Afghan Taliban's Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, Who Is On FBI's Most Wanted List, Says 1,050 Martyrdom-Seeking Jihadi Bombers Carried Out Attacks On His Order Alone

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March 18, 2022

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According to Dari- and Pashtu-language media reports, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on FBI's list of Most Wanted and is now the interior minister for the Taliban's government in Afghanistan, called on his supporters to not forget the sacrifices of martyrdom-seeking bombers and said that 1,050 jihadis carried out suicide bombings on his order alone. Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the chief of Haqqani Network, was appointed the interior minister of Afghanistan following the Taliban's August 15, 2021 takeover of the country and may be its most influential minister.


Sirajuddin Haqqani address police cadets in Kabul

Sirajuddin Haqqani had avoided cameras and not allowed the world to see his face until when in early March 2022 for the first time he allowed the publication of images of him addressing police cadets at a training academy in Kabul.[1] The Haqqani Network, a powerful jihadi unit within the Afghan Taliban, is responsible for countless attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan with the help of the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 2011, Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the Haqqani Network as "a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence" for sponsoring terror attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and other Western targets in Afghanistan following 9/11.[2] The FBI has put him on the list of its most wanted and offers a reward of $10 million.

Addressing a gathering of his supporters and government officials in southern Kandahar, the spiritual capital of the Afghan Taliban, Sirajuddin Haqqani said that "the freedom they enjoyed was the desire of each martyrdom attacker and may Allah Almighty not allow them to betray these martyrs."[3]


Sirajuddin Haqqani inspects a guard of honor by policemen in Kabul

"Look, we will try to overcome desires. If we are overwhelmed, we should remember the situation a year ago. There were many martyrs. Look, I have lost only 1,050 martyrs. Each of them wanted the freedom we are enjoying today. God forbid that these martyrs be betrayed," Sirajuddin Haqqani said.[4]

He added: "I pray for [deceased Taliban leaders Mullah Omar and Akhtar Mohammad Mansour] that may their souls be happy in their graves; they laid the foundation, made an effort... and left a system to us."[5]

 


An FBI poster seeking information about Sirajuddin Haqqani

"Martyrdom attacks," better known as suicide bombings, were the most lethal tactic of the Afghan Taliban. The Haqqani Network is said to be the first among the Taliban units to use suicide bombing as a key tactic.

 

[2] NYTimes.com (U.S.), September 22, 2011.

[3] Rahapress.Af (Afghanistan), February 24, 2022.

[4] BBC.com/Pashto, February 23, 2022.

[5] BBC.com/Pashto, February 23, 2022.

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