Militant Leader Killed in Pakistan

11/12/13
 
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from The Wall Street Journal,
11/11/13:

Nasiruddin Haqqani Was Son of Insurgent Group’s Founder, Brother of Day-to-Day Chief.

Nasiruddin Haqqani on left

A top leader of the Haqqani terrorist network in Afghanistan was gunned down in Pakistan’s capital, dealing a major blow to the insurgent group behind some of the most brazen attacks on Afghan and U.S. targets in recent years.

Nasiruddin Haqqani was the son of the movement’s founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and the brother of its day-to-day chief, Sirajuddin Haqqani. All three are designated “global terrorists” by the U.S. “His death has an important impact not only on the Haqqani family, but also on the operations of the Taliban and al Qaeda,” said Javed Kohistani, a Kabul-based security analyst. “In fact, Sirajuddin lost his right hand.”

The U.S. accuses the Haqqani network, which dates back to the anti-Soviet jihad of the 1980s, of orchestrating the 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed 16 people, and an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital the same year that killed more than 20.

Mr. Haqqani was shot late Sunday night by assailants on motorcycles as he stopped by a ramshackle market off the main road in the Bara Kahu suburb of Islamabad, witnesses said. While no one has claimed responsibility for the shooting, several analysts in Pakistan and Afghanistan named the Afghan spy service as a likely suspect—an accusation that, if true, would further strain ties between the neighboring countries.

Mr. Haqqani, resided relatively openly in Islamabad despite being wanted by the U.S. “After Osama bin Laden it comes as the second-most embarrassing event” for Pakistan, said political analyst Razan Rumi. “The fact that the Haqqani network operates with relative freedom and ease is an open secret.”

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