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US designates Haqqani figures 'global terrorists'

06 February, 2014

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday named three members of Pakistan's Haqqani network to its list of "specially designated global terrorists."

The US Treasury said Saidullah Jan, Yahya Haqqani and Muhammad Omar Zadran are key figures in the financial and support network of the Haqqani network, which the US has long labelled a terror group. Pakistani national Jan has been a Haqqani commander in Afghanistan, a logistical coordinator and a link between the group and al Qaeda, the Treasury said. Yahya Haqqani, also a Pakistani, is brother-in-law to Haqqani network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani and has stood in as group leader when others were absent, according to the Treasury.

He also at times allegedly serves as a liaison to al Qaeda and a coordinator with the Taliban. Afghan native Zadran has been a Haqqani commander in Afghanistan and has worked closely with Taliban militants there. Designating the three as "global terrorists" results in any assets falling under US jurisdiction being frozen, and bans any Americans from doing business with them.

The Obama administration has been struggling to contain the Haqqani network, which it has blamed for involvement in a number of bold, high-profile attacks on US and Western interests in Afghanistan, for years. "Today's action underscores our resolve to continue targeting any potential means of support for the Haqqanis," David Cohen, a senior Treasury official, said in the statement. Muhammad Omar Zadran was also named for having links to the Afghan Taliban.

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