Ahmed Jan Wazir was a key commander of the Haqqani Network, a militant group aligned with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), and had served as its liaison with the Taliban Supreme Council. He was killed in a suspected US drone strike in Hangu District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, on November 21 2013.
There are several individuals named Ahmed Jan who have been subjected to UN sanctions for their alleged association with the Taliban. The Bureau believes the Ahmed Jan killed on November 21 2013 was Ahmed Jan Wazir.
Abdullah Khan of the Conflict Monitoring Center, a Pakistani research body, said Jan was the Taliban’s finance minister and shadow governor of Paktika province.
‘As far as we know the person named Ahmed Jan killed on November 21 was a finance minister of the Afghan Taliban and shadow governor of Paktika,’ Khan said. ‘When the Haqqanis joined the Taliban this was one of the provinces given to them to control.’
Reza Nasim Jan, Pakistan team lead at the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Team, said although two other Ahmed Jans – Ahmed Jan Akhundzada Wazir and Ahmad Jan Akhundzada Shukoor – were designated by the UN under Security Council Resolution 1988 , ‘everything we have seen from this strike [on November 21 2013] suggests it was the Jan who was born in Ghazni province and has him being a former finance minister.
‘So as long as the reporting about Jan is correct we can say this was Ahmed Jan Wazir,’ Jan added.
Ahmed Jan Wazir was born in 1963 in the village of Barlach, Qareh Bagh District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He worked in the Ministry of Finance under the Taliban administration of Mullah Mohammed Omar.
In 2008, Jan was named as the commander of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province by both the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda. The UN Security Council said later that Jan had ‘provided other Taliban commanders in Ghazni Province with money and supplies, including weapons and communications equipment’.
Jan was reportedly arrested by the Pakistani authorities in February 2010 along with three other alleged Taliban members. However Jan was released two months later ‘under mysterious circumstances’. The UN claims Jan travelled, along with senior cadres of the Haqqani Network, to the Gulf in that year.
On June 21 2010 the US Treasury designated Jan as a ‘member of [the Taliban] affiliated group the Haqqani Network’. In its designation notice, the Treasury alleged: ‘Jan provided other Taliban commanders in Ghazni Province with money, weapons, communications equipment, and supplies.’
Such was the trust the Haqqani Network commander placed in Jan that he would often be nominated to attend jirgas – a council of tribal elders – on behalf of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Haqqani Network’s de facto commander. Jan also reportedly regularly mediated in disputes between civilians and even among militias.
In late 2010, Jan met with the senior leadership of the TTP in place of Sirajuddin to appeal for the release of Colonel Imam, a retired Pakistani intelligence official who was later executed in a video featuring the now-deceased TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.
On January 6 2012, Jan was added to the UN’s list of terrorists designated under Resolution 1988 for ‘participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by… the Taliban’. The declaration stated Jan personally presented ‘a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan’. In March 2012, Jan appeared on a list of individuals sanctioned by the European Union for associating with the Taliban.
Jan was quoted in media reports denying the death of Badruddin Haqqani following a suspected US drone strike on a house and a vehicle in Shnakhura, Datta Khel, North Waziristan, on August 21 2012. Afghan intelligence officials and, later, the Haqqani Network itself, confirmed Badruddin’s death.
According to the UN, Jan acted as a deputy, spokesperson and advisor for the network’s leader Sirajuddin. Local media reports following his death described Jan as a ‘key financier [of the Haqqani Network] and a logistics expert’. One report quoted a local militant saying Jan was the ‘right hand man’ of Sirajuddin. Haqqani network sources said that Jan had become the group’s spiritual adviser.
Following the killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani – a key commander in the Haqqani Network and Sirajuddin’s older brother – at a bakery in Islamabad on November 12 2013, Jan travelled to a seminary in Tal, Hangu District to attend a condolence meeting in place of the group’s wanted leader.
A tribesman who attended the meeting told local media that Jan had originally planned to leave the area after the meeting, but was persuaded to stay the night of November 20 in the seminary. At least six people, including Jan, were killed in a suspected US drone strike on the building that night. A member of the Haqqani Network confirmed Jan’s death hours later.
Sources and Citations
Police (BBC); two local security officials (AFP); Iftikhar Ahmad, Hangu police chief (Xinhua, Associated Press, Al Jazeera America, Associated Press); Afghan intelligence source (Reuters, Wall Street Journal); local intelligence official (Washington Post); Haqqani Network source (AFP); senior Haqqani source (Reuters); Taliban sources (The News); sources (Dawn); Tal Police official Sher Zaman (Dawn); intelligence official (Guardian); security official (NBC); sources (Conflict Monitoring Center)