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October 20, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9598

At Gathering At Kabul's Five-Star Inter-Continental Hotel, Afghan Taliban Interior Minister And Terrorist On FBI's Most Wanted List Sirajuddin Haqqani Honors Families Of Suicide Bombers, Calls Them 'Heroes Of Islam,' Promises Plot Of Land For The Family Of Each Bomber, Praises 'Jihad And Sacrifices Of Mujahideen And Martyrs'

October 20, 2021
Special Dispatch No. 9598

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is interior minister for the Afghan Taliban and listed on the website of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists, has met with the families of the suicide bombers who attacked Kabul and praised their martyrdom missions, according to a series of tweets by the Taliban government spokesman. Sirajuddin Haqqani is chief of the Haqqani Network, militarily the most influential unit within the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban jihadi organization), which seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021.

"The advent of the Islamic system is the result of the blood of our martyrs," Sirajuddin Haqqani told the families of the suicide bombers at the gathering on October 18, 2021, according to a tweet by Qari Saeed Khosty, the terrorist-turned press director and spokesman of the Afghan interior ministry.[1] As per Khosty's tweet, "H.E. Interior Minister Alhaj Mullah Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani met the family members of martyred fidayeen [i.e., suicide bombers] at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul."[2]

According to another tweet by Qari Saeed Khosty, "in his speech, the Interior Minister [Sirajuddin Haqqani] praised the jihad and sacrifices of the mujahideen and martyrs. He called them the heroes of Islam and the country. H.E. [His Excellency] told everyone about the memories of the martyred (Fidayeen) their piety & deeds. He called them heroes of the believing nation."[3]

At the end of the meeting at the five-star Inter-Continental Hotel, Sirajuddin Haqqani, according to the interior ministry spokesman's tweet, "distributed 10,000 AFN [roughly ten U.S. dollars] & clothes to the families of the martyred Fidayeen & promised a plot [of land] for each (martyr's) family."[4]

The Afghan interior minister, whose government is yet to be recognized by the international community, told the families of the suicide bombers: "Now you and I must refrain from betraying the aspirations of our martyrs."[5] In the images of the gathering at the Inter-Continental Hotel, Sirajuddin Haqqani's face is blurred so that he cannot be identified. He is perhaps the only minister of a so-called Taliban government whose face is hidden from the world.


Sirajuddin Haqqani's face is blurred in an image from the gathering in Kabul.

The Haqqani Network, headed currently by Sirajuddin Haqqani and founded by his late father and veteran jihadi leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, has been responsible for a series of attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and other NATO targets in Afghanistan. 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.[6]

Sirajuddin Haqqani is also deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban jihadi organization whose seizure of power in mid-August 2021 was propelled by the Doha agreement of February 29, 2020. The agreement was engineered by U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, the who has now resigned in the face of severe criticism for enabling the Taliban's takeover of power.[7] In March 2021, Sirajuddin Haqqani delivered a major speech to a gathering of future suicide bombers and other Taliban commanders somewhere in Afghanistan where he threatened to use drones against American forces in Afghanistan.

Expressing fears that the administration of President Joe Biden could scrap the Doha agreement, Sirajuddin Haqqani told the commanders: "The pride and honor of our mujahideen cannot tolerate continued violations of the agreement by the other side. Since the U.S. administration has changed, NATO & U.S. are bluffing. Don't be affected by these bluffs. 15 years ago, we fought them with faith & with weaker military strength. Today we have both. We have the technology to use drones, we have our own missiles. This time if the mujahideen resume fighting, it would be something they have never seen before. They will wish the battlefield was like in the past."[8]


Sirajuddin Haqqani has yet to show his face to the world.

In the Taliban government setup, Sirajuddin Haqqani is the most influential man who remains on the FBI's Most Wanted list. At least 14 of the 33 ministers appointed as part of the Taliban government in Afghanistan are on the United Nations Security Council's terrorism blacklist, including Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund and both of his deputies – Mullah Baradar Akhund and Mawlavi Hanafi.[9]

The FBI website, listing Sirajuddin Haqqani on its Most Wanted page, notes: "Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen. He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008."[10]

Following are some images from the gathering at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul where Sirajuddin Haqqani praised the suicide bombers:

 


[1] Twitter.com/SaeedKhosty, October 19, 2021.

[2] Twitter.com/SaeedKhosty, October 19, 2021.

[3] Twitter.com/SaeedKhosty, October 19, 2021.

[4] Twitter.com/SaeedKhosty, October 19, 2021.

[5] Twitter.com/SaeedKhosty, October 19, 2021.

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

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