Ideology of The Haqqani Network
Ideology is an important aspect for any group; The Haqqani Network has a strict Islamist Fundamentalist outlook on the world, and believes in Wahhabi doctrine both within Islam and when interacting with infidels. The Haqqani Network has a relatively simple ideology, believing that the West needs to pull out of all Islamic countries and stop influencing their education and politics, and that Afghanistan (and all countries) should follow strict Sharia law interpretations.
The most unique aspect of the Haqqani Network is their focus on Western meddling in Islamic education. Most Islamic Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS are focused predominantly on military and political control and vicious attacks on the west, but the Haqqani Network has a strong focus on education and internal politics within Islamic countries. Looking at the background of the founder, it is not surprising that a man who has a Ph.D values education and understands the ability for schooling to influence children one way or the other. This unique perspective on Islam and the world led the Haqqani Network to ally with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban; One organization (Al-Qaeda) seeks a worldwide reach for Islam, and another organization (The Taliban) that dominates the politics and education systems of a country through Islamization and Sharia Law. This ideological alignment with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban illustrates one of the principal tactics of the Haqqani Network: work with other groups to secure funding, foreign fighters and advance Islamist thoughts.
Result of a Haqqani Network backed and executed terror attack.
Tactics of The Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network and its affiliates have been fighting insurgent style warfare in Afghanistan since the 1970’s. They are experts at asymmetric warfare and fighting from small terrorist cells. They do not seek to re-invent guerilla warfare or try new techniques when it comes to waging war and carrying out terrorist attacks. Hospital bombings, ambushes on police forces, and attacks on schools are commonplace tactics for the Haqqani Network. They are also noted for conducting attacks close to the border with Pakistan and fleeing into the Waziristan area of Pakistan where they have built up support among locals. There is no need to change what has worked for decades against perceived outside threats to the Islamic fundamentalist lifestyle in Afghanistan. Where the Haqqani Network is very innovative tactically is in their strategy to acquire money and support.
Most insurgent and terrorist networks operate as a loosely affiliated group with multiple layers of cells; this structure means that they are also wary of any outsiders or outside influence. During the insurgency in Afghanistan, most Mujahedeen insurgent groups were not welcoming to Arabs and other foreign Muslims, but Haqqani welcomed folks like Osama Bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam. As his network developed, Haqqani also welcomed their money, political support, and Wahhabi doctrine. This tactic, accepting foreign money and foreign fighters has allowed the Haqqani Network to remain relevant for decades while other groups of fighters have withered without foreign money and foreign fighters. It is no surprise for the Haqqani Network to operate with a large foreign footprint, as the founder was educated in a Madrassa that was funded by foreign, Wahhabi money. The money and the foreign fighters allow the Haqqani Network to keep a continuous flow into Afghanistan where they are able to conduct insurgent activities and maintain pressure on NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan.