New Afghan Gov't: FBI-Wanted Haqqani's Nomination 'Slap in Face to US and Its Allies', Analyst Says
10:56 GMT 08.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
On Tuesday, the Taliban* announced an all-male interim Afghan government, about three weeks after the militant group seized power in the nation amid the US and NATO troop withdrawal from the country.
Seth G. Jones, a senior vice president of a Washington-based think tank, has slammed the Taliban nominating Sirajuddin Haqqani for the post of interior minister in the interim Afghan government, "days before the 20th anniversary of the [9/11] terror attack
In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published on Tuesday, Jones argued that the Taliban's appointment of "a terrorist wanted by the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] is nothing less than a slap in the face to the US and its western allies".
Jones, who is the director of the International Security Programme at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, recalled that the new Afghan interior minister was at the helm of the terror group known as the Haqqani Network.
The group is notoriously known as the hardline arm of the Taliban and is accused of attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.
"Sirajuddin Haqqani […] was well known to the US military and intelligence community, and he barely escaped several attempts to target him. He is a wily and dangerous enemy with American blood on his hands", Jones claimed.
The Associated Press (AP) has, meanwhile, reported that Haqqani is thought to be holding at least one American hostage now, with White House and FBI officials yet to comment on the AP report.
7 September 2021, 18:51 GMT
The FBI's database, in turn, pointed out that Haqqani is wanted "for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen".
According to the database, the man "is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on [then-] Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008".
article follows the Taliban announcing key ministerial posts
in Afghanistan's all-male interim cabinet on Tuesday, amid statements by many world leaders that they are not currently planning to recognise the new Afghan government.
US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for his part, slammed the Afghan cabinet as a "lineup of thugs and butchers" in an interview with the BBC, adding that "if you're a radical Islamic sympathiser, this is an all-star lineup".
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.