Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers


The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has released a video showing the severed heads of Pakistani soldiers who had been captured and beheaded during fierce fighting in the contested tribal agency of Bajaur in the country's violent northwest.

The soldiers were captured during several days of heavy fighting in the Salarzai area of Bajaur, according to Movement of the Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan, who first noted that the soldiers were captured on Aug. 29, the same day he announced that the Taliban "chopped off the heads" of seven Pakistani soldiers in South Waziristan. Ihsan claimed that the Taliban took control of Salarzai.

"On midnight of Tuesday/Wednesday [Aug. 28 and 29], when battle was entering in its sixth day in Salarzai District of Bajaur agency, Mujahideen killed 14 Security personnel, also injuring scores of them and destroying two of their vehicles," Ihsan said in an email sent to The Long War Journal.

"Mujahideen slit the throats of 11 army-men in light of Shariah Law. After fully getting control of Salarzai now mujahideen will start advancing to central districts of Bajaur Agency InshaAllah," he continued.

The beheading video was sent to AFP by Sirajud Din, another spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.

"Praise be to God that the mujahideen in Bajaur agency have managed to kill the infidel soldiers of Pakistan," Sirajud Din told AFP. "Many of them were killed by bullets, 12 of them as you see have been beheaded, you see 12 heads here, and more heads are on the way."

The Pakistani military has confirmed that 15 of its soldiers have gone missing in Bajaur. The military claimed the Taliban crossed from Kunar province to attack the military and allied tribal militias in Bajaur.

The video shows the heads of nine of the Pakistani soldiers, which are placed in a line along the ground. An unidentified Taliban commander, who is unmasked, is flanked by two other unmasked men. The commander is said to be loyal to Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Taliban in the Swat Valley who has been operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border. At least 10 other Taliban fighters can be seen in the background; at least one is wielding a large axe.

The video also shows identification cards, phones, Pakistani money, photographs, flashlights, and other items that belonged to the slain soldiers.

Videotape the latest to show Taliban executions of Pakistani security forces

In the past, the Taliban have released videos of the execution and beheading of Pakistani troops. Most recently, on June 28, a video showing the heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers who had served in the district of Dir, which is near Bajaur, was released by the Taliban. [See LWJ report, Pakistani Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers.]

In June 2011, the Taliban released a video of the execution of 16 Pakistani policemen in Dir. The Taliban lined them up, and executed them via firing squad. The policemen had been captured after the Taliban crossed the border from Kunar. [See LWJ report, Video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges.]

In February 2011, Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, released a videotape of the execution of a former Pakistani military intelligence official known as Colonel Imam. Although Imam, a senior officer in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, was a favorite of the Afghan Taliban for his support of Mullah Omar, the Pakistani Taliban accused him spying against the terror group. [See LWJ report, Video: Pakistani Taliban execute Colonel Imam.]



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READER COMMENTS: "Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers"

Posted by Charles at September 2, 2012 11:34 AM ET:

In order to get the cause and effect chain here, you have to understand that Pakistan went from about 10 Madrasses back in 1980 to 10,000 Madrasses today courtesy of Gulf oil money.



The problem with Gulf Oil money is that Pakistanis can never be as perfect as the Gulf arabs in the sight of their g-d. Why not? Because you have to read the Koran in arabic--which is their language. And the Gulf arabs are closer to the line of Muhammed because Mohammed was Arab. Plus Saudis have all the sacred sites. Finally the Gulf Arabs get all this unearned oil wealth which must be because they are blessed by g-d. (They even hire foreigners to do all their work for them.)Any Pakistani whether mountain tribesman or ISI is going to do the imperial cringe or become terribly envious when faced with a Gulf Arab.



Both sentiments make the Pakistani unclean in different ways.



How can a Pakistani come clean? By killing.



That's what Gulf Oil money buys. The harvest of the Madrasses is bodies.



What the Taliban promise with their display of heads is that after the Americans leave-- the ISI is next.

Posted by Scott at September 2, 2012 11:54 AM ET:

Two points:

I look at this video, and I am reminded of all those reports we see that say that our drone strikes "create tension and resentment" amongst Pakistanis. And this doesn't?

Second, you can't help but to think that responsibility for these soldiers being beheaded lies with the Pakistanis themselves - especially the military. For it is they who have been aiding and abetting the taliban for a long time and continue to do so.

Posted by Birbal Dhar at September 2, 2012 2:32 PM ET:

I'm not surprised this is happening. After all the Pakistani establishment created these groups for attacks against Afghanistan and India, but are now facing the wrath of their own ISI sponsored Frankenstein monsters they've created.

More than a decade ago, Pakistani analysts were predicting that if Pakistan continues supporting the Taliban, the Taliban will one day allow islamic terrorists to attack the west and the west would force the Pakistanis to arrest and detain the Taliban, which will ultimately lead to some members of the Taliban to attack its creator, the Pakistani establishment.

How right they were !!

Posted by naresh c. at September 2, 2012 7:52 PM ET:

Looks like ghazwa-e-pak.

Posted by James at September 3, 2012 12:30 AM ET:

Once again it looks like the Frankenstein monster created by the ISI (and others) has turned on its maker.

Must be tough job, being a Pakistani soldier. I feel sorry for them.

Hopefully, the CIA is looking closely at these Pakistani soldiers for potential recruits.

Posted by BFett at September 3, 2012 12:52 AM ET:

Please note that they were not captured and beheaded. They were ambushed in their unarmored vehicles and killed and then their dead bodies were beheaded. Otherwise, the TTP would have shown the beheadings on video.

A small point, but one that's important.

Posted by Raj at September 3, 2012 2:35 PM ET:

the million strong pakistani army wanna war with numerally and technology superior of india, when they cant even handle couple 1000 caveman taliban in their own backyard

Posted by omar at September 3, 2012 5:27 PM ET:

Scott, these videos do create SOME tension and resentment but keep several things in mind:
1. They are not widely publicized. In any modern (or semi-modern) state modern media outlets (fed, to varying degrees by elite factions/state authorities) create hype around one issue while ignoring or underplaying another. The Pakistani elite and particularly the military are ambiguous about these beheadings. Some of them want to publicize them but others prefer to underplay (for various reasons; embarrassment, jihadi sympathies, perceived psyops priorities...right or wrong, mostly wrong in MY opinion, but they are not asking for my opinion). The net result is that there is no well-orchestrated outrage over this issue.
2. A number of people are genuinely convinced that Pakistan is the fortress of Islam and should fight to defeat the great satan. This event does not suit their narrative and will be ignored. We are not alone in ignoring the deaths of our own soldiers for the sake of a "higher aim". Its the aims that are somewhat surprising (irrational? self-destructive? I think so, but see above regarding my opinion and its relevance).
3. An influential "paknationalist" faction (possibly controlled/directed by GHQ, but some people say they are self-directed morons) insistently presents all such atrocities as CIA-RAW-Mossad plots against the Pakistani army. Among their audience, there is a LOT of outrage, but its directed at CIA-RAW-MOSSAD.
I am not kidding.

Posted by Tony Buzan at September 3, 2012 10:17 PM ET:

Competent points here Charles.

Posted by wallbangr at September 4, 2012 12:26 PM ET:

@BFett: A minor point, maybe, but it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of this war. Marines urinating on corpses was a real black eye. But as usual, it pales in comparison to what these so-called "holy fighters" get away with in the eyes of their fellow Muslims. As another commentator here is keen to point out, they will riot in the streets over accidental destruction of the Koran by Americans, but look the other way when a suicide bomber inside a mosque destroys hundreds of Korans (and, by the way, murders the faithful who happen to be unlucky enough to be inside). I'd be curious to know how the desecration of corpses is treated under Islamic Law. Not that anyone with any real religious authority in the Islamic World seems to care. It's only offensive when they can finger the non-believers. The Rimsha case making the rounds in the Pak media is a prime example of this hypocrisy.

Posted by Charu at September 4, 2012 4:31 PM ET:

This level of barbarism is nothing that the unprofessional Pakistan military, with its proclivity for donning Lashkar garb, hasn't already carried out on soldiers who fell into their hands. They have even rewarded the perpetrators and paraded these "trophies" in mosques to rally the faithful. Karma is a beach!

Posted by Charles at September 5, 2012 6:55 PM ET:

Here is an article on Saudi oil output that warns that they may stop exporting by 2030 because of rocketing domestic demand.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2927096/posts



I think this is wrong because a large consumer of their domestic oil is their desalination plants. Technology in the next 15 years is going to not just collapse the cost of desalination but also the cost of electrical power generation. (From space, you can already see desert farms in Saudi Arabia watered by desalinized water. However, its expensive. Too expensive to compete on world markets. The big revolution will come when the cost of desalinized water collapses sufficiently to make desert farmed fruits and vegetables competitive on world markets. That's +-15 years off and then it will take another couple decades for Saudi farming to take off.)

Posted by ibn Jawed al Hanafi at September 5, 2012 7:28 PM ET:

raj,

only lions live in caves.

I am not going to deny india's technical superiority but are they superior than the 'coalition forces' that invaded afghanistan in 2001?

Posted by bard207 at September 6, 2012 11:50 AM ET:

ibn Jawed al Hanafi,

I am not going to deny india's technical superiority but are they superior than the 'coalition forces' that invaded afghanistan in 2001?


The tactics used by the Taliban & Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was to cede ground when faced by superior forces.

There are several problems with trying to apply those tactics to a Pakistan vs India scenario.

1. Pakistan continues to come across as the aggressor with Kashmir and eventually the Red Fort on the Pakistani Army's To Do List. That is a completely different scenario than the defensive - retreating tactics that the Taliban & AQ used in Afghanistan.

2. I have seen no indication that India wants to invade & occupy Pakistan. If India did take the initiative and went into Pakistan, a Tactical Retreat (Taliban and AQ style) by the Pakistani Army of just 40 km would mean that Lahore would be lost to India. It may sound good in theory for the Pakistani Army to eventually regroup and retake the areas lost on the Eastern border, but the counterattacking Pakistani Army would need to have superior forces & weapons to accomplish that task. Since the Pakistani Army would have already demonstrated weakness by losing the areas on the Eastern border in the first place, it is doubtful that the remnants of the Pakistani Army reinforced by the Frontier Corps brought in from the Western Border would be up to the task of dislodging the Indian forces in possession of Lahore and other areas lost on the Eastern border.

3. The Taliban & AQ have used Pakistan as their Strategic Depth to resupply, rest and recruit more fighters. The Pakistani Army doesn't have enough excess weapons and fuel to hold as reserves on the Western border and in Afghanistan to replace the supply depots on the Eastern border that would be overrun by the Indian forces. The Taliban & AQ aren't using tanks and heavy artillery which allows them to have a light supply chain and ease of movement. The Pakistani Army has a fair amount of artillery and tanks along the Eastern border which makes for a much more cumbersome supply chain and more complicated logistics in keeping them in a Taliban & AQ style retreat.

4. The offices of the ISI and the Pakistani Army in Rawalpindi have been safe havens for the supporters of the Taliban and AQ. The safe haven protection for those miscreants in Rawalpindi wouldn't be there in a major Pakistan vs India fight.

5. India wouldn't face the logistics hurdles that the ISAF has had in supplying its forces in Afghanistan.

Posted by sundoesntrise at September 6, 2012 12:21 PM ET:

Oh yes, nice twisting of his words so you can compliment your oh so great Islamic Mujahideen once more.

In the case of the Taliban, some of them do live in caves, and others in villager's homes. But they are not "lions", they are cowards that hide in nature and in the civilian population and when a force capable of destroying them comes looking for a fight. It's a misconception that all the militants hide in caves, but I can assure you that the ones who do aren't really "lions", just criminals hiding from drones and people on the ground ready to bring them to justice.

Taking a detailed look at your blog shows you live in a fantasy world of your own though, so I'm sure your religiously fanatasized brain will have a hard time comprehending my words.

Posted by Charles at September 6, 2012 1:37 PM ET:

ibn Jawed al Hanafi
only lions live in caves.



I understand you are using lions as a metaphor by which you are trying to compliment the warlike prowess of AQ & the Taliban.



But just so you understand. In today's world lions don't live in caves. They live out in the open savanna. They sleep under trees.



In the ancient world their range used to include the entire middle east and the Mediterranean basin.



They were all killed out of their old range.



Today their range includes only sub sahara africa--where they are protected like Indian cows.

Posted by ibn Jawed al Hanafi at September 7, 2012 6:56 PM ET:

bard seems the only one who can talk sensibly - other comments were only empty rhetoric (esp that national geographic lecture) so i wont bother with them.

anyway bard,
you are correct.

however you may notice AQ never engage enemy in open combat such as the conventional 'historical' wars. i am sure you know about the sleeper cells in india and bangladesh?
I doubt the war would begin on the borders - it would begin inside india. a very very long war.

i hope you also know why AQ picked up arms in the first place? if not may i suggest some of sheuer's books?

Regards

Posted by ibn Jawed al Hanafi at September 7, 2012 7:15 PM ET:

something else i would like to clarify as raised by BFETT and wallbangr:

- there is nothing to show that these beheadings took place posthumously. there are other videos that show beheadings (as im sure you two would know) and some that don't. to infer that whenever a beheading isn't shown means the heads were cut from corpses is quite illogical.

- yes there is permission in Islamic Law to do suicide bombing. and also when non-combatants are indistinguishable from combatants then it is permitted to attack them all even if it results in destruction and killing which is 'normally' not permitted. you are taking an exception to be the norm.

- in 'revenge' the rule is to take revenge equal or less than what the aggressor did to you. and this also permits things normally not permitted. it is possible some attacks you refer to came under this category (9/11 did)

i do not believe anything the american soldiers did (as you mentioned) would come out as permitted in Islamic law if we simply consider their actions and noth their religion.

now a good point would be to read up on the islamic definition of non-combatants (ghair harbi) and combatants (harbi) which is different from civilians and armed forces - a term coined by the west.

i have rarely seen an educated academic critique to islam's fiqh of war except rabid vulgar rhetoric. most of the time from uneducated Muslims. nor do i believe they have a case.

Regards.

Posted by Cynic at September 8, 2012 1:40 AM ET:

@ Bill,I have been a regular on longwarjournal. it has been a consistent and neutral source for information on this murky war. But your site i believe has been 'banned' in Pakistan. i think it is. i am accessing it via a proxy right now.

Posted by Bill Roggio at September 8, 2012 8:57 AM ET:

Cynic, you are correct. We have been trying to track down the exact reasons for LWJ being banned in Pakistan. It is quite difficult.

Posted by Monafiq at September 8, 2012 4:19 PM ET:

India will be peanuts after Pakistan's defeat.
That the Indians know. Survival of India depends on stability of Pakistan. Survival of Pakistan depends on stability of Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate is in the offing in the Greater Pushtun areas starting from Indus river and extending to Oxus river.
Technology has failed to counter Haqqanis and the rest. Thanks God, there is no Afghanistan close to Europe and America.

Posted by bard207 at September 10, 2012 6:39 AM ET:

ibn Jawed al Hanafi,


however you may notice AQ never engage enemy
in open combat such as the conventional 'historical' wars.

I fail to understand what AQ & Pakistan are trying to achieve on a practical level in regards to continuing to dream of Kashmir and the Red Fort.

Decades of possible growth and progress in Pakistan have been forgone just so the dream of humbling India and getting a submission from India can live on.
_____________________________________

i am sure you know about the sleeper cells in india and bangladesh?

Yes, I know who Dawood is and the denials by the Pakistanis of his presence in Pakistan. Yet, I remember reading that some very powerful Pakistanis attended the wedding of Dawood's daughter in the Karachi area.

_____________________________________

I doubt the war would begin on the borders - it would begin inside india. a very very long war.

Pakistan has been waging that war inside of India for decades. Perhaps on a low intensity level, but they have been waging it. Other than irritating India and causing some death, Pakistan is no closer to the dream of Kashmir & the Red Fort than they were six decades ago.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

________________________________


i hope you also know why AQ picked up arms in
the first place? if not may i suggest some of sheuer's books?

I think one of the thoughts that Scheuer had was that there is unfinished business between Sunnis and Shias. That is an extreme POV for Al Qaeda to have in a world that needs to move in the direction of tranquility instead of lurching towards more death & mayhem.

The world has enough problems without increased violence & death between Sunnis and Shias. Sadly, the trend is going in that direction in Pakistan because minorities (including Shias) are getting ground down by the majority Sunnis.

When Pakistan was formed after World War II, the Shias thought that things would be okay for them even though the Ahmadis were being punished less than a decade after Pakistan was formed.

Are you familiar with Pastor Niemoller?
First they came

The Shias in Pakistan are learning the hard way the truth in what he said decades ago.


Posted by bard207 at September 10, 2012 7:24 AM ET:

ibn Jawed al Hanafi,


- yes there is permission in Islamic Law to do
suicide bombing. and also when non-combatants are indistinguishable from combatants then it is permitted to attack them all even if it results in destruction and killing which is 'normally' not permitted. you are taking an exception to be the norm.


The repeated attacks on the WTC (1993 & 2001) and the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998) were directed against non -combatants even though U.S. military forces were readily visible in other parts of the world and distinguishable for AQ planners.

_______________________________


now a good point would be to read up on the
islamic definition of non-combatants (ghair harbi) and combatants (harbi) which is different from civilians and armed forces - a term coined by the west.

China is considered one of the only friends that Pakistan has, yet the Chinese leadership isn't jumping through the hoops of accomodation that you suggested of further reading to understand things from an Islamic definition - POV.

China pushes Xinjiang hard to ignore Pak

BEIJING: China's central leaders are pushing the troubled border province of Xinjiang to reduce its links with Pakistan and develop economic links with other neighbours, including central Asian countries and Russia.

This follows repeated warnings by Xinjiang's leaders that Pakistan is the source of training and equipment of insurgents involved in violent incidents in the province.

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao recently discussed several projects connecting Xinjiang with central Asia without mentioning any links with Pakistan. A Chinese transmission company is planning a cross-border project for three-way supply of electricity between Xinjiang, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Pakistan has been desperately pushing Beijing for a railway line and energy pipeline project connecting it with China's Xinjiang. But Wen ignored Islamabad's requests in his recent address in Xinjiang's Urumqi city.

The disturbances - turmoil caused by Islamic rebels in China are very insignificant - minor compared to what has happened in other parts of the world. Yet, the Chinese are quite adamant about clamping down on things within their borders and could be viewed as being one of the harsher countries in the world in regards to the treatment of its Muslims.

______________________________

i have rarely seen an educated academic critique to islam's fiqh of war except rabid vulgar rhetoric. most of the time from uneducated Muslims. nor do i believe they have a case.

Your use of the word academic identifies the problem.

You are viewing things based on interpretations of religious - philosophical thought without regard to what the impact is of carrying out those ideas - thoughts in the real world.

You are suggesting that the Ummah shouldn't view things on the country level, but non Islamic countries expect behavior from the Islamic world similar to what is written in the OIC Charter.

OIC Charter

Posted by Charles at September 10, 2012 9:39 AM ET:

ibn Jawed al Hanafi

the heads being shown in the picture above are pakistani. Not American or Indian.

Posted by sundoesntrise at September 11, 2012 6:04 PM ET:

"bard seems the only one who can talk sensibly - other comments were only empty rhetoric (esp that national geographic lecture) so i wont bother with them."

So, in other words, you are annoyed because a group of people refuted your stupid rhetoric, and now you want to ignore them. YOU were the one that had the empty rhetoric - lions don't live in caves, get your FACTS STRAIGHT! If you don't want to look like a fool then don't post foolish metaphors in the first place and then whine about how everyone is using empty rhetoric when you are really the one who is using empty rhetoric, Einstein. lol.

"i hope you also know why AQ picked up arms in the first place? if not may i suggest some of sheuer's books?"

One sided material that fits into your narrative of the story? Good one. That guy is the same person that fiercely claimed Saddam and AQ had a connection in a book he wrote in 2002, yet in all the interviews about the book after, he gets annoyed and emotional everytime he's asked about that. He contradicted himself about that and many other things as well, and gets mad at interviews when they ask him about his flip-flops. He's hardly a credible source.

"yes there is permission in Islamic Law to do suicide bombing. and also when non-combatants are indistinguishable from combatants then it is permitted to attack them all even if it results in destruction and killing which is 'normally' not permitted. you are taking an exception to be the norm."

Prove it. From where? The only "permission" do to suicide bombing in Islamic Law exists inside your mind, and in the minds of extremist nutjob clerics on the fringe. It doesn't surprise me therefore that you provided no evidence to support that little assertion of yours. And you tried to rationalize the killing of innocent non-combatants, because you are the type of person that uses Islam as a kick-starter to satisfy your thirst for blood and destruction, and that's all.

"i have rarely seen an educated academic critique to islam's fiqh of war except rabid vulgar rhetoric. most of the time from uneducated Muslims. nor do i believe they have a case."

Ah yes, this never gets old. Violent bigots such as yourself saying that any fellow Muslim that disagrees with you about war or tactics in Jihad must be an "apostate" or "uneducated". That's your way of subconsciously saying "Oh, well most of the Muslim world doesn't accept my violent rhetoric, and since I'm so irrelevant, I'll just get on my computer and say that anybody who doesn't agree with me are not real Muslims."

In other words, know your facts and know your role before you spew your hate-drivelled barbaric fantasies all over the Internet. And don't be surprised when people call you out on your trash.