Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of Afganistan's Haqqani militant network, has died after years of illness, the Taliban announced Tuesday. Haqqani, who had been paralyzed for a decade, was a prized CIA asset during the U.S.-backed Afghan guerrilla war against Soviet occupation in the 1980s, but he aligned himself with the Taliban and al Qaeda in the 1990s. The U.S. declared his network a terrorist organization in 2012, and his son is believed to have taken over control of the group in 2001. Haqqani "endured long illness during his later years," the Taliban said in a statement, calling him an "exemplary warrior ... and among the great distinguished Jihadi personalities of this era."
The Haqqani network, which operates primarily out of Pakistan, has been blamed for some of the deadliest violence in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led NATO campaign in the country, including a 2017 truck bomb that killed more than 150 people in Kabul. Peter Weber