Joint Forces in Afghanistan Detain Haqqani Network Commander
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 14, 2008 A militant network commander was detained during a joint Afghan and coalition operation to disrupt bombing operations in Afghanistan’s Khowst province April 12.
The combined forces searched several compounds in the Gurbuz district, detaining the individual, a commander in the network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a high-level Taliban leader. Officials said the individual captured is associated with bomb-facilitation and financial- and logistical-support operations.
The combined force also detained three other individuals with suspected ties to the targeted militant, as well as Haqqani network bomb-facilitation and support operations.
During an investigation of a mosque on one of the compounds, the Afghan forces also discovered an ammunition vest and several grenades. Coalition forces remained outside the mosque.
In addition, the combined forces found a weapons cache that included a machine gun, grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, ammunition vests and associated ammunition on the compound. All weapons and explosives were destroyed.
Coalition forces also released the identity of six extremists detained during a joint Afghan and coalition forces operation in Khowst province on March 12. The extremists -- identified as Mohammad Ghanam, Khan Gul, Nik Mohammad, Sheikh Soup, Ahmad Jan and Mohammad Wali -- were apprehended in several compounds in the Tani district.
Mohammad Ghanam, 33, was one of two militants who were the focus of the operation. He was directly involved in the preparation of car bombs for the Haqqani network and has conducted attacks against coalition bases throughout Afghanistan.
He has transported ammunition, grenades, rockets and a rocket launcher across the Afghanistan border. He also is believed to have conducted a rocket attack against an Afghan border control checkpoint. In addition, Ghanam facilitated five fighters who conducted an attack on the Avran Beesseem telephone tower in the Tani district.
At the time of his capture, Ghanam possessed grenades, ammunition vests, rifles, including AK-47s with ammunition magazines, a rocket-propelled-grenade booster, bomb-making material, anti-coalition documents and Hezb-I-Islami Gulbuddin “night letters,” threatening messages left in public places.
Khan Gul, 70, the second of the two targeted militants, is a bomb expert for the Haqqani network. He is known to have transported explosives across the border into Afghanistan and is a key financier between the Haqqani network and an improvised-explosive-device cell in Khowst province.
Nik Mohammad, 25, is an anti-coalition militant fighter directly involved in the facilitation of finances and materials for homemade bombs. Nik Mohammad is believed to have conducted a rocket attack against an Afghan border control point and provided storage of bombs at his residence. At the time of his capture, Nik Mohammad possessed grenades, ammunition vests, an AK-47, ammunition magazines and a rifle.
Sheikh Soup, 42, was directly involved in facilitating attacks against coalition forces and several other targets within Afghanistan. He is known to have been a primary transporter of bombs in the Khowst province and has had a significant role in anti-coalition militia activity in the area.
Ahmad Jan, 60, is a known Taliban militant, who has facilitated bombing operations for the Haqqani network and is linked to significant anti-coalition militia activity in the Khowst province.
Mohammad Wali, 23, also known as Moud Wali, was involved in multiple bomb attacks and militant financing operations in the Khowst area.
(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 101 news releases.)