Born: 1973 to 1980;
Place of Birth: Afghanistan;
Known also as: Siraj Haqqani;
Sirajuddin Haqqani is a military leader hailing from Afghanistan, who as deputy leader of the Taliban oversees armed combat against American and coalition forces, reportedly from a base within North Waziristan in Pakistan, from which he provides shelter to Al Qaeda operatives.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, a sub-set of the Taliban organisation, and scion of the Haqqani clan. Haqqani is currently deputy leader under the Taliban supreme commander, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada. According to one source, which provides the translation within Urdu, the name has the meaning lamp of the religion. The name Siraj, which similarly has the meaning of any object which produces light, or light itself, i.e. a cresset, lamp, a candle, or again, light itself, and accordingly, the Sun.
Siraj is a Quranic name, in that it is used four times within the Quran, and the word is also used to describe IMAM Mohammad. The Arabic conversion of Haqqani is حقانی, which means something or someone, just, fair-minded or impartial. He spent his childhood in Miriam Shah and attended Haqqaniya madrassa near Peshawar.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a well-known mujahideen and military leader of pro-Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His younger brother Mohammad Haqqani, also a member of the network, died in a drone attack on February 18, 2010. The attack was conducted in Dande Darpakhel, a village in North Waziristan. Sirajuddin Haqqani’s deputy, Sangeen Zadran, was killed by a US drone strike on 5 September 2013.
Haqqani has admitted planning the January 14, 2008 attack against the Serena Hotel in Kabul that killed six people, including American citizen Thor David Hesla. Haqqani confessed his organization and direction of the planning of an attempt to assassinate Hamid Karzai, planned for April 2008. His forces have been accused by coalition forces of carrying out the late-December 2008 bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan at an Afghan elementary school near an Afghan barracks that killed several schoolchildren, an Afghan soldier, and an Afghan guard; no coalition personnel were affected.
In November 2008 New York Times reporter David S. Rohde was kidnapped in Afghanistan. His initial captors are believed to have been solely interested in a ransom. Sirajuddin Haqqani is reported to have been Rohde’s last captor prior to his escape. Several reports indicated that Haqqani was targeted in a massive U.S. drone attack on February 2, 2010, but that he was not present in the area affected by the attack.
A communication was posted, on the occasion of the election of Mullah A.M. Mansoor as the new leader of the Taliban, quoting Sirajuddin Haqqani:
…My particular recommendation to all members of the Islamic Emirate is to maintain their internal unity and discipline…
The U.S. government’s Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to US$10 million in reward for information leading to Sirajuddin Haqqani’s capture.
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