The Taliban Regroups in Bajaur

Executions, rebuilding of madrassa, further anti-government statements issued in wake of Chingai airstrke; more Taliban assassinations in Waziristan

NWFP/FATA. Click map to view.

Less than a week after the airstrike that destroyed the Chingai madrassa housing Taliban fighters and serving as an al Qaeda training camp, local al Qaeda chieftain Faqir Mohammad continues to openly flaunt his control of the region. Faqir’s Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat -e-Mohammed, essentially a Bajaur wing of the Taliban, has executed it second ‘spy’ for his purported role in the attack.

“The bullet-riddled, mutilated body of local tribesman Mohammed Jan Khan was found on a dry stream bed in a mountainous area near Chingai village,” reports Dawn “Three tribesmen who saw the body said it had a note in Pushto language attached to it, saying Khan had been spying for American and Pakistan troops in the area for a long time and had been under observation.” The first ‘spy’ was killed immediately after Monday’s attack. Faqir’s associates openly took responsibility for both the murders, but the Pakistani government is powerless to enforce the law.

Meanwhile, members of the Northwest Frontier Province assembly “marched from the Assembly Hall to the main entrance amid slogans of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and ‘al-jihad, al-jihad’ to protest against the army airstrike on a madrassa in Bajaur Agency and for showing solidarity with the people of the area.” Jamaat-e-Islami has promised to provide the funds to rebuild the Chingai madrassa. Pakistan’s terrorist organizations and Islamist political parties continue to work to the same ends.

The Pakistani government is still willing to cut a peace deal with the Bajaur Taliban. Faqir’s negotiators will extract their pound of flesh. Already demands are being made that no airstrikes are carried out in the future. “It is therefore very important that the government gives its word to prevent any more such incidents, before the tribe agrees to resume peace efforts,” said Malik Abdul Aziz, the chief tribal negotiator.

The Bajaur Taliban wants the same deal given to the Taliban and al Qaeda in the Waziristan Accord, as it gave the terrorists free reign over the region. In North Waziristan, the Taliban and al Qaeda continue their rampage. A tribal leader was executed in South Waziristan. Another “American spy” was brutally murdered and beheaded. “The Maulvi was an American spy and all of you will face this (fate) if you follow him,” according a note pinned to his body. The Taliban is now codifying their policy of assassinating ‘spies’ and punishing criminals in direct opposition to the terms of the Waziristan Accord.

Meanwhile, local Taliban in Wana on Friday addressed a local jirga on new rules to punish collaborators and criminals. They informed the 300-strong congregation of tribal elders that they would first warn a collaborator’s family of the consequences of working for the Americans. But if the suspect continued spying, he would be executed. Separately, seven men convicted of banditry by the Taliban were paraded in a Wana bazaar after having had their hair torn out in fistfuls as punishment.

Dawn confirms al Qaeda plotted the Musharraf coup plot from North Waziristan. “An Al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), based in Mirali in North Waziristan, had approved the plot before the Pakistani masterminds executed it in early October. ‘While the fingers were in Islamabad, the tail was in Mirali,’ the investigator said requesting anonymity. Investigations and interrogation of the suspects have led the government to conclude that the IJG leader, Yakhyo aka Nadzhmiddin Kamilidinovich Janov, an Uzbek militant said to be residing in Mirali, a sub-district of the North Waziristan tribal region, had given the go-ahead to the plotters to carry out the attacks.”

Pakistan’s border regions are no longer under even nominal control of the government. The fact the Pakistani government [or at least according to them] called in an airstrike on their own territory proves this. As western Pakistan continues to slide under Taliban and al Qaeda control, the concern rises over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

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



  • Thanos says:

    Bill so far your analysis of the Waziristan pact has been much closer to the mark than mine, kudos on the good work.
    I still think it wasn’t a terrible move, it’s shaken up the static equation and certainly made things happen. Over a longer period the net effect might be good, e.g. if Musharraf has the spine to really use the free-hand the breaking of the accord has given him. Since you aren’t going to be in KC anytime soon in honor of the wager I threw 100 bucks in the kitty for your embed.
    One other thing I am thinking on: with the coming elections I am seeing both Muhammed Al Durani and Sherpao out a lot more than in the past. I wonder if Mushy plans to step back knowing he can’t win, and Sherpao or Durani might be the leader of Pak after the ’07 elections?

  • remoteman says:

    It is as though these guys are painting a target on themselves. If the US is hit again in any kind of significant way, these tribal areas are going to be toast. They will be bombed into the stone age…or farther into the stone age than they already are.
    Great analysis as usual Bill. Glad to see you are back at 4th Rail.


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