Haqqani Network Denies Claims of Leader’s Death

Afghan Officials Had Blamed Haqqanis for Several Major Attacks

Major Pakistani militant leader Jalaluddin Haqqani’s status is in doubt tonight, after sources out of the Afghan Taliban, with whom the Haqqani Network is closely allied, claimed he had been dead for a year, having died of natural causes back in 2014.

Haqqani Network officials and members of Jalaluddin’s family have since issued a statement denying that Jalaluddin, who is in his 70’s and believed to have been in poor health for years, had died, insisting he is alive and well, albeit “aged and suffering from different diseases.”

Jalaluddin Haqqani has been a major militant in the region since being bankrolled by the CIA as part of the fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He was seen as a US ally until the US occupation of Afghanistan, after which time he became an enemy.

Haqqani has been accused by the Afghan government of being behind several attacks during the US occupation, and US drones have tried to assassinate him in North Waziristan for years. How active he was/is in the insurgency hasn’t been clear for years, as his son Sirajuddin Haqqani is seen as taking most of the leadership positions. Sirajuddin was appointed the deputy leader of the Taliban yesterday, according to Taliban officials.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.