Understanding the Haqqani-Taliban-Al Qaeda Relationship–in the Haqqanis' Own Words

Understanding the Haqqani-Taliban-Al Qaeda Relationship–in the Haqqanis' Own Words

There have been suggestions among some in the media that the Haqqani Network (who were the terrorists Bowe Bergdahl was with) is somehow a separate entity from the Taliban. Al Qaeda is not even being mentioned in this regard, which is a grave error. 

Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal, which tracks developments on the battlefield for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reported in 2011: 

Claiming that the Haqqani Network is not part of the Taliban is like saying that the US is not part of NATO. The Haqqani Network is one of many Taliban subgroups, or, put another way, part of the Taliban’s “coalition.” The organization happens to be one of the more powerful subgroups, operating freely in areas it controls with a degree of autonomy; but at the same time, it coordinates its activities with other Taliban factions and groups like Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin.

Roggio quotes a 2008 interview Jalaluddin Haqqani did with Al Somood Magazine in which Haqqani is asked about how “western news agencies report that your Jihadist movement is independent and outside the organization of the Islamic Emirate. What prompts these claims and what is the truth of them?” 

Haqqani answers: 

All of these claims are baseless. Praise be to Allah, all the Mujahideen wage Jihad under the leadership of the Ameer ul-Momineen Mullah Mohamed Omar Mujahid against the American invaders and their lackeys. There is no crisis (of division) under the names moderate or extremist among the Mujahideen. They all fight under a unified leadership, according to the glorious aya: “Strong against the unbelievers (but) compassionate amongst each other”.  I myself am a member of the High Council of the Islamic Emirate.

Another senior Haqqani Network leader, Mullah Sangeen Zadran, declared in 2009 that: “Al Qaeda and the Taliban all are Muslims and we are united by the brotherhood of Islam. We do not see any difference between Taliban and al Qaeda, for we all belong to the religion of Islam.”

One of the terrorists traded for Bergdahl was a member of the Taliban’s Supreme Shura during their time pre-2001 time in power. This 10-man council was the predecessor to today’s Quetta Shura (so named because it is based in the Pakistani city of Quetta) of which Jalaluddin Haqqani is a part.

That he was released gives new kick to CBS News reporter Lara Logan’s mocking remark in 2012 in which she explained how it was nonsense for those in Washington DC to believe that the Taliban of today “don’t really want to take us back 3,000 years into that terrible terrible place I witnessed in 2001 when I went with the Afghan soldiers who retook Kabul from the Taliban.”