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US slaps sanctions on 'dangerous' Badruddin Haqqani

May 12, 2011 16:36 IST
The United States has slapped sanctions on Badruddin Haqqani, a "dangerous" commander of Pakistan-based Haqqani network, in a bid to check the flow of financial and other aid to him, though it said it currently had no plans to designate the Al Qaeda-linked group as a foreign terrorist organisation.

"As a result of the designation of Badruddin, all property subject to US jurisdiction in which he has any interest is blocked and US persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him," the US State Department said in a statement after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slapped sanctions on him. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this "dangerous individual", it said.

However, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that "at this point there are no plans to designate the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation. As you know, we don't generally talk about that process."

"Our actions are focused on targetting the key individuals within the Haqqani network and, again, isolating them, limiting their access to financing and et cetera."

Separately, a key US lawmaker has said the Haqqani network may have had some "logistical role" behind bombings in India. "We believe that they may have some logistical role in helping in the bombings in India," Congressman Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on

Intelligence, said in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based eminent think tank.

Rogers, who is being briefed regularly by the American intelligence agencies including the Central Investigation Agency, however, did not specify any particular terrorist attacks inside India, but apparently was referring to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.  This is possibly for the first time that the name of the Haqqani network has figured in connection with any terror-related activity in India.

Badruddin Haqqani is an operational commander for the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated Al Qaeda-linked militant group that operates from Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency.

The Haqqani network has been at the forefront of insurgent activities in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks.

Badruddin is the son of the terror network's founder Jalaluddin Haqqani and his brothers are Nasiruddin Haqqani and Sirajuddin Haqqani, all specially designated global terrorists under executive order 13224 and listed at the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee.

Badruddin sits on the Miram Shah Shura, which has command and control over all Haqqani network activities, and helps lead insurgents and foreign fighters in attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan.

Badruddin is also believed to be in charge of kidnappings for the Haqqani network.

In November 2008, Badruddin accepted responsibility for keeping New York Times reporter David Rohde hostage. Rohde had escaped in June 2009.

During his captivity, he forced Rohde to make videos and write letters demanding money and a prisoner exchange as conditions for his release. He threatened Rohde's two Afghan companions in order to compel him to cooperate, and also threatened to kill all three of them if his demands were not met.

In addition to the US domestic action taken on Wednesday night, the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's listing would require all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban and an arms embargo against this individual.

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