Hakeemullah alive?


Hakeemullah Mehsud in a US Humvee looted from a NATO supply column in Khyber.

First Hakeemullah was dead, US and Pakistani officials said. Now he’s alive, an anonymous Pakistani intelligence official told Dawn:

A senior government functionary has told DawnNews on condition of anonymity that Hakeemullah Mehsud may have survived a drone strike.

The official also maintained that another Taliban leader, Qari Hussain, may also be alive.

The government has not officially confirmed the speculations about his death.

The rumor mill from Pakistan is in full gear. One report even claimed that Qari Hussain Mehsud, the master trainer of suicide bombers, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban in South Waziristan, are also dead. The report on Qari Hussain is flat out odd as he spoke to a Pakistani television station on Sunday to deny Hakeemullah is dead. Perhaps Osama bin Laden, Elvis, and the Easter Bunny were also killed in the same strike….

The Taliban have maintained that Hakeemullah is alive, but his spokesman said that Hakeemullah will not release a tape after each and every report of his death. But Hakeemullah, who cannot be accused of being media shy, hasn’t been seen or heard from since his “I’m alive” audiotape made on Jan. 16, two days after a US airstrike targeted him and reports indicated he was dead.

As I’ve noted, reports of Hakeemullah’s death are premature and we won’t know either way until the Taliban want us to know. At this stage, everything else is speculation.

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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  • DANNY says:

    I say we vote. I vote he is dead…

  • Mr T says:

    Looks like Cheech & Chong in that Humvee.

  • Civy says:

    Bugs Bunny has issued a press release that the Easter Bunny is alive and well, but that the Disney-i-Talibani will not compromise operational security each time the projector bulb burns out! ;D

  • BraddS says:

    He’s resting comfortably in a shallow grave…

  • Peacock says:

    I vote he is dead, too.
    And, for the record, Bill, I think it is irresponsible for you to speculate that the Easter Bunny could have been killed in the strike; he and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan don’t see eye-to-eye on Easter and, even if they did, he would not be idling away his time in Aurakzai with holiday preparations presumably in full swing.

  • scott says:

    Not the Easter Bunny!! Oh the humanity!
    We will know when we know. But it sure does smell a lot like when we killed Baitullah, aka the Baitman. Cause he is now helping worms grow.

  • Daniel says:

    I’m going to call this one dead. If wounds from the first strike didn’t get him, the second strike did. It’s time for the next tough guy to step up and claim the title, #1 hellfire bullseye.

  • Hanging on every word says:

    Not dead. Resting. Pining for the fiords.
    Be awfully glad if I’m wrong, though.

  • Bulls Eye says:

    He wasn’t killed, but because he was soooo close to being killed and probably saw a few buddies blown away, he is now hiding and since he’s so scared and shocked by his near escape, he’s really gone to ground this time, hopefully I’m wrong and he’s under the ground…

  • Spooky says:

    He ain’t dead. He’s OBL 2.0

  • T Ruth says:

    No smoke without fire
    No smokescreens without liars.
    Take your pick
    National characteristic.

  • Raf says:

    The Hakimullah that I’ve always seen is the one who lets everyone know he’s in command or has one upped the enemy in some way… Remember the captured American humvee on Frontline? How about when he held court after Baitullah bought it? And let’s not forget the the martyrdom video with the doctor from the CIA attack… If he’s not dead, he came pretty close and is afraid of everything and everyone around him. So, who wants to be the next leader of the TTP?


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