The Haqqani Network is a UN-designated terrorist organisation. In February 2021, UNAMA indicated Haqqani Network operated under the Taliban leadership and mostly followed Taliban policies and directions. The group was described as the ‘lethal arm of the Taliban’ [Security June 2021, 1.2.2].
The Haqqani Network increased its influence in areas outside of its normal operation regions in Paktika, Paktya and Khost provinces in eastern Afghanistan since Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, became the Deputy Leader of the Taliban in 2015. In 2019, it was reported that Haqqani fighters were actively based in Paktya, Kandahar, Helmand and eastern provinces, and the Network carried out attacks in Kabul [Anti-government elements, 4.1].
The Haqqani Network is believed to have been responsible for complex attacks in heavily populated areas of Kabul during the insurgency. The Network reportedly collaborated and kept close contact with Al Qaeda, despite the US deal. According to reports, Haqqani and ISKP also worked together, including in attacks on the Afghanistan presidential inauguration and an assault on a Sikh temple in Kabul in March 2020 [Anti-government elements, 4.1; Security June 2021, 1.2.2].
On 7 September, when the interim government was announced by the Taliban, Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed interior minister.
|For further information on human rights violations committed by the Haqqani Network and their relevance as potential exclusion grounds, see 6. Exclusion.|