Haqqani Network Would Be Named Terrorists Under Republican Bill

Three Republican chairmen in the U.S. House introduced legislation calling on the Obama administration to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress agree that the Haqqani Network is a violent terrorist organization and grave threat to our security,” Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, who heads the House intelligence committee, said today in an e-mailed statement. “The Haqqanis are responsible for killing hundreds of our troops, and their indiscriminate attacks have also murdered countless innocent Afghan men, women, and children.”

The measure also was sponsored by Representatives Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has blamed the Haqqani network for a series of attacks on U.S., allied and Afghan targets in Afghanistan. The Obama administration has been debating the terrorist designation, which could help stem the flow of money to the organization, although the issue is complicated by allegations that Pakistan’s intelligence service supports the group.

The measure is H.R. 6036.

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