New Taliban chief threatens US

The new leader of the Paistani Taliban threatened to strike back at the US for killing Baitullah Mehsud in a Predator attack earlier last month.

“We will take revenge and soon,” Hakeemullah Mehsud, who was chosen to lead the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan last weekend, told AFP. “We will give our reply to this drone attack to America.”

The Taliban claimed Baitullah died on Aug. 23 of wounds suffered during the Aug. 5 airstrike that also killed his second wife and seven of his bodyguards. Hakeemullah and Baitullah were cousins; Baitullah helped Hakeemullah quickly rise through the ranks of the Taliban.

Any attack would likely take place inside Pakistan. A successful attack would help cement Hakeemullah’s position as the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

Hakeemullah is one of the Taliban’s most able military commanders who also has the ability to conduct large-scale terror attacks. His forces were behind the capture of an entire company of Pakistani Army soldiers as well as the campaign against NATO supplies moving through Khyber and Peshawar.

Hakeemullah is also closely linked to Punjabi terror groups and al Qaeda. Members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Mohammed, al Qaeda, and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas banded together and formed a group called the Fedayeen-e-Islam.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is an anti-Shia terror group with an extensive network in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi serves as the muscle for al Qaeda and Taliban terror attacks.

Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Punjab-based terror group that was formed to wage jihad against the Indians in Kashmir.

The Fedayeen-e-Islam took credit for the deadly September 2008 suicide attack on the Islamabad Marriott Hotel, the March 2009 storming of a police station in Lahore, and the June 2009 complex suicide attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel.

Senior leaders of the Fedayeen-e-Islam include Qari Hussain Mehsud, a former senior deputy to Baitullah who trains child suicide bombers; Qari Mohammed Zafar, the operational commander of the September 2008 attack on the Islamabad Marriott; Asmatullah Moaviya, another former senior aide to Baitullah who was reportedly arrested in Mianwali in Punjab province; and Rana Afzal.

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



  • zotz says:

    This announcement, I think, is to boost the morale of his soldiers. They have to be thinking that if the commanding Emir is vulnerable to the drones then they all are. Psychologically, it is a major defeat for them. Now Hakeemullah has to follow through on his threat or he will lose face. If he tells the enemy that he is going to attack and then doesn’t do it effectively the Taliban will seem impotent. In my opinion, it is a poor tactic. A real leader will attack first and then brag about it.

  • KaneKaizer says:

    Yeah, Baitullah declared he would attack the US too, and falsely took credit for the shootings in Binghamton earlier this year. If anything he’ll try to kill US troops in Afghanistan or any Americans he can find in Pakistan.

  • Alek Pierchalski says:

    Hakeemullah was killed by his rival several days ago, the new Taliban cheif Waliur Rehman Mehsud. At least according to Fox News.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Alek, Hakeemullah and Waliur conduct a joint phone call to several media outlets yesterday. See here:

  • Alek says:

    Yeah I didn’t believe it either, but they just go ahead and spread rumors anyway. That only helps the Taliban in my opnion.

  • Render says:

    The level of disinformation coming out of all versions of the major mass media and academia has gone beyond critical mass.
    Turn off the TV, cancel the subscriptions.

  • JT says:

    Hakeemullah’s communication was only via telephone. Was there valid confirmation similar to what the CIA does for bin Laden tapes?

  • Avatar says:

    Now explain again how these anti-shia guys are linked to Iran?
    Who funds these groups? bing, bing…. BING! My detector bings on Saudi funds. Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Punjab-based terror group funded by the Saudi Wahabi government. Is this well known fact not so? Have we forgotten from where the 9/11 attackers came from? Seems we are killing a bunch of families for what? Wait, maybe it has nothing to do with 9/11 anymore.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/27/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    Good grief. How does an entire COMPANY of allegedly professional soldiers become captured? The Pak army must resemble F Troop.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    Avatar raises a salient point regarding Saudi menace. They are the bank behind every evil thing ransacking that region and prospectively the world. The House of Saud is a menace: One of the worst regimes in human history with the finest PR juggernaut. They are like the Mario Puza mafia dons who eat dinner with you, hug you, then send in the Luca Brasi to kill you.

  • Rhyno327 says:

    gotta agree, oil $$ is flowing to our enemies. W/ without the help of the Saud fam. Private donations to help the “moslem cause”flow from the Gulf states. Maybe in ’03 we invaded the wrong country? In any event, this guy has gotta go. Bet the ISI know where he is..


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