|He frequently visits Waziristan; TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud started his career under Sangeen's commandership in Paktika.
Haqqani network has influence over all Pakistani militants, whether they are 'good' or 'bad,' all enjoy good relations with it.
The Haqqani network is financially very strong and the main financers are Arabs and Al Qaeda. The network also financially supported former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud and, according to Taliban sources, TTP received some Rs 20 million per month. The current leadership of the TTP are also completely under the control of the Haqqani network.
Jalaluddin Haqqani remained loyal to Pakistan; during Afghan-Russia war he was very close to the Inter-Services Intelligence. Pakistan always avoided taking on the Haqqani network; not only is the group is very strong and dangerous, but also it could serve Pakistani interests in future -- in case the Taliban returns to power in Afghanistan.
The US and the rest of the world are pressurising Pakistan to take on the Haqqani network, but Pakistan is resisting taking action..
[Description of Source: Mumbai rediff.com in English -- Web portal for news, information, email, entertainment, and shopping. Founded in 1996 with headquarters in Mumbai and offices in New Delhi and New York; URL: http://www.rediff.com]
Al-Jazirah TV Airs 'Exclusive Footage' of Suicide Attacks in Afghanistan
GMP20100315676001 Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic 1413 GMT 15 Mar 10
[For a copy of the video, contact GSG_GVP_VideoOps@rccb.osis.gov or the OSC Customer Center at (800) 205-8615.]
Al-Jazirah correspondent in Islamabad has obtained exclusive footage of an operation carried out by a network affiliated with Jalaluddin Haqqani, an Afghan leader wanted by the United States for links to the Taliban Movement.
The footage shows a suicide bomber reading his will before driving a booby-trapped car and crashing into a Multinational Force military vehicle in the Khost Province, eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. Several people had been either killed or wounded in the blast.
The footage also shows a blast targeting an Afghan Police vehicle in the same area. The footage, however, does not say when the operation took place.
Al-Jazirah could not verify the authenticity of the footage from an independent source. [Video of the attack]
Click on the links to view the attached 25-second video or a streamed version in .wmv format.
[Description of Source: Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic -- Independent Television station financed by the Qatari Government]
Taliban's Sirajuddin Haqqani Interviewed on Jihad in Afghanistan, Jihadist Media
GMP20100413569002 Jihadist Websites -- OSC Summary in Arabic 13 Apr 10
Terrorism: Taliban's Sirajuddin Haqqani Interviewed on Jihad in Afghanistan, Jihadist Media
On 13 April, "Markaz al-Balagh lil I'lam," user number 14110, posted to the Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums website an interview with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Afghan field commander of the southeastern provinces and the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, by Al-Balagh correspondent Abu-Dujanah al-San'ani. The interview, dated 13 April 2010, answers 19 questions discussing jihad in Afghanistan, the situation of the mujahidin, progress and losses, and a message from the commander to the jihadist media.
The primarily Arabic-language Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums at alfaloj.info/vb/ is a Salafi-jihadist, pro-Iraqi insurgency web forum with a focus on global jihad. Since late 2008, it, has served as one of two official online dissemination points for Al-Qa'ida and affiliate messaging. In addition to its Arabic-language material, Al-Fallujah also hosts material in English, Russian, and Kurdish.
A translation of the interview follows:
"May God's peace, prayers, and blessings be upon you.
"Your brothers at the Al-Balagh Media Center are proud to present to you the interview with the leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, may God preserve him, and his message to the jihadist media and forums.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: May God's peace, prayers, and blessings be upon you. Praise be to God, the Supporter of the mujahidin. Prayers and peace be upon the leader of the mujahidin, his household, companions, and all those who followed his guidance.
"Almighty God says: 'Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught' [Koranic verse, Al-Imran, 3:125].
"Our shaykh and leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, may God grant you victory, I thank you so much on behalf of the Al-Balagh Media Center for granting us this chance to meet you and discuss with you some issues. This interview will give a clear image of the issues that are taking place on that holy land, which quenched its thirst with the blood of the martyrs, and will expose the lies and the deception, which have been circulating in the media.
"We would also seize the opportunity to dedicate your message to the jihadist media, especially to the media men and mujahidin. The message also will tell your opinion about the developments in the jihadist media and the challenges that stood in its way, especially during this last period.
"Thus, please allow us to ask you some questions which we hope you will answer. We start by saying: In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
" First question: Can you please introduce yourself, your post, and the areas that fall under your authority?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Your brother is Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the Shaykh Jalaluddin Haqqani. I am 30 years old, my hometown is Paktia Province, and I am a member of the Shura Council of the Islamic Emirate. As for the areas that fall under my authority, the Islamic Emirate has assigned me the southeastern provinces in Afghanistan like Paktia, Khost, and Paktika. I also have some jihadists who are fighting in the Northern and Southern Provinces, each one under the leadership of the amir of the province he is in.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Second question: we would like to ask you about the progress you are achieving on the ground?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Praise be to God many times, our mujahidin are in control of 90 percent of the provinces I mentioned earlier. The foreign forces and the apostates are locked up inside their stations and bases and the rest of the areas are under the control of the mujahidin. Most of the people support and love the mujahidin, and our mujahidin used the peoples' houses sometimes to strike the enemy, and this act confounded it.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Third question: to what extent can we believe the allegations of the enemy and his claims of achieving progress on the ground in all areas?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: These claims are wrong deceptions and lies that are used by the western media in order to shift their defeat to victory. They always portray themselves victorious in their media means. If their allegations are right, the mujahidin would not be there now. Praise be to God, we are strong and we have a large number of fighters that we can barely supply with arms, praise be to God.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Fourth question: what is the size of the losses that are afflicting the enemy in reality, which they never announce?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: You heard the Western media when the US secretary of defense compared the first three months of 2009 and 2010 and announced that the death rate doubled and the injury rate tripled, not to mention the enormous financial losses.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Fifth question: why do the US intelligence agencies seek the support of the Arab intelligence agencies in your opinion? Is it proof of their weakness, limitation, and disability to control events in Afghanistan?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Yes, this is right. Everyone knows that America is very weak now and seeking the aid of all the countries of the world in its war against the mujahidin.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Sixth question: is there any exposed presence to any Arab intelligence agencies in the lands of Khorasan, or was the operation of Abu-Dujanah unprecedented?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: None of the fronts has an exposed presence in Khorasan.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Seventh question: do the mujahidin, who travel to fight on the lands of Khorasan, cause any obstacle against the Afghani jihad?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Praise be to God, on the contrary, the mujahidin, who travel to the lands of Khorasan, enlighten our path and fight the crusaders with us. We are both in the same trench.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Eighth question: can you tell us about the techniques, by which the Arab and the Afghan mujahidin support and help each other in the lands of Khorasan?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: They help each other just like the companions of the prophet used to do. They support each other to the fullest.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Ninth question: our shaykh and leader, what do you advise those who abandoned jihad?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: If they abandon jihad on purpose, they should know that they are throwing the nation and themselves in the humiliation ditch. Those who abandoned jihad should carry out their duty because it is obligatory. I advise all those who think that they have excuses to read the book of Ahmad Bin-Ibrahim al-Nuhasi, entitled 'Mashari al-Ashwaq ila Masari al-Ushaq.' They can see the ruling on those who abandon jihad in the book.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Tenth question: to what extent may the operation, carried out by martyr Abu-Dujanah al-Khorasani, may God accept him [as martyr], have effect on the ground?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: In this blessed martyrdom operation, great hero Abu-Dujanah al-Khorasani, may God accept him [as martyr], who have been fighting for God's sake, killed a host of CIA senior officials. Those officials, specifically, were the ones in the region responsible for targeting the mujahidin, especially the amirs. They have been working on this for years until they garnered high influence in some neighboring countries, even Iraq.
"Killing this group has been a deadly blow to the enemy. As of then, the operations that used to target the mujahidin have retreated by 90 percent. This blessed operation resulted in killing a select group of preeminent officers of the US intelligence. It created a debacle in espionage and a lack of trust in spies, as their efficiency decreased due to insecurity in the region.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Eleventh question; To what extent the Afghan public opinion is affected by the news of any development the enemy achieves on the ground?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Thank God, the Afghan public has become fully aware of the realty of the enemy and its lies. They [the Afghan public] know that the enemy tells lies, and the reality is the best evidence. The enemy does not control even one inch of the Afghan territories. So never be worried, as all news is fake.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Twelfth question; What is Sirajuddin Haqqani's outlook for jihad in the countries of Khorasan?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: The overthrow is near, God willing, and the Islamic emirate will return, God willing, stronger than before. [end Haqqani]
"Let's touch, our revered shaykh, on a pressing issue that has been intensively tackled recently; the jihadist media. We hope you offer a piece of advice to our jihadist media, its pros and cons!
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Thirteenth question; [What is] the outlook of leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, for jihadist media?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: It will continue with more strong publications. It will make every effort to strengthen it [as received]. Those who work in jihadist media will increase awareness and enlighten the youth and the Muslim public. Moreover, they will expose the reality of the enemy.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Fourteenth question; We would like you, our shaykh, to address those who work in the jihadist media and explain to what extent it is effective?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: The jihadist Internet networks should improve their professional level and better arrange themselves. They should also collect and intensify their efforts and post their materials with due regard to the topic and timeliness. Moreover, they should spread the news of Islamic jihadist world as fast as possible and carry the messages of Islamic jihadist leaders to the world. Finally, they should work harder on making perfect and disciplined production and should make other media in need of them.
"For their part, the mujahidin should help them [the jihadist Internet networks] to develop. The jihadist movements should provide jihadist materials, news, messages, interviews, and authenticated videos. Moreover, the Muslim public should help them financially, technically, and in all other fields. The jihadist Internet networks are a source of pride and respect [for us], and, actually, they provide a great service.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Fifteenth question; Does jihadist media meet targets or still need to work on this?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Yes, it is adequate, but still some effort is needed to improve and develop it technically and expand its scale to the widest.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Sixteenth question; To what extent is the jihadist media's role effective with regard to supporting and rendering what is going on in the land of Khorasan of fierce fighting?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: It plays a significant role in this regard, and some jihadist media cover what is going on there. However, more effort and care are needed.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Seventeenth question; What is the role played by jihadist forums, especially the Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums, in rendering the real situation in the land of Khorasan?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Jihadist forums, especially the Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums, have a key and obvious role that deserves acknowledgement, specifically Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums and other ones like Al-Hisbah and Al-Ikhlas, and other jihadist platforms. We should take this opportunity to thank all who are working in jihadist media, and we ask God to accept their work for His sake.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Eighteenth question; Would you offer advice to the jihadist media in general?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: I advise our brothers working in the informative jihadist media in general along with the mujahidin to seek truth in their information and work and not to exaggerate the news. They should be models, hit the enemy's spirit, and warn the people against serious news about the enemy. I ask God to guide them and grant them the highest rank in paradise. I ask Him also to preserve them and render them victorious, as they, for sure, do the people a great favor by solving the riddles of crusaders and exposing their deception.
"Al-Balagh correspondent: Nineteenth question; Addressing the world communities in brief through Al-Balagh Media Center, what would you say?
"Shaykh [Haqqani], may God preserve him: Muslims all over the world should help their fellow mujahidin by every means and at all levels: the well-off with funds and the experts with their expertise, especially in fields of explosives, electronics, telecommunications, surveillance network penetration, and disruption of the enemy's capabilities.
"The writers, poets, and intellectuals should have a role by dismissing rumors and fake stories of the crusader enemy. They should perfectly take their responsibility in their field of experience the same way as the West has come together in one front against the Muslims by excelling in every field of knowledge.
"The scholars should tell the truth and make it public. They should ensure their fatwa is within the boundaries of the truth. They should brush aside all secondary differences and work on achieving unity and awakening the Muslims.
"Finally, we thank the leader and the Shaykh Siraj-al-Din Haqqani, may God preserve him, for granting us the chance to interview him. We apologize to you shaykh if we asked a lot of questions.
"We ask the God to preserve you, our shaykh, to make his efforts beneficial to Islam and to grant His religion victory through him.
"Our last prayer is praise be to God, Lord of all creation. May God's best prayers, peace, and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad.
"Note: The Al-Balagh correspondent who conducted this interview is the noble brother Abu-Dujanah al-San'ani, may God preserve him.
"Supplicate to God for your brothers at the Al-Balagh Media Center.
"Tuesday, 28 Rabi al-Thani 1431, corresponding to 13 April 2010"
Asia Times: 'How Iran and Al-Qaeda Made a Deal'
CPP20100430715024 Hong Kong Asia Times Online in English 1021 GMT 29 Apr 10
[Asia Times report by Syed Saleem Shahzad: "How Iran And Al-Qaeda Made a Deal"; headline as provided by source]
ISLAMABAD - On March 30, Heshmatollah Attarzadeh, the commercial attache at the Iranian consulate in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, was "recovered from outside Iran and returned to Iran" after being abducted by militants on November 13, 2008.
In a terse statement, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that Attarzadeh had been freed after a "complicated intelligence operation" by Iranian intelligence forces, without giving further details, apart from a dig at Pakistan: "Following the failure of the Pakistani government to secure the release of Attarzadeh, my ministry took the initiative and managed to rescue the diplomat," Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said.
Attarzadeh, 59, was more outspoken. In an interview with the Iranian state-owned Press TV, he said Israel's Mossad and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, under orders from the US, were behind his abduction.
Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, after a meeting with Attarzadeh, did not comment on these claims, instead taking time for a little back-patting. "The freedom of the diplomat shows the all-out might of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its all-around dominance in the realm of intelligence," Rahimi was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying.
Investigations by Asia Times Online show that while the Iranians did indeed secure Attarzadeh's release, it came at a price: a deal with al-Qaeda that resulted in the release of high-profile prisoners from Iranian custody. And in the negotiating process, Iran supplied weapons to a top Taliban commander allied with al-Qaeda.
The mean streets of Peshawar
At about 7.30 on the morning of November 13, 2008, Attarzadeh was in the Hayatabad neighborhood on his way to the Iranian consulate in Peshawar, where he had worked for the previous three years. Peshawar is the freewheeling capital of North-West Frontier Province, which was recently renamed Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa to reflect its dominant ethnic Pashtun population.
Attarzadeh's car was intercepted by two other cars and in a hail of gunfire forced to stop. Attarzadeh was seized by at least two armed men, bundled into one of the vehicles and taken to the South Waziristan tribal area on the border with Afghanistan, home of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP- Pakistani Taliban). Attarzadeh's bodyguard, a Pakistani police officer, was shot dead in the initial exchange of gunfire.
The incident made international headlines and Iran's Foreign Ministry called it an "act of terrorism". A day before Attarzadeh's abduction an American aid worker had been shot and killed outside the Iranian consulate in Peshawar.
Typically in such abductions, a ransom demand quickly follows. In this case there was only silence.
An Iranian diplomat in the Pakistani southern port city of Karachi told Asia Times Online in early 2009 that the Iranian government was prepared to pay any amount of ransom or listen to any demands, but there had not been a word from the captors.
Alarm bells began to ring. Attarzadeh had been clearly targeted in a well-planned abduction; something bigger than ransom was at stake.
Tehran set about trying to get back its man, starting with official Pakistani channels, including appeals to the Foreign Office and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence. Nothing happened. The Iranians then turned to Afghan contacts in Zabul province, who in turn used their tribal connections to make contact with top Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of veteran mujahid Jalaluddin Haqqani.
Sirajuddin is headquartered in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area and his network spreads through the Afghan provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni and Wardak, in addition to the capital, Kabul. The Haqqani network has strong ties with al-Qaeda commanders as well as with Punjabi fighters. It is considered the strongest and the most effective resistance network against foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Taliban and al-Qaeda become involved
Iran requested Sirajuddin to use his influence to secure the release of Attarzadeh. According to people familiar with the Haqqani network who spoke to Asia Times Online, this happened in mid-2009. Sirajuddin said he would look into the case, and in return some of his men visited Iran.
Sirajuddin wasted no time and made contact with members of the al-Qaeda-linked TTP who were holding Attarzadeh. The captors arranged for the diplomat to talk by telephone with his family in Iran. Ostensibly, the call was to inform Attarzadeh that an in-law of his had died, possibly his mother-in-law.
This was the beginning of a better relationship between Tehran and the militants, who, in Iran's eyes, were tarred with the same brush as al-Qaeda. Shi'ite-majority Iran had been deeply upset by al-Qaeda's Jordanian militant, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who until his death in 2006 had conducted a vicious campaign against Shi'ites and the shrines of revered descendants of the Prophet Mohammad in Iraq.
Al-Qaeda now stepped directly into the picture. It requested that in return for Attarzadeh being allowed to speak with his family, al-Qaeda should be allowed to speak to some of its members who had been apprehended in Iran in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US.
A senior al-Qaeda-linked militant told Asia Times Online on the telephone, "Iran had not put them in jail. Instead, the al-Qaeda members and their families were placed in different houses. Later, they were brought together in a compound with comfortable private housing. Sirajuddin Haqqani's men visited them and reported back to al-Qaeda that they were in good condition."
Some of these "captives" in Iran were then given access to telephones to speak with al-Qaeda's shura (council) members in North Waziristan, the militant said. "This relationship developed very patiently. Video footage of the Iranian diplomat was sent to his family to show that he was in good condition."