Taleban’s of Pakistan or the Deobandi Empire
We propose for our readers “Who is Who in the Pakistani Taliban: A Sampling of Insurgent Personalities in Seven Operational Zones in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and North Western Frontier Province” , a study by the “NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Program for Culture and Conflict Studies“. The present research presents in a detailed manner the influence of the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) which mainly is an expansion of the Deobandi islamic perspective. The study where delineates the principal tribes of Federally Administered Tribal Areas as territorial branches of the TTP there highlights also the Mehsud tribe as the principal actor.
The research states:
“Who is Who in the Pakistani Taliban: A Sampling of Insurgent Personalities in Seven Operational Zones in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and North Western Frontier Province
Taliban influence in the FATA in 2009. Source BBC
Following the U.S.-led attack against Afghanistan in October 2001, Taliban sympathizers in Pakistan’s western tribal areas quickly pledged support and provided additional manpower and resources to help the Afghan Taliban resistance. The Pashtun tribes who dominate the western tribal agencies of Pakistan share ancestral lineages with many of Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribesman and both have long resisted colonial attempts of occupation. Even in a modern context, the core of the Afghan resistance movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was based in these same areas, using Peshawar as a de facto capital and the tribal agency’s of North and South Waziristan as training areas and key junctions for transiting personnel and weapons into Afghanistan.
The network ties that emerged following the Taliban’s ouster in 2001 between Pakistani militants and Afghan Taliban members are nothing new. The initial flow of Taliban fighters into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) became a tidal wave following the collapse of the Taliban regime in Kandahar and after the monumental battle of Tora Bora in December 2001 and the subsequent spring 2002 battle of the Shah-i-khot Valley (Operation Anaconda). Along with the Taliban came hundreds of fleeing Arab and foreign fighters linked to al-Qaeda, many of whom settled among their Pashtun supporters and sympathizers in North and South Waziristan. Many of these supporters had voluntarily fought against the Soviet army during the 1980s under the clerical-led mujahedeen factions Hezb-i-Islami (Khalis) and Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi’s Harakat-i Ineqelab-ye Islami. Following the Soviet-withdrawal and subsequent collapse of the Afghan communist regime in 1992, many of the Pakistani volunteers returned to their villages following the start of the civil war.
One of the earliest networks in place to support the Taliban and al-Qaeda’s exodus from Afghanistan was the Tehrik-e Nafaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Muhammadan Sharia Law or TSNM). Founded in 1992 in the Malakand tribal agency, the TSNM has fought for the implementation of sharia throughout the FATA and North Western Frontier Province and has shared ideological tenants with the Afghan Taliban. The TSNM has taken root in Bajur Agency, sheltering al-Qaeda fugitives and sponsoring a new generation of militants throughout the Salafi madrassa network under their charismatic leader Maulana Faqir Mohammad. The second most important bastion for Taliban fighters, supporters and sympathizers is North and South Waziristan. Home of the legendary mujahedeen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, North Waziristan is also the operational space of many al-Qaeda leaders and the network of Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
These networks were largely disorganized although supportive of the Afghan Taliban from 2001-2004. The U.S. successfully killed one of the main militant commanders in the region in 2004 when missiles slammed into a compound housing, Nek Mohammad Wazir. Similar to the Afghan Taliban’s approach, tribal leaders and influential khans were systematically targeted and killed by militants, replacing the traditional power systems with those of mullahs and militia commanders.
Presented below is an operational snapshot of the TTP and its influential leaders throughout eight tribal regions in located in western Pakistan: North and South Waziristan, Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency, Orakzai Agency, Kurram Agency Khyber Agency and Darra
North Waziristan― North Waziristan is dominated by two main insurgent networks. The first is headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, head of of the TTP in North Waziristan and the second is the Haqqani Network (HQN).
The Haqqani Network: Once a key recipient of U.S. funding and arms during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani has maintained his status as a prominent mujahedeen commander who holds sway in several southeastern provinces in Afghanistan. His preservation of power and prestige has largely surpassed that of the Taliban’s elusive supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, especially among Haqqani’s Ghilzai Pashtuns of eastern Afghanistan, but it is Jalaluddin’s oldest son, Sirajuddin, a lurid 30-year-old terror mastermind, who may have gained the most prominence. Siraj, also known as “Khalifa,” has been described by U.S. military officials as “one of the most influential insurgent commanders in eastern Afghanistan,” who has “eclipsed his father in power and influence and is said to rival Mullah Omar for the Taliban leadership.”i
The Haqqani Network is based out of a Taliban bastion in neighboring Pakistan. The village of Dande Darpa Khel near Miramshah (North Waziristan) is its main headquarters, while Zambar village in the northern Sabari district in Khost province serves as the group’s major operations hub.ii The group also maintains a major presence in the Zadran dominated districts between Paktia and Paktika provinces, which also serve as a major transit point for insurgents piercing into Logar Province and southern Kabul. The Haqqani family owned and operated an extremist madrassa in the Dande Darpa Khel village just north of Miram Shah before the Pakistani military launched a raid and shut it down in September 2005 and subsequent U.S. drone strikes destroyed its two main compounds in September 2008.
The Haqqani Network has been credited with some of the most significant and complex terrorist operations in Afghanistan since 2006. Attacks attributed to the Haqqani Network in 2009 included the multi-pronged assault on two Afghan ministries and a prison headquarters in the Kabul that left 19 people dead and more than 50 wounded, the 11-man commando-style suicide bombing raid against several government facilities in Khost City, and the July 4 assault against a remote U.S. outpost in Paktika’s Zerok district that killed two U.S. soldiers and injured four others. On July 21, suicide bombers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles attacked government installations and a U.S. base in the cities of Gardez and Jalalabad. However, one of the most brazen attacks attributed to the Haqqani Network occurred in Kabul on October 4, when terrorists dressed in police uniforms assassinated the security guard protecting the UN’s Bahktar guest house and stormed the facility, eventually detonating several suicide vests and killing at least 6 foreign UN personnel and six others.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur: Hafiz Gul Bahadur, an Utmanzai Wazir, is the supreme commander of the TTP operating in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). He has successfully united the Utmanzai Wazir and Daur TTP members under his leadership. His relationship with the TTP has been sporadic since its creation in 2007. He was initially second-in-command to Baitullah Mehsud but then distanced himself from the TTP as Mullah Omar asked TTP to focus its efforts on Afghanistan rather than attacking Pakistani security forces.iii As of February 2009, it appears his differences with Baitullah Mehsud have been set aside as they, along with Maulvi Nazir of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe formed an alliance under the name Shura Ittihad-ul-Mujahideen (Council for United Holy Warriors). This was done in order to coordinate actions in Afghanistan in light of increasing international focus on Afghanistan and the group is reported to claim Mullah Omar as its supreme leader.iv Bahadur has brokered several peace deals with the Pakistani government and is believed to by pro-government as he does not government facilities or personnel in FATA.v
For more information see the Jamestown Foundation profile at:
South Waziristan― South Waziristan is a major destination for foreign militant networks and Pakistani Taliban factions. The presence of foreign fighters among the tribesmen caused rifts between major rival Pakistani Taliban forces after a series of tribesmen were assassinated by Uzbek militants. The Pakistani military has repeatedly engaged massive operations to rid the area of militants since 2004. The Pakistani military launched a major offensive against the TTP in South Waziristan beginning in October 2009 and lasted until March 2010. Over 4,000 high profile militants were said to be seized during the six-month operation.vi
Maulvi Nazir: Maulvi Nazir (aka Mullah Nazir), of the Ahmadzai tribe is the head of the TTP in South Waziristan and recently joined forces with Baitullah Mehsud and Hafiz Gul Bahadur as part of the Shura Ittihad-ul- Mujahideen (Council for United Holy Warriors). This organization reportedly unites the TTP of North and South Waziristan Agencies in an effort to coordinate the group’s activities in Afghanistan in light of increasing international focus. The group claims Mullah Omar as their supreme leader.vii Rifts between rival commanders under the TTP banner impacted the organization’s unity throughout 2008, eventually leading to major disputes between Gul Hafez Bahadur, Baitullah Mehsud and Maulavi Nazir. The situation worsened after nine tribal elders allied with Maulavi Nazir were gunned down by TTP militiamen linked to Baitullah Mehsud and Uzbek forces loyal to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan amir Tohir Yuldushev. (See Appendix I)
Baitullah Mehsud: In 2004, Baitullah Mehsud emerged as a charismatic Pakistani version of Mullah Omar. Young, radical but oddly unschooled in Islamic maddrassas, Baitullah hails from the Mehsud tribe and gained prominence in February 2005 when he signed a “peace accord” with the Pakistani government. As part of that deal, Baitullah pledged not to support al-Qaeda and restrained his forces from attacking Pakistani state targets and military targets in exchange for the end of Pakistani military operations in South Waziristan. South Waziristan became an independent militarized zone following the collapse of the accord. Baitullah Mehsud commanded a core of 5,000 hardened loyalists, mostly his Mehsud kinship, launching spectacular raids and ambushes against the superior Pakistani military forces.viii
On December 14, 2007, a militant spokesman announced the formation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Baitullah Mehsud was appointed the amir of the TTP’s forty-man shura; Hafiz Gul Bahadur was appointed as the naib amir (deputy), and Maulana Faqir Mohammad of the Bajaur Agency was appointed third in command.ix
The TTP consolidated their objectives to enforcing sharia throughout the FATA, uniting against NATO forces in Afghanistan by supporting Mullah Omar’s Afghan Taliban, seeking to remove Pakistani military checkpoints from the FATA, and vowing to protect the Swat district and Waziristan from future Pakistani military operations. Following the Pakistani government’s siege of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July 2007, Baitullah Mehsud and the TTP turned their guns on the Pakistani government. The following month, forces loyal to Mehsud humiliated the Pakistani military when they ambushed and captured 200 government soldiers.x
The Pakistani government quickly blamed Baitullah Mehsud and the TTP for orchestrating the assassination of presidential candidate Benazir Bhutto, offering transcripts of alleged phone conversations with Mehsud and his operatives discussing the attack, a claim Mehsud and the TTP strongly denied. An increase in U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles striking targets in North and South Waziristan strained the TTP as top and mid-level leaders were killed throughout 2008 and 2009. The Pakistani military moved on the TTP and the TSNM in Bajur and Swat, prompting a closer cooperation among militants who renewed their vows of union in February 2009 when they formed the Shura-Ittehad-al-Mujahedeen (United Mujahedeen Council) which again brought Gul Hafez Bahadur, Baitullah Mehsud, Maulavi Nazir and Siraj Haqqani together.
On August 5, 2009, an American UAV strike killed Baitullah Mehsud, his second wife, and several of his bodyguards. A chaotic rebuttal from TTP spokesmen denied his death but within two weeks and following an alleged power struggle within the TTP for the top leadership position, the TTP acknowledged Mehsud’s death and announced Hakeemullah Mehsud as his replacement, the new second-in-command Waliur Rehman, and other top positions to Maulana Faqir Mohammad and Qari Hussein Mehsud, the TTP’s top suicide-bomber facilitator.
Waliur Rehman: Waliur Rehman of the Mehsud tribe joined the TTP in South Waziristan in 2004 and became close with Baitullah Mehsud. He was appointed as Baitullah’s deputy in South Waziristan in 2006 and then took over the TTP finances in 2007. Following Baitullah’s death in 2009, he took over as head of the TTP. At that time, it was estimated he commanded a force of 7,000 to 10,000 personnel.xi Waliur was named as possible successor to Hakeemullah Mehsud following his death in early-2010.xii
Qari Hussain Mehsud: Qari Hussein Mehsud of the Mehsud tribe, came to fame in 2007 when he began indoctrination and training of suicide bombers in Afghanistan. His background includes basic religious trinign in Kotki village and then in Karachi. Qari Hussain’s suicide bomber carried out attacks throughout Pakistan following military operations against the TTP in October 2009. Additionally, he reportedly trained the Jordanian suicide bomber that killed the CIA station chief in Khost, Afghanistan. xiii He was last seen in public on October 5, 2009.xiv
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s (IMU) goal is to establish an Islamic state in Uzbekistan. Together with Jumaboi Ahmadinovich Khojaev, Qari Tahir Yaldashev founded the IMU in Kabul in 1998. Jumaboi was killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in November, 2001. Yaldashev took over leadership duties of IMU following Jumaboi’s death. The IMU fled to Wana, South Waziristan following the U.S. invasion in 2001. The presence of Uzbek fighters and their involvement in a series of assassinations caused a rift between forces loyal to Maulvi Nazir and the fighters of Baitullah Mehsud which led to a series of skirmishes between the two groups. The IMU has strong ties to both the TTP and Al Qaeda and has fought alongside both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.xv Pakistani security officials claimed that Yaldashev died in a drone attack in Kanigoram, South Waziristan, on Aug 27.xvi The Taliban later admitted Yaldashev died from a drone strike on his compound in South Waziristan.xvii
Bajaur Agency― Located next to Afghanistan’s rugged Kunar and Nuristan provinces; Bajaur Agency has been a militant stronghold for decades beginning with an influx of Salafist groups entering the area in the 1980’s the wage war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Recent Pakistani military operations in late 2009 and early 2010 have cleared the militant bastion of Damadola, a mountain complex that once housed senior al Qaeda fugitive Ayman al-Zawarhiri.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad: Maulana Faqir Mohammad was born in Chopatra village in the Bajaur Agency and is part of the Mohmand Pashtun tribe. He studied locally ally at a Deobandi madrassa locally before completing his study of the Quran at Darul-Uloom Pamjpeer in the central Peshawar valley. In 1993, he joined others in forming TEhrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (Movement for Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law) – TNSM – which sought to impose religious law in the Pashtu tribal of northwest Pakistan.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad is the senior pro-Taliban leader in Bajaur. He reportedly fought alongside the Taliban on the Bagram front in Afghanistan until late-2001. In 2007, he formed an alliance with Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taleban (TTP). xviii Pakistani officials claim he was killed on March 6, 2010 along with 27 other Islamic militants in tensile Pendyali, Bajaur Agency.xix He later approached the media to refute the rumors of his death.xx
Jaish-e-Islami: Jaish-e-Islami (JI) is the latest name for the Lashkar-e-Islam group that was founded in 2004.xxi As of August 2009, Waliur Rehman led the group. JI is a splinter group of the Terik-e-Taleban (TTP) active primarily in the Bajaur Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. JI’s goal is to implement Sharia law throughout Bajaur.xxii
Qari Zia Rahman: Qari Zia Rahman, the son of Maulana Dilbar, is a well known Taliban leader with strong ties to al Qaeda. He is allegedly from Kunar province and who operates in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency as well as in Afghanistan’s Nuristan and Kunar provinces. The U.S. military eventually put a $350,000 bounty out on Qari Zia Rahman in 2008.xxiii Qari Zia Rahman has a long history with the “Afghan Arabs,” the foreign fighters who gravitated to Afghanistan in the 1980s to help Afghans fight against the Soviet occupation. His fighters allegedly consist of Arabs, Chechens and Central Asians. Pakistani officials claimed that Qari Zia Rahman and Faqir Mohammad were killed during an airstrike in the Mohmand Agency on March 5, 2010.xxiv Faqir Mohammad later appeared alive and told reporters that Qari Zia Rahman had survived the attack.xxv
Mohmand Agency― Mohamand Agency, along with Orakzai, manifested into the frontline for TTP forces fighting against government forces and local tribal militias in 2007. By the summer of 2008, the TTP gained control of Mohmand through a highly controversial peace accord.xxviIn early 2010, large scale raids being conducted by TTP fighters were recorded regularly, including a raid by 100 Taliban fighters against a Frontier Corps check post in early January.
Shah Sahib (a.k.a. Shah Khalid): Shah Sahib was the Salafi leader of a militant group called Ahle Hadith (Believers of the Hadith [Hadith are narratives of the words and deeds of the Prophet Mohammad]), which operated in Mohmand Agency between 2006 and 2008. The group operated on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and was comprised of hundreds of fighters. Shah Sahib had no compulsion to fight the Pakistan Government or its military; he sent his fighters into Afghanistan to fight. In July 2008, Omar Khalid’s TTP fighters overran Shah Sahib’s post, killing him and many of his forces.xxvii
Omar Khalid (a.k.a. Umar Khalid and Abdul Wali): Omar Khalid, a member of the Qandharo sub-tribe of the Safi tribe of the Pashtuns, is the dominant Taliban leader in Mohmand Agency. He is in his early thirties and has been associated with the banned Harakat-ul-Mujahideen militant organization, with which he fought in the insurgency in Kashmir. After 9/11, since he had experience in Kashmir, he also fought in Afghanistan alongside Afghan Taliban against the US invasion. Omar Khalid’s stated objective is the implementation of Sharia law in Pakistan at any cost. He represents Mohmand Agency within the Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP)xxviii and was a close associate of former TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud.xxix
Omar’s group surfaced in July 2007, when his forces captured the Haji Sahib Turangzai Shrine in the Lakarro area of Mohmand Agency and converted it to a base of operations and a Sharia court, placing an Afghan scholar named Sayyad in the position of judge. The group changed the name of the mosque near the shrine to “Lal Masjid” (the Red Mosque so named for its red walls and interior) in honor of the mosque in Islamabad that had been seized by Pakistan military forces. The group consolidated its position of power throughout most of Mohmand Agency when it publically executed Yousaf Khan, a blatant criminal, along with seven members of this ring. Omar’s gang also killed Shah Sahib (a.k.a. Shah Khalid), the leader of a rival militant group in Mohmand.xxx
Omar’s followers were several hundred strong at one point, but the group was reduced in late 2008 and early 2009 when Pakistan military forces conducted operations against them. Tribal leaders in the agency support continued operations in Mohmand by the Frontier Corps’ Mohmand Rifles.xxxi
Orakzai Agency― Orakzai Agency links with Khyber agency to the west of and with Kurram agency and North Waziristan agency, giving it a strategic positioning with respect to Kohat and Hangu districts. Analysts have noted the smooth supply of weapons, ammunition and other necessities for an effective strategy may easily be disconnected from Peshawar if the Orakzai Agency remains under the control of the Taliban insurgents.xxxii With the Taliban’s control of Orakzai, the supply of weapons and ammunition, the movement of personnel across FATA and the trafficking of narcotics became quite easier for the TTP to handle. The Taliban first gained influence in Orakzai in 2006 and rapidly expanded their influence in control in 2007 with the appointment of Hakueemullah Mehsud in 2007. Sectarian attacks against Sikhs and Shi’a minorities have been prevelant in Orakzai ever since.
Akhunzada Aslam Farooqi: Farooqi is the TTP leader in the Orakzai tribal agency. Farooqi took control of the Orakzai Taliban after Hakeemullah Mehsud was promoted to lead the entire Taliban movement in Pakistan’s tribal areas and in the northwest. Farooqi is a close associate of the Afghan Taliban’s Mullah Mohammad Omar. He held meetings with leading Talibaninsurgents (Mauluvi Abdul Kabir) in 2001 to develop a strategy against the coalition forces attacking Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. Farooqi is currently 39 years old.
Abdullah Azzam Brigade: A shadowy group appearing to be made up of Taliban members from the Commander Tariq Group who merged with some Arakzai-based elements of Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad. A spokesman named Amir Muawiya, who is also a leader in the Commander Tariq Group, said the Abdullah Azzam Brigade was behind a terror assault in Peshawar.xxxiii
Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LiJ): Formed in 1996, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi represents an anti-Shi’a terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas. LiJ began as an offshoot of the sectarian radical group Sipah-e-Sahaba (the Army of Mohamed’s companions) Pakistan (SSP). The SSP was founded by the cleric Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi in the 1980s with the goal of establishing a Sunni Muslim state. Jhangvi was assassinated in 1990, allegedly by a Shi’a terrorist group. Attacks between the two sects have intensified ever since. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and serves as the muscle for terror attacks.
Commander Tariq Group: This group is considered the most powerful comtemporary terrorist group in Orakzai. Commander Tariq Afridi is the amir of the group which and based in Darra Adam Khel. The Commadner Tariq Group conducts attacks on Pakistani security forces in Arakzai, Kohat, Peshawar, and Hangu and took credit for beheading the Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak in 2009.xxxv
Ghazi Force: This group is named after Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, the brother of former Red Mosque leader Maulana Abdullah Aziz. Ghazi was killed when Pakistani troops assaulted the Red Mosque in July 2007. The Ghazi force runs a terror training camp in Guljo in Hangu and has conducted suicide attacks in Islamabad. The group is led by Maulana Niaz Raheem, a former student of the Red Mosque.
Hakeemullah Mehsud: Hakeemullah Mehsud was the TTP regional commander, controlling the Orakzai Agency in 2007 and later operating in the Lower Kurram Valley, where most of the inhabitants are Sunnis. Hakeemullah, who had succeeded Baitullah Mehsud as TTP commander, was reportedly killed in or as a result of a drone strike in South Waziristan Agency in January 2010.xxxvi According to Mukhtar A. Khan, writing in the “Terrorism Monitor” in November 2009,
The Taliban’s 28-year old commander, Hakeemullah Mehsud, [was] a tough and ruthless militant who became the new Taliban chief after his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. drone attack in South Waziristan. Hakeemullah was a close confidant of Baitullah, serving as his driver, spokesman and then commander of strategically important tribal areas like Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai agencies. It was in these tribal agencies that his strong military skills and ambitions came to the fore. In 2007, Hakeemullah established his military strength when he took some 250 Pakistani soldiers hostage for more than two months in South Waziristan. However, it was in Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai that he took an independent role and used the power of the media to get himself recognized as the new top leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It was Hakeemullah who disrupted the NATO fuel supply lines in Khyber and Peshawar and took responsibility for destroying more than 600 NATO vehicles and containers (The News [Islamabad], September 1 ).
Hakeemullah Mehsud [was] believed to be behind all the major suicide attacks in Pakistan. He [had] accepted responsibility for the majority of attacks against the military and other security forces. Hakeemullah [was] also blamed for killing Shi’a Muslims in Orakzai and Kurram agencies. He [had] close links with the banned anti-Shi’a sectarian group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and its militant wing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).xxxvii
Hakeemullah Mehsud is also the cousin of Qari Hussein, the top suicide-bomb facilitator for the TTP.xxxviii
Maulvi Noor Jamal: Maulvi Noor Jamal is also known as Maulvi Toofan. He is a feared Taliban commander operating in Kurram and is known for his brutality. He denied rumors that he had taken control of the Pakistani Taliban after Hakeemullah Mehsud was reported killed in late January 2010. Toofan claimed Hakeemullah is still alive and has appeared in several short video clips beating young and old men with a whip following their “infractions” against Islam.
Fazal Saeed Utezai: He is a deputy to Hakeemullah and leads Taliban fighters in the Kurram tribal agency. He and his fighters have committed a series of sectarian attacks against Shi’a residents in Kurram. He is one of several commanders on the Pakistan’s “most-wanted list” and currently has a $61,500 bounty out for information leading to his death or capture.
Khyber Agency ― After establishing control of Orakzai agency in 2007, Hakeemullah advanced on Khyber Agency where he co-opted the independent militant organization Lashkar-i-Islam led by Mangal Bagh. He allowed Mangal Bagh to sustain control of the social code of Khyber agency, and his lucrative “taxation” schemes against the hundreds of convoys entering through his territory, while forcing him to support the TTP in blocking the NATO supply vehicles via Torkham to Afghanistan. The consolidation of TTP influence in Khyber allowed Hakeemullah to mount pressure on Peshawar and Darra Adamkhel and put the provincial capital at the risk of falling to Taliban.
Kamran Mustafa Hijrat (a.k.a. Mohammad Yahya Hijrat): Kamran Mustafa Hijrat, until his arrest by Pakistani security forces in December 2008, was the top TTP commander in Khyber Agency. He was arrested in Peshawar and is still in custody.xxxix Since his arrest, an Afghan national, Commander Rahmanullah, took over his position and helped extended the influence of the TTP throughout the Khyber Agency.xl
Before becoming a leading figure in the TTP, Kamran was a low-level Afghan Taliban commander. He has also been deputy to Hakeemullah Mehsud and led up attacks on trucks delivering supplies to Afghanistan for NATO forces. His fighters were culpable for the 300 trucks burned at the terminal on the Peshawar Ring Road.xli
Mangal Bagh: Mangal Bagh is a non-Taliban Islamist leading, as he claims, about 10,000 fighters in Khyber Agency. According to Caroline Wadhams and Colin Cookman, writing for the Center for American Progress in a July 22, 2009 article:
Mangal Bagh is a former bus driver who took over leadership of the group Lashkar-e-Islami [Army of Islam] in the Khyber Agency of the FATA shortly after its founding in 2005. LEI imposed a strict moral code through much of the area, operating pirate radio stations and conducting public executions in some reported cases. The group was officially banned in 2007, but continued to operate with what some locals interpreted to be support of the Pakistani military and intelligence services.
The group’s activities in and around Peshawar escalated in the summer of 2008, including the kidnapping of 16 Christians who were later released after intensive negotiations. The Pakistan Army began military operations against the group in June 2008, including shelling Bagh’s bases, but he instructed his forces not to resist the army, and most are reported to have fled prior to the operation. Bagh denied that his forces were challenging the authority of the state or conducting attacks on NATO supply convoys, and insisted he had no connection to Al Qaeda or Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan; there have been few reports of subsequent military action against him. Bagh formed the Muqami Tehrik-e-Taliban (Local Taliban Movement) together with Haji Namdar and Hafiz Gul Bahadur to resist the TTP and local Baitullah lieutenant Hakeemullah Mehsud, but there were few reports of direct clashes between the groups following Namdar’s death.xlii
Hajji Namdar: Hajji Namdar was the leader of another non-Taliban group in Khyber Agency – the Amr bil Maruf wa Nahi Anil Munkar (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice). This group shared the ideology of the LEI and the TTP, but kept an independent character. It has been reported that local people believed the Pakistan Government was provoking animosity among Munkar and other Khyber Agency militant groups so they would serve as a buffer to TTP efforts to interdict the Khyber Pass supply route. Haji Namdar had refused to allow TTP access to the Khyber domain, and he was assassinated in 2007. Hakeemullah Mehsud claimed responsibility.xliii
Darra Adamkhel―The region of Darra Adamkhel contains the strategic roadway linking Peshawar to the southern portions of the North West Frontier Province and points further using the Kohat Tunnel, built by Japanese engineers and opening in 2003. Two main insurgent groups operation in the area: the TTP and al-Hezb, with the TTP beginning to gain influence there in 2007.
Mohammad Tariq Afridi: Mohammad Tariq Afridi became commander of the Darra Adamkhel branch of TTP in 2008. This TTP branch, which has several hundred fighters, was formed by the merger of Tehrik-e Islami, founded by Muneer Khan, and the Islami Taliban, founded by Momin Afridi. Mohammad Tariq took command after these leaders were killed in operations in 2008.xlviixliv The Darra TTP is the most radical and intolerant chapter and has historically targeted Shias as well as Pakistan Government troops and facilities, convoys traveling the road from the Kohat Tunnel, and even jirgas of tribal elders.xlv The organization seems to have liberal autonomy in its planning and execution of attacks; they operate primarily in Peshawar and Kohat.xlvi In 2008, the Darra TTP was believed responsible for attacks that had destroyed over 40 fuel tankers that were bound to resupply NATO forces in Afghanistan, they had seized the Kohat Tunnel three times, and they were attacking weapon, food, and oil transports the entire distance from Karachi to the border of Afghanistan.
Mufti Ilyas: Mufti Ilyeas is the deputy commander of the Darra Adamkhel branch of the TTP. He is the group ideologue and is a resident of the Sheraki area.xlviii
Omar Group: The Omar group is a major Taliban group based in Darra Adam Khel. It has conducted attacks in the regions around Peshawar.
i Bill Roggio, “Targeting Taliban Commander Siraj Haqqani,” the Long War Journal, October 20, 2007, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/10/targeting_taliban_co.php.
ii Matthew DuPee, “The Haqqani Networks: Reign of Terror,” Long War Journal, August 2, 2008.
iii Syed Saleem Shahzad, “Taliban Wield the Ax Ahead of New Battle,” Asia Times Online, January 24, 2008, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/archive/1_24_2008.html
iv Yousaf Ali, “Taliban Form New Alliance in Waziristan,” The News, February 23, 2009, http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=20512
v Sadia Sulaiman, “Hafiz Gul Bahadur: A Profile of the Leader of the North Waziristan Taliban,” Terrorism Monitor, 7, 9, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34839&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=412&no_cache=1
vi “Military to end South Waziristan operation,” Dawn, March 15, 2010. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-military-to-end-south-waziristan-operation-ss-14
viii Amir Mir, “The Most Wanted Pakistani Talib,” Pakistan Post, December 10, 2007.
x Christina Lamb, “High-Profile Victories in the Battle Against Terror,” Times of London, August 9, 2009.
xi Claudio Franco, “Profile of Waliur Rehman,” The NEFA Foundation, September 2009, http://www.humansecuritygateway.com/documents/NEFA_2_CompetingVoices_ProfileWaliurRehman.pdf
xii “Malik Says ‘Credible Information’ Hakeemullah Dead,” The Dawn Media Group, February 10, 2010, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-malik-credible-info-Hakeemullah-dead-qs-08
xiii Tahir Ali, “Qari Hussain Ahmed Mehsud,” Australia.to News, January 28, 2010, http://www.australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=725:qari-hussain-ahmed-mehsud&catid=73:oped&Itemid=125 ; “Hakeemullah Cultivates Ruthless Reputation, “ The Dawn Media Group, January 14, 2010, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-hakeemullah-mehsud-cultivates-ruthless-reputation-ss-07
xiv “Punjabi Taliban Avenge Qari Zafar’s Death,” The News, March 9, 2010, http://www.thenews.com.pk/print3.asp?id=27686
xv “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,” Australian Government, http://www.ag.gov.au/agd/WWW/nationalsecurity.nsf/Page/What_Governments_are_doing_Listing_of_Terrorism_Organisations_Islamic_Movement_of_Uzbekistan
xvi “Uzbek militant leader killed in drone attack,” Dawn, October 2, 2009. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/uzbek-militant-chief-killed-in-drone-attack-05-sal-09
xvii Bill Roggio, “Tahir Yuldashev confirmed killed in US strike in South Waziristan, Long War Journal, October 4, 2009.http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/10/tahir_yuldashev_conf.php#ixzz0iYElLQol
xviii “Maulana Faqir Mohammad,” Global Jihad, http://globaljihad.net/view_page.asp?id=1090; Sohail Abdul Nasir, “Al-Zawahiri’s Pakistani Ally: Profile of Maulana Faqir Mohammed,” The Jamestown Foundation, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=641
xix Fouzee Khan Mohmand, “TTP ‘Commander’ Faqir Reported Killed in Mohmand,” The Dawn Media Group, March 6, 2010, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/06-ttp-commander-faqir-reported-killed-in-mohmand-630-rs-07
xx “Taliban leader threatens to resume attacks on troops,” Dawn, March 12, 2010. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-taliban-leader-threatens-to-resume-attacks-on-troops-230-hh-02
xxi “Pakistan Bans 25 Militant Organizations,” The Dawn Media Group, August 6, 2009, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/18-25-militant-organisations-banned-am-02
xxii “Taliban Group Chooses New Name,” Daily times, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C04%5C27%5Cstory_27-4-2008_pg7_14
xxiii Syed Saleem Shahzad, “A fighter and a financier,” Asia Times, May 23, 2008. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JE23Df02.html
xxiv “Thirty militants killed in Mohmand airstrikes,” The Nation, March 5, 2010. http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/05-Mar-2010/Thirty-militants-killed-in-Mohmand-airstrikes
xxv “Taliban leader threatens to resume attacks on troops,” Dawn, March 12, 2010. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-taliban-leader-threatens-to-resume-attacks-on-troops-230-hh-02
xxvi Bill Roggio, “Taliban control of Mohmand highlights failures of peace negotiations,” the Long War Journal, July 24, 2008. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/07/taliban_control_of_m.php#ixzz0hzdDp9b3
xxvii Rahimullah Yusufzai, “A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part Two – FATA excluding North and South Waziristan,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/4, March 3, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34574.
xxviii Imtiaz Ali, “The Emerging Militancy in Pakistan’s Mohmand Agency,” Terrorism Monitor, vol. 6, no. 2 (2008), http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=4681&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=167&no_cache=1.
xxix Ronald Sandee, “Developments in the Jihadi Resurgence in Pakistan: January 2008,” Nine Eleven / Finding Answers Foundation (2008), http://www1.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/nefapakanalysis0308.pdf.
xxx Rahimullah Yusufzai, “A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part Two – FATA excluding North and South Waziristan,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/4, March 3, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34574.
xxxii Khadim Hussain, “Orakzai Agency: the stronghold of Hakeemullah Mehsud,” September 5, 2009. http://www.airra.org/documents/Orakzai%20Agency.pdf
xxxiii Bill Roggio, “Taliban torch village in Arakzai,” the Long War Journal, January 5, 2010. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/01/taliban_torch_villag.php
xxxiv Anthony Keats, “In the spotlight: Lashkar I Jhangvi,” CDI Terrorism Project, March 3, 2003. http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/lij.cfm
xxxv Bill Roggio, “Taliban torch village in Arakzai,” the Long War Journal, January 5, 2010. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/01/taliban_torch_villag.php
xxxvi Kristen Chick, “Pakistani Taliban Leader Hakeemullah Mehsud is Dead, say Officials,” The Christian Science Monitor, February 10, 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2010/0210/Pakistani-Taliban-leader-Hakeemullah-Mehsud-is-dead-say-officials.
xxxvii Mukhtar A. Khan, “The Hunt for Pakistan’s Most Wanted Terrorists,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/34, November 13, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews%5Bany_of_the_words%5D=Hakimullah&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=35728&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=734a9306a3.
xxxviii Khadim Hussain, “Orakzai Agency: the stronghold of Hakeemullah Mehsud ,” September 5, 2009. http://www.airra.org/documents/Orakzai%20Agency.pdf
xxxix Rahimullah Yusufzai, “A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part Two – FATA excluding North and South Waziristan,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/4, March 3, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34574.
xl Mukhtar A. Khan, “Local Militants Struggle with Taliban Government for Control of Pakistan’s Khyber Agency,” Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 24. August 6, 2009 http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=35376
xlii Caroline Wadhams and Colin Cookman, “Faces of Pakistan’s Militant Leaders: In-Depth Profiles of Major Militant Commanders,” Center for American Progress, July 22, 2009, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/07/talibanleaders.html/#11.
xliii Mukhtar A. Khan, “Local Militants Struggle with Taliban Government for Control of Pakistan’s Khyber Agency,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/24, August 6, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e
xliv Rahimullah Yusufzai, “A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part Two – FATA excluding North and South Waziristan,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/4, March 3, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34574.
xlv Rahimullah Yusufzai, “Fiercest of them All,” The News, February 15, 2009, http://jang.com.pk/thenews/feb2009-weekly/nos-15-2-2009/dia.htm.
xlvii Dean Nelson and Daud Khatrak, “Pakistan and Taliban Battle for Key Tunnel,” Times Online, October 19, 2008, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4969024.ece?print=yes&randnum.
xlviii Rahimullah Yusufzai, “A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part Two – FATA excluding North and South Waziristan,” Terrorism Monitor, 7/4, March 3, 2009, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34574.”
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