Michael G. Mullen

Pompeo's pending visit to Pakistan may have prompted the Taliban to report death of leading militant

Jalaluddin Haqqani

Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant group that has carried out some of the deadliest attacks against U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, was unofficially reported dead in 2014 and hadn't been seen publicly since well before that.

Meanwhile, his son had risen into the top ranks of the Taliban.

The Taliban’s announcement Tuesday that Haqqani had died after a long illness confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets of the Afghan war, raising speculation about why the insurgent group decided to go public now.

One explanation could be Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s expected arrival on Wednesday in Pakistan, where he will discuss the Trump administration’s...