Taliban commander wants Pakistan's nukes, global Islamic caliphate


Omar Khalid [center], from his latest propaganda video. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group.

One of the top leaders of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan said the terror group seeks to overthrow the Pakistani government, impose sharia, or Islamic law, seize the country's nuclear weapons, and wage jihad until "the Caliphate is established across the world."

The statements were made by Omar Khalid al Khurasani, the al Qaeda-linked leader of the Movement the Taliban in Pakistan's branch in the Mohmand tribal agency, in a video that was released on jihadist web forums yesterday. The video, which also discussed the history and evolution of the Movement the Taliban in Pakistan, was released by Umar Studios and has been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

In the video, Khalid said the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan was united and strong and operating under the leadership of Hakeemullah Mehsud. Khalid outlined five "important goals" of the Taliban: overthrow the Pakistani institutions; release both Pakistani and "foreign" fighters; impose sharia law; obtain a nuclear weapon; and establish a global caliphate.

"First of all, we aim to counter the Pakistani government, its intelligence agencies, and its army, which are each against Islam and have oppressed the mujahideen and their families," Khalid said, according to the SITE translation. The Taliban want to "avenge the oppression of the mujahideen in the tribal and urban areas" as well as the "humiliation of the mujahideen in Pakistani prisons."

"Our second objective is to seek the safe release of Pakistani and foreign mujahideen in Pakistan," Khalid continued. The term "foreign mujahideen" refers to members of al Qaeda and other outside terror groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Khalid said the Taliban want to "replace the English system of democracy with Islamic Shariah" as "the Pakistani system has nothing to do with Islam."

Khalid also said that the Taliban want to seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons and "other resources," including the army, to defend Islam.

"Another objective of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is to use Pakistan's strengths including the atomic bomb, army, and other resources, to guide other Muslim countries and for the survival of Islam," Khalid said. "Pakistan's soil, Pakistan's people and Pakistan's mujahideen must not be used to serve American interests, but must be used for the survival and integrity of Islam."

Finally, Khalid said that the Taliban would continue their fight even after taking over Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Our objectives are as clear as the orders in the Qur'an, which is our constitution. Allah said in the Qur'an: 'Fight against hypocrites and apostates till there is no more fitna [sedition],'" he said. "So, until Islam is implemented in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the Caliphate is established across the world, our jihad will continue. This is our first and foremost objective."

Omar Khalid, the Taliban commander of Mohmand agency, in 2007

Mohmand Taliban under command of able leader

Khalid is a senior deputy of Hakeemullah Mehsud's Taliban movement. Khalid is considered one of the Taliban's most effective and powerful leaders in the tribal areas. He also maintains close ties to al Qaeda and is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past.

Khalid is also allied with Qari Zia Rahman, the dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda leader who operates in Pakistan's tribal agencies of Mohmand and Bajaur as well as in Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Rahman established and runs the suicide training camps that are used to indoctrinate and train female bombers [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda, Taliban create female suicide cells in Pakistan and Afghanistan]. In August 2011, Khalid claimed credit for a female suicide attack in Peshawar.

Khalid has been active in the Taliban's propaganda machine since the death of Osama bin Laden, and has been vocal in his support of al Qaeda. In mid-May, Khalid vowed revenge on Pakistani and US forces for the death of Osama bin Laden.

"We will take revenge of Osama's killing from the Pakistani government, its security forces, the Pakistani ISI, the CIA and the Americans, they are now on our hit list," Khalid said. "Osama bin Laden has given us the ideology of Islam and Jihad, by his death we are not scattered but it has given us more strength to continue his mission."

In early June, Khalid said the Taliban have been behind the spate of attacks in Pakistan and again threatened the US.

"Our war against America is continuing inside and outside of Pakistan. When we launch attacks, it will prove that we can hit American targets outside Pakistan," Khalid said.

In the same interview, Khalid said that Ayman al Zawahiri is al Qaeda's "chief and supreme leader." He stated this more than one week before Zawahiri was officially declared emir of al Qaeda.

Khalid gained prominence during the summer of 2007 after taking over a famous shrine in Mohmand and renaming it the Red Mosque in honor of the radical mosque in Islamabad whose followers had attempted to impose sharia in the capital.

The Mohmand Taliban took control of the tribal agency after the Pakistani government negotiated a peace agreement with the extremists at the end of May 2008. The deal required the Taliban to renounce attacks on the Pakistani government and security forces. The Taliban said they would maintain a ban on the activities of nongovernmental organizations in the region but agreed not to attack women in the workplace as long as they wore veils. Both sides exchanged prisoners.

The Taliban promptly established a parallel government in Mohmand. Sharia courts were formed, and orders were given for women to wear the veil in public. "Criminals" were rounded up and judged in sharia courts. Women were ordered to have a male escort at all times and were prevented from working on farms. The Taliban also kidnapped members of a polio vaccination team.

In July 2008, Khalid became the dominant Taliban commander in Mohmand after defeating the Shah Sahib group, a rival pro-Taliban terror group with ties to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The military claimed it killed Khalid in January of 2009, but the Taliban denied the report and he has since surfaced.

The Pakistani government placed a $123,000 bounty on Khalid's head in 2009. But Pakistan has failed not only to arrest or kill Khalid; it has yet to capture or kill any of the terrorist leaders on that bounty list. The US succeeded in killing Baitullah Mehsud, who topped the list, in a drone strike in South Waziristan in August 2009.


READER COMMENTS: "Taliban commander wants Pakistan's nukes, global Islamic caliphate"

Posted by charles222 at March 20, 2012 4:28 PM ET:

He'll have a tough time establishing that caliphate when Pakistan turns into a nuclear wasteland.

Posted by Charles at March 20, 2012 5:09 PM ET:

Perhaps the Pakistani military & the ISI will get a clue.

Posted by mike merlo at March 20, 2012 5:17 PM ET:

well at least these 'people' dream big & have goals.

Posted by JRP at March 20, 2012 5:31 PM ET:

Could it be any clearer what they have in store for us or is NYC Police Commissioner Kelly the only one not wearing rose-colored glasses?

Posted by Mr T at March 20, 2012 5:54 PM ET:

Their goal is global domination. They hide behind women and children and murder innocent people to achieve their goals. Sounds more like the devils work.

Posted by g at March 20, 2012 5:54 PM ET:

Omar looks and sounds like he has been dipping into the Afghan Kush. Maybe if he thinks about it long enough he will decide that the Caliphate is in one tiny atom inside his fingernail and he won't need Paks nukes.

More seriously, there is part of me that thinks that Taliban control in Pakistan would make this mess a lot easier to mop up. If you think we are aligned with our allies in ensuring Iran does not get nukes, imagine how easy the decisions would be if it were the Taliban. A wholesale extermination would be easy to justify once and for all.

Posted by Bungo at March 20, 2012 6:07 PM ET:

He must be smoking some strong stuff, but say what you will, at least the boy has goals. Hitler wanted Russia too, but we know how that turned out. Keep your eyes on the skies Omar.

Posted by kush dragon at March 20, 2012 9:26 PM ET:

Lol nukes in these guys hands just what the world needs

Posted by Cindy at March 21, 2012 4:39 AM ET:

The photo shows 3 deadbeats -- losers.

Posted by sahani at March 21, 2012 8:03 AM ET:

How a taliban an uneducated people can have so much power and voice to demand some thing like this and whole of pakistan is sitting and doing nothing.
First these taliban should not exist If they are then should be taken care and put in jail .This is shame for the pakistan nation.

Posted by Vyom at March 21, 2012 8:51 AM ET:

A single Hellfire missile can end all his goals and ambitions.......

Posted by Infidel4LIFE at March 21, 2012 12:02 PM ET:

Well, this news is comforting. There must be some kind of contingency for just this kind of situation. Next time the US is hit, maybe we should show them just how horrible nuclear weapons are. They will kill us all...

Posted by Villiger at March 21, 2012 1:53 PM ET:

Wishful thinking on my part was that the West had a hidden agenda in AfPak. No not oil, not even Afghanistan's minerals but Pak's nukes.

While i've given up on that, seeing the way Pakistan has been left off the hook, i'm glad the Taliban is open about their intentions so that public awareness in the West can tune in. Having said that, I googled Omar Khalid for news and got zero, zilch.

So, once again Bill, thanks for reporting the 'real' news.

Posted by WitchDoctor at March 21, 2012 8:05 PM ET:

Also remember we have their nukes plotted out on grid maps and Tomahawks to insure they never make it out of their silos.
Maybe this guy should go and speak with A.Q.Khan and have him build a custom made nuclear suicide vest, he must want his virgins as well.

Posted by Gitmo-Joe at March 21, 2012 9:42 PM ET:

Clearly a man destined to rule the world. The hat alone tells the story. I can't find anything like it. I've looked everywhere. I even tried the L.L. Bean special order line!

If somebody could teach this guy to bath and use a comb he could really go places.

Posted by Bill Roggio at March 21, 2012 10:58 PM ET:

While it is easy to mock Khalid's appearance, I think he is one that should be taken seriously. He remains in firm control of Mohmand despite multiple Pakistani military offensives designed to dislodge him. He's backed numerous successful suicide attacks, and continues to send forces across the border to attack NATO forces. Keep in mind he announced that Zawahiri was OBL's successor more than a week prior to al Qaeda's official announcement. He's plugged in, and dangerous.

If you want to mock someone, save it for Mullah Fazlullah. He is the complete package, with his dashing looks, his mad mullah radio program, and his opposition to polio vaccinations.

Posted by WitchDoctor at March 22, 2012 12:28 AM ET:

All kidding aside, Bill is right on the money. This guy is obviously in a much greater position of trust with what seems to be the highest level AQ CEO's. That alone makes him dangerous and the fact he is still sending suicide troops into Afghanistan is not to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, we will be hearing more about him. Hopefully not for too long.
Forget about ISI getting a clue, unless you have a few million bucks.

Posted by gitmo-joe at March 22, 2012 9:19 AM ET:

Sorry Bill. I have no doubt this guy could get a nuke and kill a lot of people. I'll keep it on a more serious note.

But I refuse to show these people any fear or respect. My father is from this region, my mother is European. I guess I'm tired of this culture that prides itself on the complete absence of any moral floor. I changed our family name to my mother's maiden because I did not want my kids living with the stigma of a culture that is an embarrassment to all of humanity.

Posted by Bill Roggio at March 22, 2012 12:45 PM ET:

No apologies are needed here. I just wanted to stress that I believe that Khalid is indeed someone to take seriously.

Despite his importance, we've never targeted him in a drone strike, at least that I am aware of (possible he may have been a target if he entered Bajaur but there have only been 3 strikes there, none recent). There have been zero strikes in Mohmand.

Khalid shows just how flawed our "drone campaign" really is. Right now it is confined to a box in N & S Waziristan. This would be like me saying I want to dismantle the KKK in the US, and I'm going to do it by addressing the issue in 3 counties in Mississippi and Alabama [my apologies in advance for the clumsy analogy].

Posted by mike merlo at March 22, 2012 7:26 PM ET:

re: gitmo BRoggio
With all due respect but Khalid will never get a nuke. An 'outsider' possibly, with the aid of some inside legerdemain, but never a 'local.'

Posted by Bill Roggio at March 22, 2012 10:18 PM ET:

I'm not saying we should worry too much about Khalid getting a nuke (unless Pakistan comes totally unhinged or the PakMil wants him to have one), I'm just saying that he's not the easily caricatured, Fazlullah-esque figure. And even Fazlullah was able to take control of Swat for more than 2 years.

Posted by Hamid at March 22, 2012 10:56 PM ET:

Those guys would have trouble programming a smartphone let alone a launch sequence for a missile.

Nevertheless there would be people in Pakistan who can set up a missile launch and are just as fanatical (and even more pathetic) as these individuals.

Posted by JerryJ26 at March 23, 2012 8:29 AM ET:

These same comments were made about Osama bin Laden back in the 1980s when the only warning about him was coming from Oliver North.

Posted by gitmo-joe at March 23, 2012 10:09 AM ET:

Anybody who has had direct contact with leaders of this movement knows some of them are very intelligent. They may be filthy, ignorant, fanatical and we may rightly despise them and I made fun of them. But lets not under estimate them. Their top people are every bit as intellectually capable as ours - unfortunately.

I should not have said "nuke". I used that only as an extreme hypothetical. You can do plenty of damage without nukes. Having said that, recent history is so full of dramatic and unforeseen events - from the fall of the Shah of Iran to the collaspse of the Soviet Union to 9/11 and so on - I wouldn't be surprised if Pakistan collaspsed tomorrow.

Posted by Cole at March 23, 2012 3:45 PM ET:

It is a long list - it may take a few centuries to get done with!

And likely no would even remember who Bin Laden was!!

In spite of the fact that the Al Qaeda-Taliban types - are causing a lot of bloodshed in Pakistan - there is still wide support to their views.

Though the thought of losing the nukes to these - Islamic foot soldiers - may be even too much for Pakistan.

We would hope!

If they treat their nukes like they treated the SWAT Valley region. What might be the argument - that we already have Shari'a law anyway - what does it matter that the nukes have changed hands!!

There is a worrying nonchalance in the region and we have got to get out of there!

Posted by mike merlo at March 23, 2012 5:08 PM ET:

A missile with a nuclear warhead has never been launched & successfully detonated upon impact by any nation to & including the US. That is the main reason for the 'proliferation' & abundance of missiles.

If wishing to deliver a nuclear payload via 'air' an aircraft is the preferred delivery 'system.' Although stealth by sea or land certainly is an appealing choice particularly if one is able to arrange for a suicide crew.

Posted by Tariq at March 24, 2012 4:20 AM ET:

I believe it is just to malign the word khilafah and to somehow show that like Hizb ut tahrir TTP is also calling for khilafah. But they fail to realize that TTP has no clue what khilafah is while HT has a detailed understanding of the system and know exactly how to implement it all over Muslim word.


Posted by Jak at March 24, 2012 10:18 PM ET:

This terrorist, Khalid, is broadcasting the Taliban intentions in order to exercise manipulation. The Taliban, like AL Quieda in Iraq wants civil unrest, and mobilazation of muslim public opinion against the West, to further the cause of radical islam. He is but a mouthpiece for higher ups who are trying to manpulate the West into attacking Pakistan to secure the nuclear weapons that are based there. Their strategy is quite obvious.

Posted by Joseph Kent at March 29, 2012 7:11 PM ET:

Without our much-critcized drone campaign, we would be in much worse shape.
So many of these fanatical boneheads have met their rightful end.
(Whaaaat? no virgins????)
Thank heaven for our military; and our drone program.
Any critics out there have a better idea?
I'm not really sure we can have success with these morons by singing cumbayah, and bringing them flowers. (Except as a graveside offering.)