Washington—In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, again urged the State Department to designate the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“There is no question that the Haqqani network meets the standards for designation specified in Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “It conducts attacks against U.S. targets and personnel in Afghanistan, and poses a continuing threat to American, Afghan, and allied personnel and interests.”
Full text of the letter follows:
September 22, 2011
The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
On May 13, 2010 and again on June 29, 2010, I wrote to you to urge that the State Department designate the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani network as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). (Letters attached.) The TTP was listed last year, but the Haqqani network remains off the list.
I repeat my request that the Haqqani network should be listed as an FTO, and ask that you respond in writing.
There is no question that the Haqqani network meets the standards for designation specified in Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It conducts attacks against U.S. targets and personnel in Afghanistan, and poses a continuing threat to American, Afghan, and allied personnel and interests.
In the past three months, U.S. officials have attributed three of the largest, most brazen attacks in Afghanistan to the Haqqani network. These include:
- The June 28, 2011, assault on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul, killing at least 20 individuals. Suicide attackers stormed the hotel, setting off explosions and exchanging gunfire with Afghan authorities for hours until NATO helicopters killed three of the remaining gunmen.
- The September 10, 2011, truck bombing in Wardak province, killing five Afghans and injuring 77 U.S. troops. The powerful bomb exploded just outside the gates of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad and reportedly killed a policeman and four civilians, including a 3-year-old girl.
- The September 13, 2011 siege on the U.S. Embassy and NATO compound. Insurgents fired rockets and attacked police in three other areas of Kabul, killing at least 9 people and wounding 23 in the coordinated attacks.
Secretary Panetta, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, and Admiral Mike Mullen have all recently decried the actions of the Haqqani network and ties between the Pakistani government and the group.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has followed closely the intelligence on the links between the Haqqani network and Pakistan, and the attacks that the group carries out across the border in Afghanistan. We have frequently discussed with Intelligence Community officials steps that they can and are taking to counter the threat posed by the Haqqani network.
I request that the State Department take the additional step of listing the network as a Foreign Terrorism Organization and look forward to receiving your response.