The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has raised the reward for information leading to the arrest of Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network and deputy Taliban military leader, to $10 million.
The reward, which was originally $5 million, was reportedly raised after Sirajuddin was appointed as the Interior Minister of Afghanistan in the Taliban’s interim government that was announced on September 7.
#Afghanistan’s new interior minister Sirajuddin #Haqqani, appointed by the Taliban govt the US effectively left in charge, famously has a $5 million #FBI bounty on his head. Remarkably, the FBI has in the past couple of days DOUBLED his bounty to $10 million. pic.twitter.com/ciu0XyC6Hq
— Sulaiman Hakemy (@SulaimanHakemy) September 9, 2021
Sirajuddin is wanted by the FBI for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen.
He is also believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.
The Taliban’s interim government was a major blow to some in the West, especially in the US, who believed that the group was going to form an “inclusive” administration.
The Pentagon is reportedly “concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals” the Taliban appointed. The State Department also expressed concerns that the Taliban plans to exclude women from top posts.
In a statement, the Taliban objected to the recent statements issued by the US expressing concern over the blacklisted status of many members of the interim government and said such stand, as well as such remarks, are a clear violation of the Doha Agreement.
“Pentagon officials have remarked that some cabinet members of the Islamic Emirate or family members of late Haqqani Sahib – may Allah be pleased with him – are on the US blacklists and still targets. The Islamic Emirate considers this position a clear violation of the Doha Agreement which is neither in the interest of the United States nor Afghanistan,” the statement reads.
The US will not likely attempt to capture Sirajuddin, even if it receives information on his exact whereabouts. The reward offered by the FBI is likely meant to pressure the Taliban into cooperating with the US.
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