ISW Releases New Report on Haqqani Network in Pakistan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stephanie Robson srobson@understandingwar.org 202-293-5550 x 210 May 10, 2011

Washington, DC - The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) Critical Threats Project today released a new report by analysts Jeffrey Dressler (ISW) and Reza Jan (AEI), The Haqqani Network in Kurram: The Regional Implications of a Growing Insurgency, which studies the extremist insurgent group's expanding influence into Pakistan's Kurram Agency, a region of special strategic importance to Afghanistan-focused insurgents and their affiliates such as al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e Taiba.

In the report, Dressler and Jan investigate the increasing ties between the Haqqani Network and other national and transnational terrorists, and what terrorist networks stand to gain from a Haqqani-brokered peace between Sunni and Shia factions in the Kurram Agency. The report also discusses elements of the Pakistan security establishment whose support for the Haqqanis continues unabated.

Haqqani-led expansion into Kurram Agency has significant implications for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and their continued efforts to establish peace and security.

Key conclusions from the report:

    • In response to increased coalition activity against the Haqqani Network in both Pakistan (via drones) and Afghanistan (via Special Operations Forces), the Haqqanis have increasingly sought new Pakistani sanctuary and additional infiltration routes in order to continue to battle coalition forces for control of southeastern Afghanistan.
    • In exchange for brokering the peace between Sunnis and Shias, the Haqqanis allegedly received the authority to operate through Shia-controlled terrain in central and upper Kurram. It is likely that other national and transnational terrorists who operate with the Haqqanis, such as al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e Taiba, will join them in Kurram.
    • The Haqqanis will likely relocate critical elements of the network to Kurram Agency. This will have the dual effect of relieving pressure on the Network from U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan and allow for greater freedom of movement for its fighters, facilitators, and leaders.
    • The expansion of the Haqqani Network and affiliated terrorist groups will have negative consequences for security and stability, not just in Kurram, but in eastern Afghanistan (Nangarhar, Laghman, Kapisa) and elsewhere in Pakistan, as it will become more difficult to identify, track, and strike national and international terrorist groups

Download and read the full report: The Haqqani Network in Kurram: The Regional Implications of a Growing Insurgency, by Jeffrey Dressler and Reza Jan.

To request Jeffrey Dressler for a media interview, please contact ISW External Affairs Director Stephanie Robson srobson@understandingwar.org or (202) 293-5550 x210.