A man who has a price on his head of up to $10 million courtesy of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations has become the new minister for the interior in Afghanistan.
Sirajuddin, or Siraj Haqqani, has been elevated to the senior government post in the resurgent Taliban administration despite being hunted by the United States as a terrorist suspected of an involvement in the planning of terrorist acts that have included an attack on a hotel and an assassination attempt on then Afghan president Hamid Karzai in 2008.
His appointment comes after the United States and its allies including Australia had left Afghanistan after a 20-year period.
A description of him on the FBI website states that he has been known by at least 15 aliases and was thought to live in Pakistan while also maintaining close links with the Taliban and al Qaeda through his own Haqqani network.
The FBI website says that Haqqani ‘be considered armed and dangerous’.
“Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen,” the FBI’s request for information on Haqqani states.
“He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.”
Haqqani’s rise to power comes in the same week as the world is remembering the series of attacks that took place two decades ago on September 11 that were planned by Osama bin Laden and senior members of al Qaeda.
The attacks involved the hijacking of four aircraft by 19 radicalised individuals and resulted in the destruction of two towers of the World Trade Centre, damage to the Pentagon building, the destruction of a fourth plane, and the death of 2977 people.