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Many have never heard of the Haqqani network, one of the world's most lethal terror groups

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Los Angeles Times

by Ann M. Simmons

When the Trump administration announced this week it was suspending military aid to Pakistan until the country takes more aggressive action against terrorist organizations that have targeted Americans, one of the groups it named was the Haqqani network.

Compared to other extremist groups, it is unfamiliar to many people in the U.S.

So who is Haqqani? What is the network? And what are its links to Pakistan?

Jalaluddin Haqqani was an Afghan warlord and a leader of the insurgency against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when he formed his Sunni Islamist militant organization, which the U.S. government did not designate as a foreign terrorist organization until 2012.

Today the group is based primarily in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan, from which it conducts cross-border operations into eastern Afghanistan and Kabul, according to a counter-terrorism guide published by the U.S. government’s National Counterterrorism Center.

“It is by far the most lethal group, not just inside Afghanistan, but in South Asia in general,” said Ahmad Majidyar, a fellow at the Middle East Institute and an expert on Afghanistan-Pakistan security issues. “The group is more like a criminal mafia group rather than an insurgent group.”

One of its major goals is to reassert the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan and reestablish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, experts said.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-haqqani-network-20180105-story.html