A Taliban spokesman on Tuesday announced the appointment of a terrorist on the FBI’s most-wanted list to a cabinet-level position in its new government.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is a senior leader in the al Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network of terror groups, will serve in the Talibanâ€™s government as minister of the interior. He is wanted by federal authorities for his involvement in a 2008 bombing in Kabul that killed Thor Hesla, a U.S. citizen. The State DepartmentÂ is offeringÂ up to $5 million for information leading to Haqqani’s arrest.
Haqqani authored anÂ op-edÂ in theÂ New York TimesÂ in February 2020, which expressed the demands of the Taliban ahead of talks with U.S. officials in Qatar.
The Taliban leader said his organization would work to protect human rights for all Afghans and work toward “mutual respect” with foreign powers. The claims run counter toÂ reportsÂ of atrocities the Taliban have committed against Afghans, many of whom assisted the United States during its 20-year war in Afghanistan.
Haqqani’s op-ed ran four months before a now-infamousÂ New York TimesÂ editorial by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) that argued federal forces should be deployed to quell violence and restore order in America’s cities during the summer’s riots. Whereas some employees said Cotton’s views put black journalists at the newspaper “in danger,” noÂ TimesÂ employees said publishing a known terrorist’s words in their opinion pages put any subgroup of U.S. citizens at risk.
United Nations-sanctioned terrorist Mohammad Hasan Akhund will lead the newly installed Taliban government. A 2020Â reportÂ from the United Nations Security Council said the Talibanâ€™s senior council of 20 membersâ€”including Akhundâ€”maintained close ties with al Qaeda during negotiations with the West.
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