Taliban suicide bombing master Qari Hussain Mehsud speaks


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, the cousin of slain Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, popped up from hiding and conducted an interview with the Associated Press. Qari Hussain is the Taliban leader who is known for running suicide camps that train children. From the AP:

“Our movement has gained more strength after the martyrdom of Baitullah Mehsud,” he said. “We are united.”

The militant commander, who appeared to be in his 40s and had a curly black beard and moustache, was surrounded by dozens of other militants and local residents. At one point, he assured those gathered that Islam allowed suicide bombings.

The AP was given the interview on condition it not reveal the meeting’s exact location and wait a day before publishing the remarks.

The commander said he had been appointed the latest spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban’s new chief, Hakimullah Mehsud. He also acknowledged that he was leading a group of suicide bombers known as the “Fidayeen-e-Islam,” and said the attackers were ready to give their lives if Pakistan proceeds with offensives in the tribal areas.

“We have enough suicide bombers, and they are asking me to let them sacrifice their lives in the name of Islam, but we will send suicide bombers only if the government acts against us,” he said.

Qari Hussain also gave a big nod to the jihadi leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan:

Qari Hussain Mehsud also praised al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Afghan Taliban head Mullah Omar as heroes of Islam.

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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