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Afghanistan faces tough battle as Haqqanis unify the Taliban

Associated Press

Haqqani quickly set about uniting the fractured Taliban, first by bringing Mullah Omar's son, Mullah Yaqoob, and his brother, Mullah Abdul Manan Omari, into the fold, according to a Taliban official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to talk to the press. Fahd Humayun, program and research manager at the Jinnah Institute, a think-tank in the Pakistani capital, who closely follows Taliban developments, also said Haqqani was key to healing the divisions. A four-nation group that included Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States launched efforts earlier this year to try to bring Afghanistan's protracted war to a negotiated end but the push fell apart amid recent Taliban battlefield gains. "We have consistently expressed our concerns at the highest level of the government of Pakistan about their continued tolerance for Afghan Taliban groups, such as the Haqqani network, operating from Pakistani soil," U.S. State Department spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said at a press briefing following the Kabul attack.


Afghanistan's most feared: Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network behind Kabul blast that killed at least 95

The Japan Times

ISLAMABAD – Afghanistan on Saturday blamed a devastating suicide bomb attack in Kabul that killed at least 95 people and wounded 158 others on the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network -- a former CIA asset that now is considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.


Taliban name negotiating team before new talks with US

Al Jazeera

The Taliban has named a 14-member team of negotiators, including five former Guantanamo Bay inmates and a high-profile jailed leader, for the second round of talks with the United States. With the move announced on Tuesday, the group has pushed for the release of Anas Haqqani, younger brother of the leader of the powerful Taliban faction, Haqqani network. He is currently held in a jail in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Haqqani "should be released to start work on the negotiating team". He said Haqqani "was a student at the time of his arrest and was not involved in any activity for which he should be arrested".


Cables tie Pakistan intel arm to double-agent's deadly 2009 attack on CIA Afghan camp

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Recently declassified U.S. government cables suggest Pakistan's intelligence service paid a U.S.-designated terrorist organization 200,000 to carry out one of the deadliest attacks against the CIA in the spy agency's history. But a U.S. intelligence official said the information was uncorroborated and inconsistent with what is known about the 2009 suicide bombing at Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Seven CIA employees were killed when a Jordanian doctor and double agent gained access to the base after tricking the Americans into believing he would lead them to Ayman al-Zawahri, then al-Qaida's No. 2. The correspondence released by the National Security Archive at George Washington University dates to the weeks after the attack. A Jan. 11, 2010, document says the head of the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied group the U.S. considers terrorists, held two meetings with senior officials of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence the month of the bombing. "The first discussed funding for operations in Khowst province" and "funds were later provided to tribal elders in Khowst province for their support of the Haqqani network," the cable says, using an alternative spelling for the area.


Cables tie Pakistan to 2009 hit on CIA; official disagrees

FOX News

Recently declassified U.S. government cables suggest Pakistan's intelligence service paid a U.S.-designated terrorist organization 200,000 to carry out one of the deadliest attacks against the CIA in the spy agency's history. But a U.S. intelligence official said the information was uncorroborated and inconsistent with what is known about the 2009 suicide bombing at Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Seven CIA employees were killed when a Jordanian doctor and double agent gained access to the base after tricking the Americans into believing he would lead them to Ayman al-Zawahri, then Al Qaeda's No. 2. The correspondence released by the National Security Archive at George Washington University dates to the weeks after the attack. A Jan. 11, 2010, document says the head of the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied group the U.S. considers terrorists, held two meetings with senior officials of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence the month of the bombing. "The first discussed funding for operations in Khowst province" and "funds were later provided to tribal elders in Khowst province for their support of the Haqqani network," the cable says, using an alternative spelling for the area.