The AfPak Reader

September 8, 2009

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 2 – Volume 1

Filed under: Enemy Profiles,Journalist Chronicles,Summer 2009 — huntingnasrallah @ 8:17 pm

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 2 – Volume 1

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/06/pakistan_places_boun.php

Pakistan places bounties on Baitullah and other senior Taliban leaders
By Bill Roggio
June 28, 2009 9:11 AM

The Pakistani government has put out bounties for the capture or death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and 10 of his senior commanders operating in the lawless tribal agencies. Three senior Taliban leaders in North and South Waziristan were noticeably excluded, indicating that the government does not intend to take on these warlords.

The government announced the bounties in an advertisement in Pakistani newspapers.
Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, topped the list at an estimated price tag of $615,000.

Faqir Mohammed, the leader of the Taliban in Bajaur, came in second at $181,000.
Hakeemullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain Mehsud of South Waziristan, Omar Khalid and Qari Shakeel of Mohmand, and Commander Tariq Afridi of Darra Adam Khel each command a $123,000 bounty [see list below].

Qari Zia Rahman and Waliur Rahman of Bajaur, Fazal Saeed Utezai of Kurram, and Mufti Ilyas of Darra Adam Khel rounded out the list at $61,500 each.

The bounties for Baitullah and his deputies come a month after the government issued bounties for Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah, his deputy Shah Doran, spokesman and military commander Muslim Khan, and 18 other leaders from the region. So far, those bounties have not led to the arrest or capture of the leaders.

Both Fazlullah and Shah Doran are rumored to have been killed, but the reports have not been confirmed. The government has arrested Falzullah’s family.

Siraj Haqqani, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and Mullah Nazir are absent from the wanted list

Baitullah is the primary target of an ongoing operation in South Waziristan [see LWJ report, Analysis: Waziristan operation to focus on Baitullah Mehsud]. In its briefings, the military has singled out Baitullah and has not mentioned important Taliban leaders Mullah Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadar or the powerful Haqqani family. Siraj Haqqani, the son of respected Mujahideen commander Jalaluddin, commands the Haqqani network’s military.
Nazir, Bahadar, and the Haqqanis are not included in the operation even though each host their share of training camps and safe houses for al Qaeda and allied terror movements and conduct attacks against Pakistani security forces. The groups also conduct cross-border attacks against Coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Nazir and Bahadar’s forces fight mainly in the southern and southeastern Afghanistan provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Ghazni, and Uruzgan, while the Haqqanis are active in Khost, Paktika, and Paktia. Siraj Haqqani, the son of famed mujahedeen commander Jalaluddin, is one of the most wanted men in Afghanistan, as his network has been responsible for some of the most deadly attacks in the country.

Nazir and Bahadar have formed an alliance with Baitullah at the behest of Osama bin Laden, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and Jalaluddin Haqqani. In February, Nazir, Bahadar, and Baitullah formed the United Mujahideen Council and vowed to pool forces to fight the Pakistani state if the military moved into the tribal areas. The council also agreed to continue the jihad in Afghanistan and to strike at the US and India.

Because they have opposed fighting the Pakistani military and prefer to focus their attention on Afghanistan, Nazi and Bahadar are considered “pro-government Taliban” by the Pakistani military and government. The military has cut peace deals with Nazir and Bahadar in the past. Despite the formation of the United Mujahideen Council and the declaration against the Pakistani state, these deals are still in effect. The Pakistani military also openly supported Nazir as he sought to eject elements of the Islamic Jihad Union, an Uzbek terror group, from his tribal areas.

The Haqqanis have been virtually untouchable. The group operates openly in North Waziristan and runs a network of madrassas in the region.

And the Haqqanis are widely supported by the Pakistani military. In May 2008, General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan’s senior military officer, was overheard by the CIA referring to Jalaluddin Haqqani as “a strategic asset.” The CIA also found evidence linking the Pakistani military and intelligence service to last summer’s suicide attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

The Haqqanis are well-respected by all of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban groups. The Haqqanis have mediated tribal disputes between Baitullah and Nazir and Bahadar, as well as settled the contentious issue between Nazir and the Uzbeks.

The Pakistani military is seeking to cut deals with Nazir, Bahadar, and the Haqqanis to keep them on the sidelines as the Army takes on Baitullah’s forces in the upcoming operation.

The bounties and their targets
$615,000 Bounty:
Baitullah Mehsud is the overall leader of the Pakistani Taliban. He has led a campaign of suicide and military attacks against the Pakistani military, government, and civilians for more than two years. His forces have defeated the Pakistani Army during two offensives in South Waziristan since 2007.
$181,000 Bounty:
Faqir Mohammed is a senior deputy to Baitullah and leads the Taliban in Bajaur. His forces have defeated the Pakistani Army in Bajaur in two offensives in 2008 and fought the military to a stalemate earlier this year. He is a close ally to Ayman al Zawahiri, and Bajaur serves as an al Qaeda command and control center for operations in northeastern Afghanistan.
$123,000 Bounty:
Hakeemullah Mehsud is a senior deputy in Baitullah Mehsud’s Pakistani Taliban movement, and is a candidate to be his successor. He commands Taliban forces in Arakzai, Kurram, and Khyber agencies. He has taken credit for several high-profile terror attacks in Lahore, Peshawar, and other major cities.
Qari Hussain Mehsud is Baitullah’s deputy and cousin. He runs suicide training camps for children in Spinkai in South Waziristan. The military destroyed one of these camps during a brief operation in January 2008 but Qari reopened the camp months later. He is considered a candidate to take over the Pakistani Taliban in the event of Baitullah’s death.
Commander Tariq Afridi leads the Commander Tariq group. He is a deputy to Hakeemullah and leads what is considered the most powerful force in the city of Darra Adam Khel. His group was behind the kidnapping and the eventual beheading of a Polish engineer earlier this year.
Omar Khalid, who is also known as Abdul Wali, leads the Taliban in Mohmand. He is a deputy in Baitullah Mehsud’s Taliban movement. He is considered one of the most effective and powerful leaders in the tribal areas after Baitullah and Hakeemullah Mehsud.
Qari Shakeel is a deputy commander to Omar Khalid in the Mohmand tribal agency.
$61,500 Bounty:
Qari Zia Rahman is an al Qaeda leader who operates in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency as well as in Afghanistan’s Nuristan and Kunar provinces. He is allied with Faqir Mohammed, the leader of the Taliban in Bajaur, as well as with overall Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Osama bin Laden. Rahman’s fighters are from Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and various Arab nations. He commands a brigade in al Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army, or the Lashkar al Zil, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.
Waliur Rahman is a deputy military commander to Faqi Mohammed in Bajaur. He leads the Jaish-i-Islami Pakistan, a Taliban subgroup. He has led negotiations with the tribes and also is reported to have been named as a possible successor to Baitullah.
Fazal Saeed Utezai is a deputy to Hakeemullah and leads Taliban fighters in the Kurram tribal agency. His forces have been behind some of the worst sectarian violence against the Shia tribes.
Mufti Ilyas commands Taliban forces in Darra Adam Khel and is a deputy to Hakeemullah Mehsud. He formed a group that is assigned to assassinate Shia leaders.

_____________________________
Expanded Notes (Roggio’s Links)

1) http://www.geo.tv/6-28-2009/44997.htm

GEO Pakistan
Rs50m reward on Baitullah Mehsud’s arrest live/dead announced
Updated at: 1040 PST, Sunday, June 28, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Announcing rewards running into crores of rupees on the arrests of Baitullah Mehsud and his accomplices live or dead, eleven more most-wanted persons’ ad has been released.

The ads published in the newspapers announcing rewards on the arrests of most-wanted persons live or dead included three from South Waziristan, another three from Bajaur, two from Mohmand, two from Darra Adamkhel and one from Kurram Agency.

A reward of Rs50 million has been announced for the arrest (dead or alive) of Baitullah Mehsud, according to the ad, while among others Bajaur’s Molvi Faqir’s head money has been fixed at Rs15 million besides the head money of Rs10 million each on the arrests (live or dead) of Abdul Wali of Mohmand Agency, Qari Shakeel of Mohmand Agency, Commander Tariq of darra Adamkhel, Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain of South Waziristan. Qari Ziaur Rahman of Bajaur, Fazal Saeed Utezai of Kurram Agency, Mufti Ilyas of Darra Adamkhel and Waliur Rahman of Bajaur’s arrests would be rewarded Rs5 million each.

The government has released exclusive telephone numbers also for passing on information leading the arrests of most-wanted persons dead or alive.

 

2) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/05/pakistan_boosts_boun.php

Pakistan boosts bounty on Swat Taliban leader Fazlullah
By Bill Roggio
May 29, 2009 11:35 AM

The Pakistani government has drastically raised the bounty for Swat Taliban chieftain Mullah Fazlullah and a host of leaders operating in the insurgency-plagued district in the Northwest Frontier Province. The move comes as the military claims to have secured the Taliban stronghold of Peochar and to be close to overtaking the main town of Mingora.

The bounty for Fazlullah, which was announced yesterday, was increased from 5 million rupees ($61,650) to 50 million rupees ($616,500). The government also announced bounties for 20 other Swat Taliban leaders, including top tier leaders Muslim Khan, Shah Doran, and Ibn Amin, who have 15 million rupee ($185,000) bounties on their heads.
Muslim Khan is a Taliban spokesman and a senior military commander in the main town of Mingora. Shah Doran is Fazlullah’s deputy who is notorious for preaching radical anti-government sermons on the Taliban’s radio programs. Ibn Amin is the leader of the Tora Bora Brigade, one of the six known brigades in al Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army. The Tora Bora Brigade has an estimated 1,500 fighters and participated in the invasion of neighboring Buner [see LWJ report, Terrorists rally in Swat, march through region].

The government distributed fliers with photos of 18 of the commanders and urged residents of Swat to turn the men in. Other Taliban leaders identified on the poster include Mehmood Khan, Akbar Hussain, Sher Muhammad Kasab, Sirajuddin, Bakht Farzand, Mian Gul Ghafoor, Nisar Ahmed, Laldin (also known as Baray Mian), Anwarullah, Bashir Ahmed, and Rashid Ahmed.

The government has not released bounties for senior Taliban leaders such as Baitullah Mehsud, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain Mehsud, Faqir Mohammed, Omar Khalid, and others, despite their being active in targeting security forces and conducting terror attacks against civilian and military targets alike.

Swat Taliban commanders appear to have escaped the Swat offensive

The bounty on Fazlullah was raised one day after Iftikhar Hussain, the Information Minister for the Northwest Frontier Province, announced that Fazlullah and several other Taliban commanders were killed during the ongoing Swat operation. But there is no evidence that Fazlullah is dead, and in fact the military denied today he was killed during the operation.

So far, the military has claimed that four significant Taliban commanders have been killed in Swat since the operation began in the beginning of May. On May 21, the military claimed a commander named Abu Tariq was killed. But Abu Tariq, who is actually Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan, talked to the media that same day and has since granted several interviews. Khan also doubles as a Taliban military commander in Mingora.

The military also claimed another commander named Rashid Lala was killed during a clash in Mingora. On May 21, Lala contacted the news media to prove he wasn’t killed. Both Khan and Lala serve as “general officer equivalents” in the Swat Taliban military, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

Two other commanders named Malanga and Riaz were reported killed on May 18 during fighting in Takhtaband near Mingora. The military claimed it has the body of Malanga. The Taliban have neither confirmed nor denied their deaths.

The Pakistani military and government have a poor record for accuracy in reporting the deaths of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders. Since January 2008, nine senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been reported killed inside Pakistan. But of those nine, only three have been confirmed dead.

Moreover, all three of the dead al Qaeda leaders were killed in US cross-border Predator airstrikes, not during Pakistani offensive operations. The other six leaders that Pakistani sources have reported as killed (Ayman al Zawahiri, Baitullah Mehsud, Faqir Mohammed, Mustafa Abu Yazid, Adam Gadahn, and Qari Hussain Mehsud) have appeared, after their reported deaths, in the media or on al Qaeda propaganda tapes.
3) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/06/analysis_waziristan.php

Analysis: Waziristan operation to focus on Baitullah Mehsud
By Bill Roggio
June 17, 2009 2:18 AM

As the Pakistani military gears up for what appears to be a major operation into the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan, the government and military are signaling that the operation is limited to taking out Baitullah Mehsud. The three other powerful Taliban groups based in North and South Waziristan do not appear to be on the Pakistan Army’s target list.

The South Waziristan operation, called Rah-e-Nijat, or the Way of Salvation, is already underway, according to the Pakistani military’s top spokesman. The military has been positioning troops and armor in the neighboring district of Tank while conducting artillery and airstrikes into regions run by Baitullah Mehsud, the overall commander of the Pakistani Taliban. The main roads in the region are also being blocked to cut off supplies to Baitullah’s forces. Further north the military is battling the Taliban in the Jani Khel and Baka Khel regions in Bannu, which borders North Waziristan.

Yesterday the Pakistani military announced that it has received orders to take on Baitullah’s powerful Taliban faction in South Waziristan.

“The Army has received requisite orders from the government,” Major General Athar Abbas said yesterday during a briefing in Rawalpindi. “Necessary steps and measures are being taken by the military to launch the operation.”

Abbas was clear that the focus of the operation will be Baitullah Mehsud. Not mentioned were Taliban commanders Mullah Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadar and the powerful Haqqani network.

“The government has taken a principled decision to launch a military operation against Baitullah and his network,” Abbas stated. “It would be premature to discuss tactics or when we will target the person in question,” Abbas said, continuing to focus on Baitullah specifically.

Baitullah Mehsud is only part of the problem

While Baitullah and his network of fighters and suicide bombers have wreaked havoc on Pakistan, and his tribal areas have served as a major safe haven for al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and a host of Punjabi and Kashmiri terror groups, he is but part of the problem in the war-torn country.

Nazir, Bahadar, and the Haqqanis each host their share of training camps and safe houses for al Qaeda and allied terror movements. The groups also conduct cross-border attacks against Coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. Nazir and Bahadar’s forces largely fight in the southern and southeastern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Ghazni, and Uruzgan, Afghanistan, while the Haqqanis are active in Khost, Paktika. and Paktia. Siraj Haqqani, the son of famed mujahedeen commander Jalaluddin, is one of the most wanted men in Afghanistan, as his network has been behind some of the most deadly attacks in the country.

Nazir and Bahadar have formed an alliance with Baitullah at the behest of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, and Jalaluddin Haqqani. In February, Nazir, Bahadar, and Baitullah formed the United Mujahideen Council and vowed to pool forces to fight the Pakistani state if the military moved into the tribal areas. The council also agreed to continue the jihad in Afghanistan and strike at the US and India.

Nazir and Bahadar are considered “pro-government Taliban” by the Pakistani military and government because they have opposed fighting the Pakistani military and prefer to focus their attention of Afghanistan. The military has cut peace deals with Nazir and Bahadar in the past. These deals are still in effect despite the formation of the United Mujahideen Council and the declaration against the Pakistani state. The Pakistani military also openly supported Nazir as he sought to eject elements of the Islamic Jihad Union, an Uzbek terror group, from his tribal areas.

The Haqqanis have been virtually untouchable. The group operates openly in North Waziristan and runs a network of madrassas in the region.

And the Haqqanis are widely supported by the Pakistani military. In May 2008, General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan’s senior military officer, was overheard by the CIA referring to Jalaluddin Haqqani as “a strategic asset.” The CIA also found evidence linking the Pakistani military and intelligence service to last summer’s suicide attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

The Haqqanis are well respected by all of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban groups. The Haqqanis have mediated tribal disputes between Baitullah and Nazir and Bahadar, as well as settled the contentious issue between Nazir and the Uzbeks.

The Pakistani military is reportedly seeking to cut deals with Nazir, Bahadar, and the Haqqanis to keep them on the sideline as the Army takes on Baitullah’s forces in the upcoming operation. Frantic negotiations are underway with Nazir and Bahadar, both members of the Wazir tribe.

“We have been shuttling between the Taliban and the government for three days to reach some sort of an understanding to keep the Taliban from joining Baitullah,” Waziri tribal elders told Daily Times.

A Baitullah-only operation is a half measure

While taking on Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan is a welcome sign that the government seeks to sustain the offensive against the Taliban which began in late April in Dir, Buner, and Swat, a failure to act against Bahadar, Nazir, and the Haqqanis will leave the Taliban with much of their forces intact. And al Qaeda will remain secure in their havens in North and South Waziristan.

The Taliban warlords may also provide Baitullah and his forces a safe haven if he refuses to commit all of his forces to oppose the Pakistani military in South Waziristan, just as Mullah Fazlullah’s forces conduct a tactical retreat in the Swat Valley.

Baitullah, his leaders, and a select group of fighters could take shelter in the Haqqani areas in North Waziristan. Baitullah could also transit the neighboring tribal areas and head across the border into southern or southeastern Afghanistan and wait out the Pakistani Army, which by all reports does not have the desire to remain in the tribal areas.

A failure to tackle these commanders also leaves the military exposed to a potential counterattack. Bahadar, the Haqqanis, and Nazir are estimated to have more than 50,000 forces combined. If they decide to honor their agreement with Baitullah under the United Mujahideen Council, these forces could join the estimated 30,000 under Baitullah’s command, and slug it out with the Pakistani Army in rugged, mountainous terrain that is well suited to favor the defenders.

The military may be left with no choice but to fight Bahadar and Nazir if they decide to honor their agreement with Baitullah. One of the two leaders has indicated they may be willing to take on the Army. Last week, Bahadar sent hundreds of his fighters to battle the Army in the Jani Khel region of Bannu.

In addition to the forces potentially available from the three senior Taliban leaders, Baitullah’s deputies in the tribal areas are said to have tens of thousands of fighters under their command. Hakeemullah Mehsud, Baitullah’s cousin and deputy, is estimated to have more than 8,000 at his disposal in Kurram and Arakzai. Omar Khalid, the able commander in Mohmand, is said to have more than 5,000 fighters. Bajaur’s Faqir Mohammed and Swat’s Mullah Fazlullah also are estimated to have 5,000 fighters each. The Uzbek fighters under Tahir Yuldashev are said to have more than 4,000 fighters at their disposal.
Rehmanullah and Hazrat Ali, Hakeemullah’s deputies in Khyber, are said to lead more than 1,200 fighters. And al Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army, which operates in both Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s tribal areas, has between 8,000 to 12,000 fighters in its ranks.

The military is currently conducting offensives against the Taliban in Swat, Arakzai, Bannu, Bajaur, and Mohmand, but it remains to be seen if these offensives will be sustained. If the Pakistani military eases the pressure on these areas, some of these fighters will be freed up to reinforce Baitullah, making a tough task of dislodging the Taliban commander all the more difficult.

Background on recent fighting in North and South Waziristan

The Pakistani military has avoided targeting the Taliban in North and South Waziristan after suffering a string of humiliating defeats there between 2004 and 2008. The most recent operations in Waziristan resulted in peace agreements that have ceded control of the region to the Taliban
.
The last time the Pakistani military took on the Taliban in North Waziristan was in October 2007. The Pakistani military and the Taliban fought pitched battles after the military launched artillery barrages and helicopter and attack aircraft assaults against Taliban-controlled villages in North Waziristan.

The Taliban responded by setting up complex ambushes, including surface-to-air missile traps, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. Several Pakistani Army helicopters were said to have been shot down during the fighting. The Pakistani military claimed that 120 Taliban and 45 soldiers were killed in the fighting, but independent reports put the number of soldiers killed much higher.

At the end of October 2007, the government pushed for a peace deal and the fighting waned. The Taliban, led by the Haqqani Network and Hafiz Gul Bahadar, remained entrenched in the region. In February 2008, an official peace agreement was signed.

The last major operation against the Taliban in South Waziristan took place in late January 2008. The military launched an offensive with the declared aim of dislodging Baitullah Mehsud’s forces from entrenched positions. Prior to the military’s offensive, the Taliban overran two military forts and conducted numerous attacks against Pakistani forces. More than a dozen of Pakistan’s elite counterterrorism commandos were killed in a single engagement.

The military claimed to have ejected the Taliban from strongholds in Kotkai and Jandola, and said it killed Qari Hussain. Hussain later mocked the government during a press conference in May 2008.

Just 11 days after the fighting in South Waziristan had begun, the military sued for peace. The Taliban retook control of Jandola four months later, after murdering dozens from a rival tribe while the military looked on. The military has since abandoned several forts in South Waziristan and has kept activity there to a minimum.

Taliban forces belonging to Baitullah, Mullah Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and the Haqqanis, led by Siraj, have only grown stronger since defeating the Pakistani military during engagements in 2007 and 2008. Tens of thousands of fighters are under the collective command of the leaders. The recent alliance between Baitullah, Nazir, and Bahadar has unified the Waziristan Taliban.
***Compiler’s Note*** Waziristan Map Available on Link
4) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5747696.ece

February 17, 2009
Pervez Musharraf was playing ‘double game’ with US

Washington sent Special Forces into Pakistan last summer after intercepting a call by the Pakistani army chief referring to a notorious Taleban leader as a “strategic asset,” a new book has claimed.

The intercept was ordered to confirm suspicions that the Pakistani military were still actively supporting the Taleban whilst taking millions of dollars in US military aid to fight them, according to the “The Inheritance,” by the New York Times correspondent David Sanger.

In a transcript passed to Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence in May 2008, General Ashfaq Kayani, the military chief who replaced Pervez Musharraf, was overheard referring to Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani as “a strategic asset”. The remark was the first real evidence of the double game that Washington had long suspected President Musharraf was playing as he continued receiving US military aid while aiding the Taleban.
Mr Haqqani, a veteran of the anti-Soviet mujahidin wars of the nineties, commands a hardline Taleban group based in Waziristan and is credited with introducing suicide bombing into themilitants’ arsenal.

Washington later intercepted calls from Pakistani military units to Mr Haqqani, warning him of an impending military operation d esigned to prove to the US that Islamabad was tackling the militant threat.

“They must have dialled 1-800-HAQQANI” a source told Mr Sanger. “It was something like, ‘Hey, we’re going to hit your place in a few days, so if anyone important is there, you might want to tell them to scram’.”

The intercept was the clue that led the CIA to uncover evidence of collusion between the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and Mr Haqqani in a plot to carry out a spectacular bombing in Afghanistan. Two weeks later, India’s Embassy in Kabul was bombed, killing fifty-four people and prompting a CIA mission to Islamabad to challenge the government with their evidence.

The first cross-border strike took place in early September without Islamabad’s knowledge after Washington concluded that no one could be trusted with the information.
General Kayani, a former ISI chief, became army chief when Mr Musharraf relinquished that post in 2007, a year before he was forced to quit as president. Worryingly for Washington, General Kayani remains Pakistan’s army chief.

Mr Musharraf reacted angrily to the book’s allegations of double-dealing, which appeared in the Pakistani press for the first time yesterday. “Get your facts correct, I have never double-dealt,” Mr Musharraf told Pakistani television stations.

“There is a big conspiracy being hatched against Pakistan, to weaken the Pakistan army and the ISI to weaken Pakistan.”

Mr Sanger’s book, detailing the foreign policy challenges inherited by the Obama Administration, was published in the US last month. In it, US intelligence officials also speak of their fears that Islamist militants might launch a spectacular attack on Indian soil in the hope of ramping up tensions on the subcontinent, leading Pakistan to deploy its nuclear weapons.
5) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/02/taliban_feud_over_mu.php

Taliban feud over murder of Polish hostage
By Bill Roggio
February 11, 2009 9:42 PM

Two senior Pakistani Taliban leaders had a disagreement over the handling of kidnapped Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak. The disagreement led to Stanczak’s gruesome beheading, which was videotaped by the Taliban and released to the public.

Stanczak was kidnapped in Attock on Sept. 28, 2008, by Taliban fighters under the command of Zakir Mehsud operating from the Arakzai tribal agency. Two of Stanczak’s drivers and one of the Taliban fighters were killed during the kidnapping. Attock is a district in Punjab province that borders the districts of Nowshera, Swabi, and Haripur in the Taliban insurgency-ridden Northwest Frontier Province.

The disagreement occurred between Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Qari Hussain Mehsud, a key lieutenant of Baitullah’s, according to a report from the region.

Baitullah sought to use Stanczak to obtain the release of several of his followers, while Qari Hussain, who had custody of Stanczak, sought the release of four members of the radical Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and an Uzbek, a Taliban source told The News. The move triggered Qari to execute Stanczak.

“A day before the beheading of the engineer [Stanczak], Baitullah sent his men to bring the captive but the Qari group did not agree and beheaded the captive the next day,” Mohammed, a Taliban spokesman for Zakir Mehsud told The News. “This forced Qari to behead the Polish engineer.” Zakir Mehsud is one of Qari’s lieutenants in the city of Darra Adam Khel in the Arakzai tribal agency.

Mohammed quoted Zakir as saying Qari’s decision to behead Stanczak was sound “as it would create fear amongst the nonbelievers. If we keep on sending such gifts to the Europeans and others, they would soon be compelled to flee the region,” Mohammed said. “If God wishes, people would see more and more beheadings of nonbelievers in the future.”

Hakimullah Mehsud, the Taliban commander in Arakzai, Khyber, and Peshawar who is behind the attacks on NATO’s supply lines in northwestern Pakistan, had hoped to get a teenager to behead Stanczak but the plan was called off due to the short amount of time to find a child, Mohammed said.

Several times in the past, the Taliban in both Pakistan and Afghanistan have released videotapes of children and teenagers beheading captives.

The report of the disagreement between Baitullah and Qari became public just two days after a roadside bomb wounded Mullah Noor Sayyed Mehsud, a deputy of Baitullah’s, and killed another Taliban commander and wounded another leader. Noor was leaving a meeting of senior Taliban commanders in Makeen, Baitullah’s home town. There is no evidence that the two incidents are linked, but Qari is one of the few people who could pull off such an attack.

“The beheading of the Polish engineer by the Qari group will further deepen the already existing differences between the TTP [Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] and Qari Hussain,” Mohammed said.

Baitullah and Qari Hussain clashed in June 2007 after the latter’s foot soldiers launched a series of violent attacks on police in the tribal areas. Qari Hussain’s followers conducted beheadings and assassinations of tribal leaders in South Waziristan and the settled district of Tank. He was behind the attack on the home of the political agent of Khyber Agency, which resulted in the death of the agent’s six family members and seven guests.

The incidents caused friction between the two Taliban leaders as Qari Hussain failed to obtain permission to conduct his campaign of terror. Baitullah retaliated by capturing 17 of Qari Hussain’s followers and threatening to kill them. The rift between the two leaders was quickly smoothed over during the summer of 2007, however, after the Taliban went on the offensive against the Pakistani military, government, and civilians in July of that year.

Background on Qari Hussain Mehsud

Qari Hussain Mehsud is a senior deputy to Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and an ally of al Qaeda as well as the Lashkar-e-Jahangvi and other extremist groups. He runs camps in South Waziristan that train children to become suicide bombers. Children as young as seven years old are indoctrinated to wage jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a video taken at one of his camps in Spinkai showed.

The Pakistani military demolished Qari’s suicide nursery during a short offensive against the Taliban in Spinkai in January 2008. The military launched a short operation after Taliban forces commanded by Baitullah overran two military outposts and conducted attacks against other forts and military convoys in the tribal agency.

The military seized numerous documents and training materials in the demolished camp. In May, a senior Pakistani general described the previous camp as a suicide “factory” for children.

The Pakistani military reported that Qari was killed in January 2008, based on intercepted Taliban communications. The military later reiterated that claim during the tour of the Spinkai camp on May 18, 2008.

Five days later, Hussain mocked the military during a press conference held at a government school building in South Waziristan. “I am alive, don’t you see me?” Hussain taunted. Hussain rebuilt his child training camps in South Waziristan sometime in the spring or summer of 2008.

In January 2009, Qari openly held a press conference in Peshawar, the capital of the Northwest Frontier Province. During the press conference, he released a 40-minute propaganda tape showing statements of suicide bombers and the aftermath of their attacks inside Pakistan. Child suicide bombers are shown praising suicide attacks and saying attacking infidels is their religious duty.

“Suicide bombers are the atomic weapons of Muslims because Muslims do not have the latest weapons to fight enemies who are committing atrocities against Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq,” one of the young men said.

Qari’s suicide bombers took credit for attacks against Pakistani security and intelligence forces, including the March 2008 double suicide attack on the headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore (26 killed and more than 160 wounded) and the September 2007 attack on an Inter-Service Intelligence agency bus and a military bazaar in Rawalpindi (25 killed, 68 wounded).

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