US-designated terrorist in Taliban’s new cabinet

Washington: Named new Interior Minister of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Sirajuddin Haqqani of the infamous Haqqani network is wanted by the US, whose Department of Justice offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

A top leader of the Taliban, Haqqani, who is said to be in his 40s, had succeeded his father Jalaluddin Haqqani as the leader of the Haqqani network, which has been charged with some of the most violent attacks in Afghanistan and is designated a terrorist organization by the US.

As per a poster on the FBI website, he is described as a black-haired man with brown or black eyes, 5 feet 7 inches in height, with a medium build and 150 pounds weight, light and wrinkled complexion and an Arabic speaker.

Said to go under the aliases Siraj, Khalifa, Mohammad Siraj, Sarajadin, Cirodjiddin, Seraj, Arkani, Khalifa (Boss) Shahib, Halifa, Ahmed Zia, Sirajuddin Jallaloudine Haqqani, Siraj Haqqani, Serajuddin Haqani, Siraj Haqani, and Saraj Haqani, the Department of Justice says that he is “wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack at a hotel in Kabul that killed six persons, including an American citizen.

“He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against the United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani was also allegedly involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008,” it says, but cautions that he “SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS”.

The United States said it was concerned by the track records of some of the cabinet members and noted that no women had been included. “The world is watching closely,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

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