One of America’s most-wanted terrorists on the streets of Kabul: Taliban fundraiser Khalil Haqqani – who has a $5m bounty on his head for his links to Al Qaeda – greets adoring crowds in Kabul
- Haqqani led prayers and vowed to give ‘security to men and women’ in Kabul
- He is wanted by the US and UN for fundraising for the Taliban and Al Qaeda
- He was cheered in Kabul today and is said to be offering security for new regime
Khalil Haqqani, one of America’s most wanted terrorists, has led prayers for Taliban fighters in Kabul where he was greeted by adoring fans.
The Taliban fundraiser, who also has links to Al Qaeda, has a $5million bounty on his head but was cheered on the streets of Kabul before he led prayers at the city’s biggest mosque.
Haqqani is now an integral part of the Taliban’s moves to set up a government and he had armed escorts as he entered the religious building.
Khalil Haqqani, one of America’s most wanted terrorists, has led prayers for Taliban fighters in Kabul where he was greeted by adoring fans
After a sermon by the imam, Haqqani told the crowd, according to The New York Times: ‘Our first priority for Afghanistan is security.
‘If there is no security, there is no life. We will give security, then we will give economy, trade, education for men and women. There will be no discrimination.’
His speech was greeted by cheers from the crowd, showing the significant support for the Taliban in the heart of Afghanistan.
Haqqani is part of the Haqqani network which has played a major role in the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Taliban fundraiser, who also has links to Al Qaeda, has a $5million bounty on his head but was cheered on the streets of Kabul
The group was founded by the mujahedeen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani in the 1970s and is suspected of helping Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora in 2001.
Khalil is the brother of the group’s founder and they continued to grow an international terrorist fundraising network.
He is also the uncle of the Taliban’s deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Haqqani is on both the US and UN terrorist lists along with other members of his family.
The crimes he is accused of include ‘participating in the financing, planning, facilitation, preparation or commission of acts or activities carried out’ by the Taliban.
The Haqqani network operates from the North Waziristan district in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Haqqani is part of the Haqqani network which has played a major role in the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan
Haqqani has travelled worldwide to meet financial supporters of the Taliban, having previously been spotted in Gulf States and South and East Asia.
He has also acted on behalf of Al Qaeda and has been linked to its military operations.
It was recently revealed that the Taliban had placed security for Kabul in the hands of senior members of the Haqqani network.
Experts fear it raises the prospect of Al Qaeda being welcomed back to Afghanistan.
Taliban leaders had promised in talks with US officials last year not to allow the country to become a safe haven for jihadists.
A British intelligence officer told VOA: ‘The fact we have Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani in charge of Kabul security is dismaying.
‘The Haqqani and Al Qaeda have a long history together, you could argue they are intertwined, and it is highly unlikely they will cut ties.’
Meanwhile retired diplomat Ivor Roberts said putting the Haqqani network in charge of security is like the ‘fox being put in charge of a chicken coop’.
The group has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks in Afghanistan including the 2008 five-star Serena Hotel attack and the 2017 truck bombing near the German Embassy which killed 96.
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