You're going to have several members of the Haqqani network — which has been implicated in some of the most mass casualty horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the years ... and clearly that is a major cause for concern, no matter how you slice it. — Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center
You're going to have several members of the Haqqani network — which has been implicated in some of the most mass casualty horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the years ... and clearly that is a major cause for concern, no matter how you slice it. — Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center
Terrorism will increase under Afghanistan’s newly appointed Taliban government, experts warn
  • The Taliban in Afghanistan have named a new interim government led by hardliners that includes no women, minorities or opposition member
  • In a controversial appointment, Sirajuddin Haqqani has become Afghanistan’s interior minister, in charge of police and security.
  • Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list and is a designated global terrorist as leader of the Haqqani network, known to have links to al-Qaeda.
The Taliban in Afghanistan have named a new interim government led by hardliners as the group pledges to implement a strict Islamic rule over the country of roughly 40 million. The new cabinet of the freshly restored Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan contains no women and no positions for opposition members or ethnic or religious minorities.

Few in the international community foresaw the speed with which the militant Islamist group would take over Afghanistan, making a series of stunning territorial gains in July and August as the U.S. withdrew its troops to end its 20-year war in the country.

The Taliban’s moves so far show a failure to meet the group’s earlier pledge of an “inclusive” government, even as the moves put Western financial aid at risk and do not bode well for those who wanted to see Afghanistan rid of terrorist activity. Experts warn that the global jihadi movement will feel emboldened by what they see in Afghanistan as a triumph.

“For the foreseeable future, Afghanistan will be led by senior Taliban leaders who include in many cases the worst of the worst,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, told CNBC on Wednesday. Kugelman pointed specifically to members of the Haqqani network, known as the most brutal faction of the Taliban.


In a controversial appointment, Sirajuddin Haqqani has become Afghanistan’s interior minister, in charge of police and security. Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, which is known to have links to al-Qaeda. He is on the FBI’s most wanted list and is a designated global terrorist. The Taliban’s provision of a safe haven to al-Qaeda in the 1990s is what led the U.S. to invade Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the years since the U.S. invasion, Haqqani has deployed violent tactics as a deputy to the Afghan Taliban, including using death squads for executions and releasing videos of mass beheadings.

... It’s important to note that while some Taliban representatives say the group will be more conciliatory now than in the past and will abide by certain international norms, the group itself is not a monolith; rather, it’s composed of numerous factions with varying degrees of extremism and propensity to support other terrorist groups.

And while the Taliban’s main rival is ISIS-K, or the Islamic State Khorasan, there are links between ISIS-K and the Haqqani network, according to Sajjan Gohel, international security director at the Asia-Pacific Foundation.

“There has, in fact, been a tactical and strategic convergence between the Islamic State-Khorasan and the Haqqanis, if not the entirety of the Taliban,” Gohel wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Policy magazine in late August. “The Taliban are comprised of several factions, each with their own leadership, structure, and control of Afghan territory,” he said.

“I think you’re looking at a situation where no matter what type of government we’re going to have in Afghanistan, terrorism risks were going to increase just because you have the Taliban in control,” Kugelman said. “The Taliban is not known for trying to deny space to its militant partners in the country, with the exception of ISIS-K, which is their rival.”

“But let’s be clear here,” he added. “You’re going to have several members of the Haqqani network — which has been implicated in some of the most mass casualty horrific terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the years — and several of these leaders are going to be occupying these top spots, including the interior ministry, and clearly that is a major cause for concern, no matter how you slice it.”


... With an economy overwhelmingly dependent on aid and a government that was 80% funded by Western donors, the Taliban “are going to have to take into account at least some international concerns,” he said. “So, opening signs are not encouraging, but we have to work with what comes in the following days in terms of actual actions.”
Read the full article: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/08/terrorism-to-increase-under-afghanistans-new-taliban-government.html