Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee expressed concern over the safety of Americans in Afghanistan following the announcement of terrorist leader Sirajuddin Haqqani as interior minister.
New York Rep. John Katko and Texas Rep. August Pfluger wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to note their concerns.
“As you are aware, the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan continues to pose increased terrorism risk to Americans both at home and abroad,” the letter, first obtained by Fox News on Wednesday, said.
“With American citizens and our Afghan allies awaiting permission from the Taliban to leave the country on chartered flights – a previously unthinkable scenario that is wholly unacceptable to the American people – we are urgently concerned about the Taliban’s naming of one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist operatives, Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a terrorist group known as the Haqqani network, as the country’s acting interior minister.”
The letter specifically addressed the concern for Americans remaining in Afghanistan under the leadership of Haqqani in the new Taliban government.
“We are concerned that this newfound power in the hands of the Haqqani Network may further exacerbate circumstances leading to Afghanistan becoming a terrorist safe haven, accelerating plotting against the United States emanating from Afghanistan,” the congressmen wrote.
Should America designate the Taliban as an enemy of America?
“The Haqqanis are considered the most lethal and sophisticated insurgent group targeting U.S., Coalition, and Afghan forces in Afghanistan,” according to a report from the director of national intelligence. “They typically conduct coordinated small-arms assaults coupled with rocket attacks, IEDs, suicide attacks and attacks using bomb-laden vehicles.”
The news of Haqqani’s addition to the Taliban government was shared on Tuesday.
Globally designated terrorist of Haqqani Network Sirajuddin Haqqani is the new Interior Minister of Afghanistan. Let that sink in. pic.twitter.com/pCgWlcJIRW
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) September 7, 2021
Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn sarcastically tweeted, “Hey @FBI – I found him.”
Hey @FBI– I found him.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of a U.S.-designated terrorist group, is now the acting interior minster of Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/ZdaK4tfjBg
— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) September 7, 2021
“Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen,” according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.”
“He is reportedly a senior leader of the Haqqani network, and maintains close ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Haqqani is a specially designated global terrorist,” the FBI said.
The FBI lists a $10 million reward for information leading directly to the arrest of Haqqani.
The terrorist leader is one of many questionable choices among the new Taliban government’s list of leaders.
A group of men known as the Taliban Five has now come back to power in Afghanistan as four of the five terrorists exchanged for former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama’s administration now hold top jobs in the new government.