Al-Qaeda in Honduras, Way-Station to the U.S.

Honduran authorities are on the “red alert” after being warned last month by the U.S. government that two top Islamist terrorists could be either in Honduras or heading there. The two Afghani militants, Khalil Al-Rahman Haqqani, born in 1966, and Said Jan Abd Al-Salam, born in 1981, have been supporting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda; and, according to news items, moving around in Central American countries with fake passports, pretending to be businessmen.

Honduras_FlagThe U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated the two Afghani militants Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). U.S. citizens have been prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them, and any assets under U.S. jurisdiction held by them have been frozen.

Haqqani, is apparently a member of the powerful Haqqani Network, a group based in North Waziristan, Pakistan, and closely linked to the Taliban, and led by Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Khalil Al-Rahman Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani’s uncle, is the key fundraiser, financier, and operational commander for the Haqqani Network. Voice of America reports that Khalil was also crucial in aiding the paramilitary movement linked to al Qaeda’s Lashkar al Zil, or Shadow Army, which has been involved in terrorist attacks against the U.S. army in Afghanistan.

Said Jan Abd Al-Salam also has been involved in raising funds for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and has helped in facilitating training and weapons acquisition for al-Qaeda. Al-Salam was, as well, working as an interlocutor between al-Qaida and the Taliban.

This is not the first time that Honduras has tightened its security because of Al-Qaeda’s presence. In 2004, Honduras declared a national terror alert after receiving information that Al-Qaeda was trying to recruit its citizens to carry out attacks against several embassies, among which was the U.S. embassy. Recruitment methods included offers of money, as well as ideological reasons, to reach the small Muslim community in Honduras.

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