Al Qaeda, Taliban behind the Waziristan Accord

A look at the players and organizations manipulating the Waziristan Accord

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Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, backed the Waziristan Accord.

Details continue to emerge on the Waziristan Accord and the Taliban and al Qaeda involvement. And confirmation via the Pakistani press is received that the Taliban is seeking negotiations in Bajaur agency.

First, the backers of the Waziristan Accord. The Frontier Times provides the details on the who’s who behind the ‘tribal jirga’ the Pakistani government has been touting as the real power brokers.

According to the sources close to this scribe, Qari Tahir Jan, Haji Umar and Abdullah Mehsud have got the support of al Qaeda leaders like Sheikh Isa, Abu Hamam, Yahya Abu Lais and Abu Nasir. These leaders were against the peace agreements from the very beginning but they accepted it only due to the pressures from the local jirga and for the interest of the local people. A top Taliban leader while talking to this scribe said, only a few people who were interested to achieve prominence entered the agreements, which include Baitullah Mehsud and Haji Nazir. Those who were against the truce knew about the credibility of these agreements.

As we know Pakistan has no independent policy in the region and that’s why we feared the credibility of these agreements from the very beginning, despite we respect the agreements and all our fighters are bound to respect it as well, he added. According to sources in Waziristan the prominent Taliban groups are, Javaid Malangai Group, Uzbak Group, Saifullah Chachu Group and the Group of two Arab commanders Shaikh Khalid Habib al Shami and Abu Hamam Alyamani.

The Telegraph reports Mullah Omar was instrumental in backing the Waziristan Accord, and ‘signed a letter explicitly endorsing the truce.’ Here is a deciphering of the groups and main players:

Mullah Omar. The leader of the Taliban and ally of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Abu Hamam, or Abu Hammam al-Saudi is a member of the al Qaeda Shura (or main deliberative council) and sits on the Finance Shura. He worked with Osama bin Laden back when he was in Sudan and was part of the original Afghanistan cadre.

Yahya Abu Lais is a member of the al Qaeda Shura.

Abu Nasir is a member of the al Qaeda Shura.

Shaikh Khalid Habib al Shami is a commander of al Qaeda’s Brigade 055, the military organization of al Qaeda. He was thought to have been killed during the airstrike against Zawahiri in Damadola.

Abu Hamam Alyamani (the Yemeni) is a commander of al Qaeda’s Brigade 055.

Sheikh Eisa al-Masri (the Egyptian) is the spiritual adviser of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Ayman al-Zawahiri’s organization that merged into al Qaeda. He is also the leader of is al-Jihad fi Waziristan.

The Uzbak Group is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al Qaeda affiliate.

Qari Tahir Jan is Tahir Yuldashev, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. I noted on September 5 that Yuldashev was at the signing of the Waziristan Accord.

Hajji Umar is the head of the Taliban in South Waziristan. Haji Omar was a “close associates of Taliban chief Mullah Omar and assisted him in day-to-day routine governing matters” while the Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

Baitullah Mehsud is South Waziristan’s “unofficial emir.” He is related to former Guantanimo Bay detainee Abdullah Mehsud.

Saifullah Chachu is the group named after Ghulam Qadir Mughal alias Saifullah alias Chachu, the former ‘deputy chief’ of the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). Saifullah Chachu was the international wing of HuM. Mughal is dead and Saifullah Chachu is now commanded by a Chechen.

There is an intricate web of local tribes, the Taliban and al Qaeda behind the Waziristan Accord. To reiterate what I reported yesterday, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl is the only party in operation in Waziristan, and its members are sitting on the tribal jirga that judges violators of the Waziristan Accord. “A later report in the Daily Times indicates the ten suspects will be judged by a tribal jirga. One of the jirga members judging the ten is Maulana Alam, a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader. The Asia Times’ Syed Saleem Shahzad notes that JUI-F ‘is the only party still working in the two Waziristans. JUI-F keeps in close contact with the mujahideen who call themselves the Pakistani Taliban.’ JUI-F is the political apparatus of the Taliban in the tribal regions.”

The Taliban and al Qaeda, as reporter earlier this week, are expanding their influence in the tribal agencies and initiating negotiations in Bajaur. The text below is excerpted from a translation of an article in The News.

Maulana Faqir Mohammad, a wanted leader of the banned Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-i-Mohammadi (TNSM) in Bajaur Agency, has expressed his group’s readiness to hold talks with the government to ensure peace and stability in Bajaur…”The government should consider constituting a grand tribal jirga to hold talks with Islamic groups in Bajaur Agency for removing misconceptions and restoring durable peace in the area,” he stressed… “We are all Muslims and Pakistanis. We want peace and development in Bajaur and are willing to go the extra length to make that possible,” he remarked… The Maulana rejected US media claims that Osama bin Laden could be hiding in Bajaur. He said there were no signs of his presence in Bajaur. “Such reports are like shooting in the dark. The US wants to keep Pakistan government under pressure through a campaign of disinformation,” he argued. In reply to a question, Maulana Faqir Mohammad expressed his ignorance about the motives behind the roadside bomb attack that killed a female employee of NCHD and injured three of her colleagues in Bajaur. He said he had no idea as to would have done this.

The bombing attack in Bajaur is just one of repeated attacks against government employees and anti-Taliban tribals since the signing of the Waziristan Accord.

Do not mistake Faqir Mohammad for an innocent tribal and spiritual leader. He was one of the men who escaped the Damadola strike against Zawahiri in January of 2006. As I reported after the mass release of Taliban and al Qaeda detainees, Faqir Mohammed was trained by Maulana Sufi Mohammad, one of the prisoners the Pakistani government released. Sufi Mohammed organized Pakistanis to fight jihad in Afghanistan and along with the TNSM fought in Kunduz November of 2001.

The Taliban and al Qaeda have bought and paid for the local Islamists, and are controlling the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. This is the Waziristan Accord.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

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10 Comments

  • Wally Lind says:

    So we must have had plenty of contacts in this region, during the Soviet War in Afhganistan. So why not renew these contacts or make new ones, and start funding and arming tribes and groups that don’t like al Qaida or the tribes that support them? It seems clear that Bin Ladin and Mullah Omar were concerned with internal enemies like Musoud (sp), at the time of 9/11. Why not make more Masouds inside Western Pakistan? There has to be plenty of rivalry in Baluchastan and the Waziristan area. Let’s exploit it and get a nice civil war going in there, and hope it keeps them busy.
    We could do the same in Iran, in case Iraq doesn’t go our way. We could be the biggist supporter of an emerging Kurdistan, carved out of Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. We dispise Iran and Turkey has proved a worthless ally, even costing American lives in 2003. I’ll bet the Kurds could do quite well with M-1 tanks, modern artillary, and U.S. air support.

  • hamidreza says:

    //www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/22/nbattle22.xml
    The battle of Garmsar, Helmand 9/15/2006
    During the assault, he said Nato troops fired tens of thousands of rounds and called in 54 separate air strikes on Taliban positions that were sometimes closer than 100 yards. The Nato force went into the fight thinking they had a five-to-one numerical advantage, only to find that faulty intelligence meant they were outnumbered two to one.
    When American A10s directed cannon fire on the Taliban positions it was, said Langan “a low physical vibration that you felt rather than heard. It is a beautiful and very disturbing sound”. F18 jets and even B1 heavy bombers based on the Indian island of Diego Garcia dropped 2,000lb bombs on Taliban positions around them. As the bombs landed, British soldiers shouted “get some” at the enemy out of sheer relief. Correspondents attached to the Nato force saw numerous blood trails, although they rarely saw the bodies of enemy dead, which were being dragged away by Taliban fighters.
    On the first day however, they captured a Taliban fighter with a life-threatening stomach wound whose life was saved by the prompt attention of a British Army medic.
    “The medic kept him alive all night, even though this Taliban tried to grab a gun and kill him while they were caring for him,” said Mr Langan.
    During the night, the Taliban fighter’s heart stopped twice but the medic managed to revive him. In the morning, before he was airlifted out, the injured Taliban touched the forehead of the men who had saved him in respect. With intelligence reports indicating the Taliban force had been heavily reinforced by fighters coming in from across the Pakistan border, the Nato and Afghan force believed they might be overrun during the third night of fighting.
    On day three of the fighting, one of the Afghan army’s commanders, a charismatic young man who wore a bandana and T-shirt with crossed bandoliers of bullets, died leading a headlong charge against a well-fortified position defended by around 30 Taliban fighters.

  • Mark says:

    //ace.mu.nu/archives/197888.php
    Any reaction to the story on UBL’s demise?

  • Anand says:

    Bill,
    What are your thoughts on trying to persuade Iran, India and China to send troops to Afghanistan. Rich countries might partly reimburse the costs for this. Iran and India are mortal enemies of the Taliban/foreign fighters, and China is not to fond of extreme militant islamists either (but happy to free-ride on others beating up their enemies.) Why not publicly urge all of them to pony up instead of free-ride. (Iran and India are close friends with the Afghan government, most parliamentary members, Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbecs and Karzai–Iran was the first to suggest his name at the Bonn conference in 2001). India has offered troops in the past, but has been turned down because of Pakistan. Iran offered to train 20,000 Afghan troops under American supervision in 2001 and 2002.
    Bill, please offer your perspectives on this in a post.

  • al-Qaeda, Taliban behind the Waziristan Accord

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    A look at the players and organizations manipulating the Waziristan Accord
    Details continue to emerge on the Waziristan Accord and the Taliban and al-Qaeda involvement. And confirmation via the Pakistani press is receive…

  • Mullah Omar Endorses Taliban Deal With Pakistan

    The Telegraph reports Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s one-eyed leader, signed a letter explicitly endorsing the Waziristan Accord, the truce between the Pakistani authorities and pro-Taliban tribal provinces bordering Afghanistan: Tribal elders in south Waz…

  • The Mideast, 160 (September 25, 2006)

    Pakistan’s deal with rebels in Waziristan: Bill Roggio says the power behind the tribes in Waziristan who have obtained concessions from the Pakistani government are individuals with long links to the Taliban, including Mullah Omar and a host of…

  • Ken says:

    I wonder whether the pulling back of the Pakistan army from Waziristan will allow greater freedom for allied Special Forces in that area and even cross border raids from Afghanistan (hot pursuit at least). That may work to our advantage. If the Pakistani army is not in there, there won’t be a direct clash between them and us.

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  • john says:

    So we must have had plenty of contacts in this region, during the Soviet War in Afhganistan. So why not renew these contacts or make new ones, and start funding and arming tribes and groups that don’t like al Qaida or the tribes that support them? It seems clear that Bin Ladin and Mullah Omar were concerned with internal enemies like Musoud (sp), at the time of 9/11. Why not make more Masouds inside Western Pakistan? There has to be plenty of rivalry in Baluchastan and the Waziristan area. Let’s exploit it and get a nice civil war going in there, and hope it keeps them busy.

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