And Live Islamically Ever After

NATO operations in the last year have greatly reduced the fighting strength of the Taliban and the drug gangs, leaving the Pakistan based Haqqani Network as the most powerful Islamic terror group in the region. Haqqani has been around since the 1980s, and has survived because of the strong leadership of the Haqqani clan. It's basically a family business, and most of the business is criminal. Kidnapping, extortion, smuggling and whatever else is available has kept the organization going. During the 1980s war with the Russians, Haqqani adopted the "Islamic warrior" tag and never abandoned it. Like most anti-Russian Afghan groups, Haqqani received money, instructions and protection from Pakistan (largely from ISI, the Pakistani version of the CIA). When the ISI needed a terror attack, kidnapping or assassination carried out, Haqqani was often used. Haqqani was reliable and effective and that was important for the generals running ISI. But this year, Haqqani has been under unprecedented attack by NATO forces. That means over 1,600 suspected Haqqani men (including 300 local leaders) have been arrested during over 500 raids this year. These operations killed or captured dozens of known Haqqani officials, often key people who were difficult to replace. Haqqani is being forced to risk its lucrative operations (and personnel) in eastern Afghanistan in order to carry out Pakistan ordered terror attacks in Kabul and elsewhere. While Haqqani has a sanctuary in Pakistan (North Waziristan, an area the Pakistani army refuses to enter), that area is subject to constant patrols by CIA UAVs, and missile attacks on terrorist leaders and other key personnel. The area is monitored by electronic surveillance and a network of informers. In eastern Afghanistan, the growing number of NATO raids have cost Haqqani a lot of money, and made it more expensive to carry out terrorist attacks.  Pakistan fears that the U.S. will extend these raids into North Waziristan, and has openly warned the U.S. against this. But the U.S., and the Afghans, want Haqqani gone.


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