US blocks property of Haqqani network commander

November 1st, 2011 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, Nov 1 (IANS) The US Tuesday blocked the properties of a key commander of the Haqqani network, described by American officials as “a veritable arm” of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to stem flow of funds to the terrorist group.

“This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to the Haqqani network,” the State Department said in designating Haqqani network commander Mali Khan under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

“As a result of the designation, all property subject to US jurisdiction in which Mali Khan has any interest is blocked and US persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him,” it said.

“Today’s action strengthens the US’ ability to target the Haqqani network’s finances and will assist and complement the law enforcement actions of other US agencies,” the department said.

“The actions taken against this individual demonstrate the US’ resolve in eliminating the Haqqani network’s ability to execute violent attacks,” it said.

The Haqqani network is a Taliban-affiliated group of militants that operates from North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The Haqqani network has been at the forefront of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks, the State Department said.

Acting as a Haqqani network commander, Mali Khan has overseen hundreds of fighters, and has instructed his subordinates to conduct terrorist acts. Mali Khan has provided support and logistics to the Haqqani network, and has been involved in the planning and execution of attacks in Afghanistan against civilians, coalition forces, and Afghan police, it said.

In June 2011, Mali Khan’s deputy provided support to the suicide bombers responsible for the attacks on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack resulted in the death of 12 people.

In late September, Mali Khan was detained in Afghanistan during a combined Afghan and coalition force security operation. “Mali Khan’s recent detention marked a significant milestone in the disruption of the Haqqani network, but does not absolve Mali Khan of his actions conducting terrorist acts for the Haqqani network,” the department said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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