Posts Tagged ‘Hakimullah Mehsud’

Hakimullah Dead or Alive ? New Turn to the Intelligence Agencies.

April 29, 2010

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud. — AFP Photo

Hakimullah now believed alive: intelligence sources

Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 14, 1431

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is now believed to have survived a US missile strike earlier this year, but has lost clout within the militant network, a senior intelligence official said Thursday.

The revelation contradicts initial confidence among US and Pakistani intelligence officials that the militant leader had been killed in the mid-January missile attack. The Taliban consistently denied Mehsud was killed, but declined to offer evidence he lived, saying it would compromise his safety.

The latest independent investigations and reports from multiple sources in the field led Pakistani intelligence to conclude Mehsud had indeed survived, though with some slight injuries, the official said on condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.

”It was just a miracle that only one person escaped that attack, and he was Hakimullah Mehsud,” he said. ”Miracles do happen.”

Mehsud, however, had lost a good deal of power, and other Taliban commanders, such as Waliur Rehman, were overshadowing him.

Two other intelligence officials in the northwest told The Associated Press over the past several days that they had determined that Mehsud was alive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to media on the record.

The Taliban have been known in the past to deny a militant leader had died even if he had. They waited for 18 days to confirm that Mehsud’s predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in an August strike as they squabbled over who would be his heir.

This time, however, the militants never changed their stance that Hakimullah Mehsud had survived, though they would not let any reporters interview him. There was never a martyrdom video or official announcement of his death posted on militant websites, either, adding credence to the notion he was still alive.

The Pakistani Taliban have been under assault by the army in their main stronghold of South Waziristan since October. The group is behind numerous suicide and other attacks that have killed hundreds of Pakistanis over the past few years.

Courtesy : DawnNews & AFP.

No one can believe the death of Hakimullah without evidence.

February 4, 2010

“Finish All Kaffirs from this World” : Trigger Happy Hakimullah Mhesud Gazi.

Mehsud likely dead, but no proof: US official

2240 PST, Thursday, February 04, 2010 ||Safar 19, 1431 A.H

WASHINGTON: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud was likely killed in US missile strikes but there was still no definitive evidence that he was dead, a US defense official told a foreign new agency on Thursday.

“There’s a good likelihood that he’s dead,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. But final confirmation would have to wait “until a body pops up, or photographic evidence or reliable witnesses” verify reports.

US missile attacks have repeatedly targeted Mehsud, the head of Pakistan’s most powerful Taliban faction and involved in a December suicide attack on the CIA in Afghanistan, the deadliest attack on the US spy agency in 26 years.

Speculation about his death has mounted since a January 14 US drone strike in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, but Mehsud purportedly released two audio statements denying his demise.

On January 17, a day after Mehsud’s last statement, a US drone carried out another attack that officials said also targeted the militant leader. A US counter-terrorism official said rumors were taking root because Mehsud had been out of view.

Hakimullah Mehsud, right, holds a rocket launcher with his comrades in Sararogha.—File photo by AP

US confirms Hakimullah’s death

By Correspondent Dawn News ||Friday, 05 Feb, 2010||Safar 20, 1431

WASHINGTON: US counter-terrorism officials are now confirming that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is dead, the US media reported on Thursday.

Both CNN and Fox News quoted senior US intelligence officials as saying that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief was killed in a drone attack last month.

Fox News noted that this was so far the strongest signal that Washington had offered about Hakimullah’s fate.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that Afghan Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani was the target of the heaviest US drone strikes in North Waziristan earlier this week, but he might just have escaped the assault.

A commander of the Haqqani group told CNN that “Siraj was in the area but had left moments before the strike”.

The TV network said the reported strike on Tuesday night were unusual for the relatively high number of missiles fired — at least 19 — and for the high death toll.

Neither Pakistan nor the US has officially confirmed the death of Hakimullah, who commands an Al Qaeda-allied movement that is blamed for scores of suicide bombings and is suspected in a deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan late last year.

Courtesy : The News International, DawnNews, AP,  Google & Other Agencies.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claim Karachi bombing. This is nothing but the Peace Bombing of Islam.

December 30, 2009

Vehicles are on fire after a bombing struck a Shia procession in Karachi, December 28, 2009. — AP Photo

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claim Karachi bombing

Wed, 30 Dec, 2009 | Muharram 12, 1431

KARACHI: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the most active Taliban militant group in Pakistan on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in Karachi, and threatened more attacks.

“My group claims responsibility for the Karachi attack and we will carry out more such attacks, within 10 days,” Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter in Peshawar.

The prospect of more violence comes at a tough time for embattled President Asif Ali Zardari. He already faces political pressure because corruption charges against some of his aides may be revived.

And Zardari has yet to formulate a more effective strategy against the Pakistani Taliban, despite relentless pressure from Washington, which wants his government to root out militants who cross over to attack US and Nato-led forces in Afghanistan and then return to their Pakistan strongholds.

The scale of his challenges was clear on Monday, when a suicide bomber defied heavy security around a Shia procession, killing 43 people and triggering riots.

In a sign of mounting frustrations, Pakistani religious and political leaders called for a strike for Friday to condemn that attack, one of the worst in Karachi since 2007.

The bloodshed illustrated how the Taliban, whose strongholds are in the lawless northwest, have extended their reach to major cities in their drive to topple the government.

“The bombing itself was bad enough, but the violence that immediately erupted was also very well planned,” said Sunni scholar Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who blamed Pakistani authorities for the chaos.

“We want the government not only to compensate those killed in the attacks, but also those who lost their livelihoods, and so we are calling for a complete strike on Friday,” he said.

The Taliban campaign and their hardline brand of Islam — which involves public hangings and whippings of anyone who disobeys them — angered many Pakistanis.
But the Karachi bomb suggested growing violence has raised suspicions of Pakistan’s government.

“The government is using the Taliban as an excuse for everything that is happening anywhere in the country,” said Noman Ahmed, who works for a Karachi clearing agency.

“The organised way that all this is being done clearly shows that the terrorists are being sponsored either by the government itself or some other state that wants to destabilise Pakistan.”

Security policy

Pakistan’s all-powerful military sets security policy. So the key gauge of public confidence may be how the army’s performance is viewed. In the 1980s, Pakistan’s army nurtured militant groups who fought Soviet occupation troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban emerged in the 1990’s after a civil war in Afghanistan.

Now Pakistan’s army faces home-grown militants.

“I don’t buy that foreign hands are involved (in the Karachi attack). They’re domestic elements. They’re those who were nurtured, trained and protected in late 1990s,” said Sajid Ali Naqvi, head of the influential Shias’ Islami Tehrik movement.

The bombing was one of the bloodiest in Karachi since an October 2007 attack on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her return to the country that killed at least 139 people.

Shia leaders, as well as Karachi’s dominant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party, backed the strike call, which could bring the teeming city of 18 million to a standstill.

The high-profile bloodshed had all the hallmarks of the Taliban, who often bomb crowded areas to inflict maximum casualties. The blast led some Pakistanis to conclude that several hands must have been involved.

“The Taliban, or whoever is behind this, cannot do it without the support of a government,” said Shahid Mahmood, whose perfume and watch shops were torched in the riots.

“They know that Karachi is the heart of Pakistan and if it goes down, the country will go down.”

It is reported that 07 minors participating in the Shia procession in Karachi were killed in the blast on 28.12.2009. A Human Right Watch source said the number of juvenile victims crossed 230 marks in 2009 Pakistan, killing 100 minors and disabling more than 130 others with permanent injuries as a mark of peace in Pakistan.

Courtesy : Dawn, Pakistan Human Rights Chapter for Peace (PHRCP).

No Lashkar, JuD militant in Pak’s most wanted terrorists’ list :: Lashkar & JuD Leaders are Ideals of the Pak Nation

September 2, 2009

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Peace Man, so Unlisted

No Lashkar, JuD militant in Pak’s most wanted terrorists list

ISLAMABAD: No militant belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists list.

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed along with other top LeT commanders has been accused of masterminding the deadly Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008, in which 179 people were killed.

According to well-placed Interior Ministry sources in Islamabad, Pakistan’s top ten most wanted terrorists belong to six militant and sectarian organisations linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban who are still at large and adamant to pursue their Jehadi agenda. M_Id_104449_Hakimullah_Mehsud

Four of the ten wanted militants are affiliated with the TTP; two belong to the LeJ while one each is associated with the TNSM, the JeM, the HuJI and the LeI.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who has become Pak Taliban Leader after death of Baitullah Mehsud, ranks No 2 in the most wanted list.

They include Maulana Fazlullah of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), Hakimullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain Mehsud, Maulvi Faqeer Mohammad and Waliur Rehman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Matiur Rehman and Qari Zafar of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Maulana Ilyas Kashmiri of the Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HUJI), Rashid Rauf of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Mangal Bagh of the Lashkar-e-Islami (LeI).  or its charity organisation, Jamaat-ud-Daawa, has been in included in the Pakistan’s top 10 most wanted .

  With Baitullah Mehsud already killed, Maulana Fazlullah has become No 1 most wanted terrorist. Hakimullah Mehsud, a close confidant of Baitullah Mehsud, is the new chief of the TTP ranks No 2 in the most wanted list, ‘The News’ reported.

Another close aide of Baitullah, Qari Hussain Mehsud ranks No 3. The No 4 in the most wanted list is Ilyas Kashmiri, the chief of the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir chapter of al-Qaeda-linked Jehadi organisation Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HUJI).
At No 5 in the most wanted list is Rashid Rauf, an alleged al-Qaeda linked British national of the Pakistani origin, who is wanted by Pakistani and Britain for being a central figure in an August 2006 plot to blow up some US-bound trans-Atlantic airplanes.

 The No 6 most wanted terrorist is Mangal Bagh Afridi, who is the founder of the Lashkar-e-Islam, an Islamic militant group operating in Khyber Agency. Matiur Rehman alais Samad Sial, the chief operational commander of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, ranks No 7.

 Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, a member of the Mohmand tribe and the deputy commander of the TTP, ranks No 8 in the most wanted list. Waliur Rehman, the commander of the South Waziristan chapter of the TTP, has emerged as a key Jehadi figure after the death of Baitullah ranks No 9.

The No 10 in most wanted militant is Qari Mohammad Zafar, is largely believed to be the acting Ameer of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who runs a suicide bombing squad in Pakistan.

Is TTP leader ‘Hakimullah Mehsud dead’ ?

ISLAMABAD: The security forces believe the new Taliban Commander Hakimullah Mehsud is already dead and Taliban in order to save their image are giving the impression that he is alive.
A private TV channel, citing intelligence sources, said it was Hakimullah’s brother who gave the interview to BBC some days ago.
Hakimullah Mehsud’s look-alike brother was specially summoned from Afghanistan to head the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on a temporary basis while a decision to appoint the new chief was taken by Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
The security forces also said the Taliban declared Hakimullah Mehsud as their new chief to prove their top leadership is still alive. Sources said, the security forces are finalizing preparation to launch a massive offensive against the Taliban in South Wazirisitan.—Online. Courtsey : www.dawn.com

 

Hakimullah Mehsud declared as the New Taliban Chief in Pakistan, Faqir Muhammad is not the Chief :: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

August 23, 2009

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Pakistan Taliban name Hakimullah Mehsud as new leader

REUTERS 23 August 2009, 01:23pm IST

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban ( Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,TTP)  announced a successor to slain commander Baitullah Mehsud, but intelligence officials said on Sunday it was probably a smokescreen meant to hold together a movement left leaderless for almost three weeks. ( Watch Video )

Taliban officials rang journalists in northwest Pakistan on Saturday to say Hakimullah Mehsud, a young militant who commands fighters in the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram tribal regions, had been chosen as the new chief by a leadership council, or shura.

Western governments with troops in Afghanistan are watching to see if any new Pakistani Taliban leader would shift focus from fighting the Pakistani government and put the movement’s weight behind the Afghan insurgency led by Mullah Mohammad Omar.

A BBC report quoted Faqir Mohammad, head of the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal region, as saying Hakimullah was selected. fkr

Tribal elders told Reuters that Hakimullah was named after Faqir Mohammad was dissuaded from taking the leadership, although earlier he had said he was taking temporary command.

“There’s confusion. Two days ago, Fariq Mohammad claimed he’s acting chief and now he says Hakimullah is,” one senior intelligence officer in northwest Pakistan said. “It’s a trick.”

Intelligence officials insisted Hakimullah was killed or gravely wounded in a shootout with a rival days after Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. missile strike on Aug. 5.

“The announcement is real, but the man isn’t,” the officer said. “The real Hakimullah is dead.”

Another senior officer, who requested anonymity, speculated that the Taliban leadership was trying to buy time until one of Hakimullah’s brothers returned from fighting in the Afghan insurgency to take command of his men.

Verifying anything in the Taliban-held tribal regions is difficult and the past few weeks have seen a spate of claims and counter-claims by the Pakistani authorities and the militants.

Taliban officials say Pakistani intelligence agents were spreading misinformation to create divisions in the movement.

The Pakistani authorities say the Pakistani Taliban is in disarray and the statements made are meant to preserve some sense of unity until a new leader embaierges.

The Taliban have denied that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the missile strike, but say he is seriously ill.

After the reports of a shootout between Hakimullah and a rival, a Reuters journalist subsequently received calls from both of them denying that there had been any fight.

Intelligence officials doubt whether the callers were who they said they were, even though the journalist knew both men’s voices and believed they were genuine.

Baitullah had united 13 militant factions in northwest Pakistan to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in late 2007, and the Pakistani authorities are hoping that death would hasten the disintegration of the loose-knit alliance.

A virtual silence over the succession issue in South Waziristan, the stronghold of Baitullah and region where the largest number of fighters is concentrated, made intelligence officials doubt if consensus on a new leader had been reached.

South Waziristan lies at the southwest end of the tribal lands bordering Afghanistan, and Bajaur is at the northeast end.

Tribal elders said Faqir Mohammad was told to drop ideas of leading the Taliban as it would only bring more trouble to Bajaur, a region where the army declared victory in March after a six-month campaign against the militants.

Security forces have surrounded Baitullah’s redoubt in the mountains and carried out bombing raids, though a ground offensive does not appear imminent.

Baitullah may not be dead, it is a strategy to transfer the power to Hakimullah

August 11, 2009

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Hakimullah Mehsud calls media, says he is alive

PTI 10 August 2009, 09:20pm IST / Source The Times of India

ISLAMABAD: Two days after reports emerged that he had been killed in a shootout with a rival, Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud contacted the media organisations to say that he was “alive”.

Hakimullah, one of several top Taliban commanders considered as contenders for leading the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan following the reported death of Baitullah Mehsud, telephoned Pakistani and foreign media organisations to deny reports of his death in fighting with rival Wali-ur-Rehman.

Talking to Geo News channel, Hakimullah said no scuffle had occurred between him and Rehman. He said he was “safe, hale and hearty”.

He also claimed that Baitullah was alive despite the contention of the Pakistan and US governments that they are now certain the Taliban chief was killed in a Predator drone attack in South Waziristan on August 5.

Hakimullah said if Interior Minister Rehman Malik could not present any evidence regarding the killing of Baitullah, he would “table proofs to deny the reports regarding his death”.

He said the Pakistani Taliban remained united despite the government’s claims that there was infighting among militant factions.

Baitullah’s death – Good news for Pakistan

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Indrani Bagchi  Friday August 07, 2009

The killing of Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud by a US drone is the first piece of good news that Pakistan can celebrate, certainly since its been near impossible to capture or kill any high-value terrorist. Mehsud was the biggest obstacle to Pakistan’s campaign in Waziristan. The Pakistan army’s job should be made easier in Waziristan, but only if they can exploit the advantages of Mehsud’s post death confusion. Certainly before either Hakimullah Mehsud or Maulana Azmatullah, both able deputies of Mehsud take over.

In a different way, the death of Mehsud, should be used by the Pakistan government to justify their usage which had created a strange situation in Pakistan.

Third, Pakistan is now an established base for the US carrying out its covert operations in this region. Out of the almost $2 billion that is coming Pakistan’s way in 2009 as “security-related aid” the Pentagon has just added an extra $114 million under section 1206 for training and equipment.

According to Pentagon figures, Pakistan will get $80 million for Mi-17 helicopters, $17 million for counter-terror package for special ops forces, $13 million for ground-based intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability for counter-terrorism operations and $3 million for helicopter maintenance shelters.

This means Pakistan, despite all the cribbing by its president Asif Ali Zardari about less aid from overseas, will be getting about $5.3 billion in 2009 alone, in security and economic aid from the US. Interestingly, from India’s point of view, the new kinds of aid to Pakistan should not be entirely unwelcome, US is no longer giving Pakistan money that it would have otherwise spent on military equipment against India, but is targeting them for counter-terror operations. On the other hand, as the US shoulders Pakistan’s burden of fighting the Taliban, Pakistan gets to free up that much resources to use against India.

But the US is clearly pitching its tents for a long stay in the Af-Pak region, using Islamabad as its hub. According to reports in Pakistan last week, the US embassy in Islamabad is undergoing a huge makeover — having acquired 18 acres of land in Islamabad, with 1000 more personnel, bringing their strength to almost 1800, supposedly including 350 Marines (later the Pakistan foreign office spokesperson was later quoted as saying that 1000 Marines would be stationed there), 250 housing units as well as hundreds of armoured personnel carriers.

In other words, US diplomatic and military presence in Pakistan is being ramped up significantly, far beyond the call of its relationship with Pakistan.

In the years 2002 to 2009, US gave Pakistan $10.8 billion in military aid and only a paltry $4.4 billion in economic aid.

In the years after 9/11, Pakistan got US defence supplies in plenty, most of them to be used against India, not terrorists.

According to US Pentagon reports, Pakistan bought the following from the US in those years – weapons and military equipment bought with a variety of resources – some, Pakistan’s own money, some US’ foreign military financing, some from what is called excess defense articles, some from a fund known as coalition support funds (CSF) given to Pakistan for fighting terrorists.

Pakistan’s big-ticket conventional military buys include, 18 new F-16C/D Block 50/52 combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion; none delivered yet), F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM tail kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 enhanced pave way laser-guided kits, also used for gravity bombs ($629 million); 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million); 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million); and six Phalanx close-in naval guns ($80 million).

The Pentagon made $4.89 billion worth foreign military sales (FMS) agreements with Pakistan between 2002 and 2008, although the bulk includes the F-16 sales. The US gave $1.9 billion military financing (FMF) with what they call a “base program” of $300 million a year from 2005-2009 and these have been used to buy US military equipment.

Pakistan bought 8 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at $474 million); about 5,250 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million; 2,007 delivered); more than 5,600 military radio sets ($163 million); six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million); six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million); and 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters for an added $65 million.