Qari Hussain Mehsud

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Scores of children train to become suicide bombers at a camp run by Qair Hussain in Spinkai, South Waziristan. Image courtesy of AfPax Insider.

Qari Hussain Mehsud is a senior Taliban commander who trains suicide bombers. He is the senior deputy of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and is considered a possible successor. He also is a cousin of Baitullah and Taliban commander Hakeemullah Mehsud.

Qari Hussain is based out of South Waziristan and is an ally of al Qaeda in Pakistan. He runs camps in South Waziristan that train children to become suicide bombers. Children as young as seven years old are indoctrinated to wage jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a video taken at one of his camps in Spinkai showed.

The Pakistani military demolished Qari Hussain’s suicide nursery during a short offensive against the Taliban in Spinkai in January 2008. The military launched a short operation after Taliban forces commanded by Baitullah overran two military outposts and conducted attacks against other forts and military convoys in the tribal agency.

The military seized numerous documents and training materials in the demolished camp. In May, a senior Pakistani general described the previous camp as a suicide “factory” for children.

The Pakistani military reported that Qari Hussain was killed in January 2008, based on intercepted Taliban communications. The military later reiterated that claim during the tour of the Spinkai camp on May 18, 2008.

Five days later, Qari Hussain mocked the military during a press conference held at a government school building in South Waziristan. “I am alive, don™t you see me?” Qari Hussain taunted.

Qari Hussain rebuilt his child training camps in South Waziristan sometime in the spring or summer of 2008.

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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