Counter-Terrorism: The Gangs of Afghanistan


October 23, 2007: U.S. intelligence in Afghanistan has identified the most dangerous new Taliban leader as 40 year old Siraj Haqqani. His father was a leader in the 1980s fight against the Russians. Haqqani belongs to a Pushtun tribe which lies astride the Afghan-Pakistan border, and has a long tradition of fighting outsiders. Haqqani is the most notable of the "new generation" Taliban leaders. The new, younger, guys are pushing aside the 1980s generation, and advocating greater use of sheer terror, and paying more attention to making money via drug smuggling, kidnapping and whatever brings in cash. Haqqani has a $200,000 price on his head, and runs his Taliban crew more like a gangster, than a religious leader. As has happened to many revolutionary organizations in the past (like the Irish Republican Army and the Italian Mafia), the Taliban is turning into a purely criminal organization, with less emphasis on the original goals.




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