A look at the players and organizations manipulating the Waziristan Accord
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.
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.