U.S. May Place Group With Ties to Pakistan on Terror List
With a Congressional reporting deadline looming, the Obama administration appears ready to designate the Haqqani network as a terrorist organization, risking a new breach in relations with Pakistan.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and top military officials are said to favor placing sanctions on the network, an insurgent group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is responsible for some of the most spectacular assaults on American bases and Afghan cities in recent years, according to half a dozen current and former administration officials. But a spirited internal debate has American officials, including those at the White House, weighing the consequences that such a decision would have not only on United States-Pakistan relations but also on peace talks with the Taliban and on the fate of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier known to be held by the insurgents.
And perhaps most important, administration and Congressional officials say, is whether the designation would make any difference in hampering the group’s ability to raise money from wealthy private donors in Persian Gulf countries and other patrons. Several of its leaders have already been designated individually as “global terrorists,” so the issue now is what would be gained by designating the entire organization.
Even though Mrs. Clinton is leaning toward designating the Haqqani network as a terrorist organization, no final decision has been made, the officials said.