US to blacklist Haqqani network - report

Washington -

The Obama administration has decided to blacklist the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terror group and is expected to announce the decision as early as Friday, the New York Times reported.

In this 1998 file photo, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant group the Haqqani network, speaks during an interview in Miram Shah, Pakistan. Credit: AP

US officials have been debating the move for a month, with opponents fearing that it could pour more salt on the wounded alliance with Pakistan after months of turmoil in the delicate relationship.

But the Times reported late on Thursday that supporters of the move had won out, arguing that the designation would help to disrupt the Haqqani network's fund-raising activities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The network been accused of launching scores of cross-border attacks on US troops in Afghanistan from strongholds in Pakistan's restive north-west, and Washington has demanded that Islamabad do more to deny them “safe havens”.

US officials have linked the Haqqani network to some of the boldest attacks in Afghanistan, including a June assault on a hotel near Kabul that killed 18 people and a siege last year of the US embassy.

The State Department has designated certain members of the Haqqani network as terrorists but has resisted blacklisting the entire group.

The United States has slowly been rebuilding cooperation with Pakistan, badly damaged after US forces found and killed Osama bin Laden last year near the military's main academy. - Sapa-AFP