Pakistani Taliban leader vows to conduct attacks in Afghanistan


Faqir Mohammed. Click image to view slideshow of Taliban leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With two peace deals signed between the Taliban and the Pakistani government in the northern areas of the Northwest Frontier Province, and progress being made with negotiations in South Waziristan, the Pakistani government is touting its three-point plan to “end militancy.” The Taliban, meanwhile, say they will continue to attack NATO and allied forces in Afghanistan.

During a funeral for a slain local journalist today in the Bajaur tribal agency, Faqir Mohammed said the Taliban would continue to strike at NATO and allied forces inside Afghanistan, as is their religious duty. “We will not attack government positions and whoever indulges in such an attack will be treated as an enemy,” Faqir said, addressing 5,000 mourners and supporters of the Taliban. “We are Muslims and the enemy of infidels. We will continue our jihad in Afghanistan as long as the foreign allied forces are there.”

Faqir’s vow to attack US forces comes the same day as Pakistan’s foreign minister said the government has “a comprehensive strategy to address militancy and terrorism and our strategy has three broad elements: political, socio-economic and military.”

“We believe that military action alone will not be effective in permanently ending the phenomenon of terrorism,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. “We are reaching out to the tribal leaders and notables as part of the political element of our overall strategy in fight against terrorism.”

Qureshi said this program would halt attacks both inside and outside of Pakistan. “The political engagement is possible only with those who renounce militancy and violence; don’t allow the use of Pakistan’s territory against any other country; and do not help foreign terrorist elements to find hideouts in Pakistan’s territory,” the Associated Press of Pakistan reported based on Qureshi’s statements.

Red agencies/ districts controlled by the Taliban; purple is de facto control; yellow is under threat.

Faqir Mohammed’s statements, as well as the action of the Taliban, will prove to be an embarrassment for the Pakistani government. The US and Afghanistan have expressed grave concerns about the negotiations with the Taliban, and believe the agreements will do little to curb terrorism both inside and outside of Pakistan’s borders. The Pakistani government has vigorously defended its policies.

NATO has reported a marked increase in attacks since the agreements were signed and is sending reinforcements to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan in an attempt to halt the flow of Pakistani and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.

Background on Faqir Mohammed

Faqir is the second in command of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan – the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan – and the leader of the Taliban contingent in the Bajaur tribal agency. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan encompasses Taliban movements in the tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan, Khyber, Orakazi, Bajaur, Mohmand, and Kurram, as well as the settled districts of Swat, Bannu, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohistan, Buner, and the Malakand division. The Pakistani Taliban is led by Baitullah Mehsud, who is currently in negotiations with the government.

Faqir is also the leader of the formerly outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM – the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law). The TNSM was banned by the Pakistani government in 2002. The terror group has been implicated in terrorist activity inside the country, including a suicide attack on Pakistani Army training base in Dargai in the Northwest Frontier Province in October 2006. The attack killed over 45 soldiers. Faqir has sheltered Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command. An attack in Damadola in January 2006 on Faqir’s compound was aimed at Zawahiri.

In October 2006, an airstrike on the Chingai madrassa, which doubled as a Taliban training camp, killed up to 84 Taliban, including Liaquat Hussain, the leader of the madrassa, and Faqir’s deputy. The attack came just days before the expected signing of the Bajaur Accord in October 2006.

Just prior to the Chingai raid, Faqir openly praised al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Faqir referred to bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar as “heroes of the Muslim world,” and he vowed joint efforts to fight the “enemies of peace” in the Bajaur Agency. Faqir calls the United States the enemy of peace. Under the leadership of Faqir Mohammed, Bajaur has become an al Qaeda command and control center that is used to launch operations into eastern Afghanistan. Kunar, the Afghan province that borders Bajaur, is one of the most violent in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government inked a peace deal with Faqir in March 2007, which the Taliban broke shortly afterward.

For more information on the terms of the peace agreements, see:

Pakistani government inks peace deal with Swat Taliban

Pakistan is negotiating a new peace agreement with Baitullah Mehsud (South Waziristan)

Pakistan releases Taliban leader, signs peace deal with outlawed Taliban group (Bajaur, Malakand Division)

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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  • KaneKaizer says:

    I remember those October 2006 bombings, both the suicide bombing and the strike on the training camp. I doubt Pakistan will ever be serious about fighting the Taliban though. All the more reason to conduct more strikes inside Waziristan ourselves.

  • KnightHawk says:

    Sounds like a good time for some more magic boots falling from the sky to stomp on groupings of these rodents.

  • irhab mahmud says:

    Nice analysis. Thank you for your insight. Increasing coverage of your activities (radio, etc.) is very encouraging.
    Knighthawk, where are those boots going to go? Where do you start? Hope you, or those like you, get a chance soon.
    Good Hunting.

  • RVN68Mike says:

    Little magic birds in the sky calling in 1000 lb presents with no worries about a border and we can win any where no matter what rules the other guy thinks apply!

  • irhab mahmud says:

    1000 pounds is about 999.9 pounds too much unless you want to make more enemies than you eliminate.
    The border is noexistant for both them and us, this fact is well known by all, but you start killing women and children in a soverign contry, sans plausible deniablity (and who else has JDAMS lying around) and you should expect the animosity, not the friendship, of our earstwile good friend the Pashtun. Ask Marcus.
    Good Hunting.

  • abid shah says:

    This is ground reality that pakistan army is just playing with these talibans militants. Up till no serious action or operation has been carried out and army is full of soldiers supporting or loving Talibans. They believe that talibans are fighting holy war and killing them is sin. This is the reason that war against terrorism is not successful and the network is growing day by day.

  • Colawman says:

    I would like to respectfully disagree with abid shah. It appears that just the opposite is occuring. The tactics of terrorist and oppresive acts like those of AQ and the Taliban are being defeated from within the populace. To think otherwise is to ignore the actions of “The Awakening” in Iraq. AQ has suffered greatly due to the citizenry tiring of their homicidal acts against fellow muslims. Once Iraq is stabilized additional assets can be directed to Afghanistan. Winning hearts and minds ( American tactics) is far more effective than oppressing and brutalizing the populace (Taliban tactics)

  • Old Sailor says:

    I hate to say the obvious, but if Al-queda is successful in exploding nuclear weapons in American cities, and it is confirmed that Osama was responsible, based in Pakistan, then the only acceptable response by the United States must be war with Pakistan, who willfully allowed these terrorists to hatch and grow with their “peace agreements”. I will let your own imagination run with what kind of weapons should be employed by the US in the event of such a horrible catastrophe in our country.

  • KW64 says:

    Re: Old Sailor
    If Al Queda hits the US with nukes, the real target will be whoever supplied the nukes to them. I expect that Pakistan will allow the US to pursue Al Queda and even offer some marginal assistance to pursue them in the tribal lands if they thought the alternative was an all out war with the US. Notice how they offered passive assistance after 9/11

  • Old Sailor says:

    See the above link for a chilling story on Al-queda’s plot to detonate 7 nuclear weapons in American cities. According to this story, the Pakistanis, in particular the scientists associated with Khan the father of the Islamic Bomb in Pakistan, have already given nuclear technology to Bin Laden, and are in fact already responsible for whatever may happen in the future. There is no other country that we need to look to for responsibility in the event of a nuclear strike in the US.
    The potential scenarios are horrific: 1) carpet-bomb North and South Waziristan with 20-megaton nukes until all the Jihadis are dead? 2) Invade Pakistan on the ground? 3) Declare defeat and convert to Islam? What would you do as President of the US if you had 1 to 20 million dead Americans after a terrorist nuclear strike?
    We had better put the Pakistani government on notice that if such as scenario occurs, that there will be consequences so horrific that they cannot even imagine it. That should give them some incentive to go after Bin Laden and subdue N and S Waziristan with a little more zeal.

  • KW64 says:

    Re: Pakistan giving Al Queda nukes:
    I would also suspect Iran if such an event occurred. They do not like Al Queda or us. They may feel like they can get both of us to cripple each other while they laugh. If we wiped out Pakistan also, that would just be another powerful neighbor taken down and a stronger position for them when America goes home.

  • Old Sailor says:

    Well, we’ve got enough nukes to go around for both of them…

  • Colawman says:

    What was the kite count over abparra (sic) market this Bassant, and shortly thereafter? There any kite flyin’ goin on out there?
    Regardless of your conclusion, good analysis. Better to have dicussions like this than one that includes nukes on mud huts.
    Irhab Mahmud

  • colawman says:

    Irhab Mahmud,
    I am not sure what you are referencing. I know that there was a terrorist bombing at the Market in the summer of 2007, which closed it down for awhile, if that is what you are talking about, I believe it supports my points. The tactics employed by AQ and the Taliban are effective in bringing civilians to their knees in fear. But it is not without limits. Eventually, even those who are allied with them will sicken of innocents being killed, raped, and mutilated. Obviously the opposite is occurring in Pakistan as they try Neville Chamberlain tactics to bring peace.
    The United States does not indiscriminately kill civilians by dropping large amounts of munitions from the sky. Most of the munitions from above are precision or smart weapons that can surgically remove those that need to be struck down.
    Now, all bets are off if we pull out of Iraq too soon. If we remain and Iraq is able to excel as Germany and Japan did after WWII then that region of the world will reap the benefits of freedom.
    And that my friend is what frightens AQ, Iran, and the Taliban. They cannot survive if Iraq becomes a successful and prosperous democracy.
    I prefer to ignore counting kites in a war zone. People are effected by the acts of terrorism, no surprise here. But I assure you there are far more people praying to God that peace will come, than those praying for war.

  • Irhab Mahmud says:

    Abparra (sic?) market is in Islamabad, which, depending on your point of view is, or is not, in a war zone. Abparra is the oldest market in Islamabad and home to the Lal Masjid. Kite flying in the area is, of course, banned. By sitting on the roof of your hotel (which, if you are not locked in some FOB or at the diplomatic compound, is possible) you can get an approximation of how scared the people are.
    Anyway, thanks for the note. Good to see you have read a little history. If you are serving our country, all the best and stay safe.
    Ihrab Mahmud

  • Colawman says:

    My son is the one serving. I did my stint and have since devoted 30 years to LE. Reading everything possible awaiting my sons return from his second tour in Iraq. Take Care.


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