A recent report on the Haqqani network from West Point's Combating Terrorism Center described the group as a sly organization happy to "play second fiddle" to other terror groups and leaders in order to keep a low profile on the international stage.
"For much of the last decade, this practice succeeded in decreasing the visibility of the network; prior to 2008, there was scant media reporting on the Haqqanis as constituting a distinct or significant entity," the report says. "The capacity of Haqqani leaders to form strategic alliances, such as those with al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban and the ISI, have served to increase the network's resiliency, as well as their stature within the community."
"Community members in [Pakistan's northern border region] interviewed for this project described the Haqqanis as virtually untouchable," the July 2012 report says.
A recent drone strike may have called that claim into question, however, as it reportedly took out Badruddin Haqqani, a key commander in the group and son of the Haqqani network's founder, Jalaladin Haqqani.
[Editor's Note: A previous version of this report said the Haqqani network had been officially designated as a terrorist organization. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today she plans to designate the group as a terrorist organization but has not yet.]