NATO Nabs Haqqani Leader in Afghanistan
'Revered elder' in Taliban-affiliated group is captured
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2011 7:35 AM CDT
A Pakistani protester shout at a rally to condemn the US for accusing the country's intelligence agency of supporting attacks against American targets.   (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

(Newser) – NATO says it captured a leader of the Haqqani network, the militant group that has emerged as major anti-American player in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ("The Sopranos of the Afghanistan war," as the New York Times described the clan in a previous profile.) Haji Mali Khan reportedly oversaw the group's operations in Afghanistan, and forces seized him in a border region this week, reports Reuters. The Haqqanis are linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the US has accused Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency of helping the group. (More on the back and forth of accusations here.)

Khan is "one of the highest-ranking members of the Haqqani network and a revered elder of the Haqqani clan," said a NATO statement. He appears to be the uncle of Sirajuddin and Badruddin Haqqani, who are thought to be leading the network founded by their father, Jalaluddin. The Taliban immediately denied the NATO report of his capture.