh place of worship in Kabul that killed almost 30 people.

“Senior Haqqani Network figures have discussed forming a new joint unit of armed fighters in cooperation with and funded by al-Qaeda,” the treasury department informed the Pentagon in a document dated January 4 but didn’t give further details.

The Haqqani Network has often been accused of targeting Indian interests in Afghanistan. Some reports have suggested the attack on the Sikhs in March last year was carried out after the terrorists were unable to target the Indian embassy in Kabul.

The document described the Haqqani Network as an “organisation primarily based in North Waziristan, Pakistan” that conducts “cross-border operations into eastern Afghanistan and Kabul”.

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