Pakistan’s Taliban warlord: A profile of Baitullah Mehsud

Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud is considered in some intelligence circles as a threat as big as, or bigger than, even Osama bin Laden. His rise from a relatively little known entity in South Waziristan to the head of a full-fledged Taliban movement in Pakistan has not only grave repercussions for local security, but also for the Global War on Terror. The rise of this movement in Pakistan is not just a local disturbance, but the phenomenon of Taliban resurgence after their post-2001 setback in Afghanistan, and with Baitullah as a prot

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  • F. B. Bruton says:

    in the second graf where you say “At the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghan War, the militant Taliban was forced to flee from Afghanistan”.
    don’t you mean the U.S.-Afghan war?

  • Neo says:

    It’s not inaction that is the problem. If we attacked the Taliban across the boarder both the Pakistani people and government will come down on the side of the militants. That is a political certainty that limits what we can do. It’s very frustrating, but you don’t turn the Pakistani’s against you unless they decide to fully support the extremists. I’m afraid the direct action you call for would force the condition you most want to avoid, an all out war with Pakistan along with an Islamist takeover of the government.
    Things are not going well, but the Pakistani government is less likely to fall than it appeared to be this time last year. In the last year the Taliban has done a lot to poison its relationship with the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis are in an escalating fight with the Taliban, the outcome of which is uncertain. The Taliban has more fighters but doesn’t have the political momentum it had a year ago.
    I have no problem with prodding the Pakistanis. If they sit down on this again, which is likely? Than we go give the Taliban a swat in the nose. The Taliban’s response usually is to indiscriminately attack everyone, especially the Pakistanis. We will just have to keep a close watch on things to see if this dynamic shows improvement or further disintegrates.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/01/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    F. B. Bruton, you are correct, the correction has been made and noted.

  • UJMi says:

    30,000! Its more than some serious exaggeration!
    And about Nek Muhamamd, please note that Nek Muhammad was nothing more than a person who took money from these “foreigners” and gave them cover in his area. If you even go back to his background, he had no war experience, he was simply a simple waiter at a small restaurant in a nearby city just two-three years before the whole event.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    The 30,000 number, which comes from the Pakistani press [Daily Times], is from early 2007. Dispute it all you like, but US intel believes the numbers are higher.
    Nek Mohammed fought the Pak Army to a standstill in 2004, waiter or not. And he was certainly respected by both the Pak Army and the Taliban alike.
    Mangal Bagh was a janitor, that didn’t stop him from taking control of Lashkar-i-Islam in Khyber.

  • Icon says:

    Does he pose a threat to launch an attack on the U.S. homeland? Thanks.

  • Kidartbai says:

    Mangal Bagh is an ISI plant put in place to stop the TTP from taking over the area.


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