Its has been confirmed that one of the most wanten men on earth – Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead.
Haqqani was a key military leader for four decades of Afghanistan’s civil war, switching allies and backers but never putting down his weapons. Although he ceded control of his eponymous Haqqani network to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, since 2015, who became the insurgency’s deputy leader. The Afghan Taliban confirmed his death, on Tuesday without giving any details about the timing and place of his death. Although he was not taking any significant operational or strategic decisions but his loss is still significant for the militant group he founded.
He was an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s with the help of the US and Pakistan. US officials have admitted that at the time he was a prized asset of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). But as the Haqqanis have become ever more integral with the Taliban leadership, it has also caused awkwardness for the American effort to restart peace talks with the insurgency. Jalaluddin Haqqani was also held responsible for brutal attacks on US forces and their allies.
He was accused of introducing suicide bombing to Afghanistan, a tactic responsible for thousands of deaths. His fighters operated more in coordination with other militants than under their command, and they became more feared than the mainstream Taliban. His outfit said to have around 3000 to 10000 fighters. His network was primarily funded by Middle East. A fluent Arabic speaker, Jalaluddin also fostered close ties with Arab jihadists including Osama Bin Laden who flocked to the region during the war. Later, he allied himself to the Taliban after they took power in Afghanistan in 1996 and became a minister in the Taliban regime.