Posts Tagged ‘Hakimullah Mehsud’

He’s baaaaack!

May 4, 2010

A few months ago I posted about Hakimullah Mehsud, the violent leader of the Pakistani Taliban. Shortly after, he was reported to have been killed in a drone strike, only to reappear in this shocking video, released just in time to coincide with the bombing attempt in Time Square.

Over on Huffington Post, some people in the comments sections are expressing their dismay that the culprit in the attempted bombing was not a “teabagger” or a right-wing extremist (nice to see that America is this divided, eh?). Other publications, such as Mother Jones, are expressing similar lunacy. Hakimullah and his Tehreek-e-Taliban may be disappointed that scores of people were not incinerated in this car bomb attempt, but they must be happy and enthusiastic to see the cracks that are splintering through the United States due to politics. Car bombs aren’t really necessary…America is tearing itself apart on its own.

Meanwhile, I have been commenting on The Long War Journal, where some of my fellow commentators have used the Time Square attack to berate Pakistan. While Pakistan has made some dumb mistakes in the past (USA and all countries have too) it’s not really fair to point the finger at the state of Pakistan because a car bomb was found in NYC. Up until now, Hakimullah’s TTP has largely been targeting Pakistanis, including the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency), which is often accused of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. While Pakistan has attempted to route the Taliban from its tribal areas, its cities — the markets, schools, rallies, and government buildings — are paying the price in the form of increasingly deadly suicide bombings that have taken thousands of lives. During these attacks, the commuters in Time Square have gone about their busy days uninterrupted. This car bomb operation is very disturbing, but Americans should not act as if they are the only ones suffering from terrorism. Believe it or not, we have actually been lucky these last 8 years.  The citizens of Lakki Marwat — a small town in Pakistan’s Northwest that was hit by a massive truck bomb at the beginning of the year — might agree.

These new revelations regarding the Time Square plot are confirming my suspicions, which I mention in my first link, that Mehsud and other warlords are filling the vacuum that has been left behind by Osama Bin Laden, who could either be dead or increasingly irrelevant in this seemingly never-ending conflict.

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The revenge of the drones

January 9, 2010

The US military should release this video to Hakimullah Mehsud, his Pakistani Taliban, and the other terrorists swarming Pakistan in response to the video that was released on Saturday:

Hakimullah has become the Pakistani version of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda leader who conducted massive terrorism against Iraqi civilians…and now he is angry about the death of his own leader, Baitullah Mehsud, who was taken out by a predator drone back in August. In response, the Pakistani Taliban has released punishing attacks on Pakistani civilians from Peshawar to Karachi, killing almost 1,000 people in the last few months and terrorizing fellow Muslims. Now they’ve claimed responsibility for an attack on the CIA. The CIA bomber–a Jordanian double-agent–targeted a base in Afghanistan used for US drone attacks in Pakistan.

Here is the video that was released by the bomber…he’s seen sitting beside Hakimullah. Honestly, I find this very frightening. The face of extremism has changed a lot in recent years…while Bin Laden may be dead, Hakimullah Mehsud (who is only in his 20’s) is leading a new campaign of violence that has brought chaos down upon a nuclear-armed state.

What’s even scarier than Hakimullah though is the Pakistani Army’s complete inability to see who the real enemy is. As attacks bring carnage to its cities, it seems there’s always some police chief, intel officer, or government minister who blames India, instead of fellow Muslims, for the violence. Pakistan continues to keep its best soldiers on its border with India, even as the Taliban destabilizes the country to unprecedented levels that could lead to an fundamentalist Revolution.

It’s important to say that the drone attacks have continued…with 6 of them taking place in the last week alone. As Hakimullah and his allies continue to hide, drones are flying over the snow-capped peaks of Pakistan with their images in mind. Zarqawi and Baitullah Mehsud lived by the bomb…and they died by the bomb. As Johnny Cash would say “When the man comes around…”

The Taliban should think things through. Hakimullah has used a disproportionately high number of teenage suicide bombers for his attacks, which suggests that he and his top commanders might not be as willing to face death as they say claim they are.