Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan Cabinet Member, Wanted by FBI, $10 Million Reward Offered

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the recently appointed acting interior minister of the Taliban's government, is wanted for questioning by the FBI, and the State Department has offered a $10 million reward for information that leads to his arrest.

The Haqqani network, of which Haqqani is the leader, is a designated foreign terrorist organization, making it illegal for Americans to join or aid. Haqqani's militant organization is affiliated with the Taliban and is considered by the U.S. government to be the "most lethal and sophisticated insurgent group."

An FBI poster said Haqqani was wanted for questioning in connection with a January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Six people were killed in the attack, including one American. The FBI also believes Haqqani "coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against the United States coalition forces in Afghanistan."

"Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008," the poster said.

In exchange for information that leads to Haqqani's arrest, the Rewards for Justice Program, the State Department's counterterrorism rewards program, offered up to $10 million. A poster on the FBI's website had the reward set at up to $5 million.

sirajuddin haqqani taliban afghanistan fbi
Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan's new acting interior minister, is wanted by the FBI for questioning and the State Department is offering up to $5 million for information that leads to his arrest. Shown above is Sirajuddin Haqqani's FBI "wanted" poster. FBI

Newsweek reached out to the Rewards for Justice Program for comment on the reward for information about Haqqani but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Haqqani's father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founded the Haqqani Network and later aligned himself with the Afghan Taliban in the 1990s. A known associate of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Jalaluddin is credited with being one of bin Laden's "closest mentors" during his "formative years" in the 1980s.

The DNI put responsibility on the Haqqanis for a June 2011 attack on the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel, which killed more than a dozen people, as well as the 2008 and 2009 suicide bombings at the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The group also carried out a "day-long assault" against the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the International Security Assistance Force headquarters and the Afghan Presidential Palace in September 2011.

Afghan security forces also found a truck bomb deployed by the Haqqanis in 2013 that contained 61,500 pounds of explosives, making it the "largest truck bomb ever built," according to the DNI.

When announcing the cabinet on Tuesday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the appointments were just for an interim government, although he offered no details as to how long members would serve, according to the Associated Press.

Other cabinet members include Mullah Hasan Akhund, who headed the Taliban government during the last years of its rule in the 1990s, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who signed the agreement with the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan. Akhund will serve as interim prime minister and Baradar will be one of his two deputies.

Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mohammad Omar, will serve as acting defense minister.

While the Taliban vowed their takeover would be different from how they ruled in the 1990s, their words don't seem to match their actions, prompting criticism of the crackdown on women's rights, journalists, and those who were allied with the previous Afghan government.No women or non-Taliban figures were named to the interim cabinet on Tuesday.