Mullah Qari Fazlullah.
The Pakistani government has declared Swat Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah dead numerous times over the past few years, but apparently video footage has now surfaced that shows the Pakistani Taliban commander is alive, albeit recovering from a wound to the leg. Fazlullah was also reported to have been killed during fighting in Nuristan in late May, but a top Taliban leader quickly denied he was killed. From Daily Times:
A private TV channel has received the footage of the outlawed TTP Swat leader Maulvi Fazlullah, which shows him addressing his comrades, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.
The fresh footage rubbishes statements of the Pakistani and Afghan govts that the fugitive leader was killed in a clash with the armed forces. The footage revealed Fazlullah, saying that he had sent the four suicide bombers, who attacked Timar Garah some time ago. Pakistan Army and the ANP were still on their hit list, and the strength of the TTP had not been lessened, the channel reported.
According to sources, it was the first footage, which had been released by Fazlullah himself. The footage showed the injured leg of the Taliban leader, due to which he was walking slowly, which confirmed the news that he received a bullet in his leg.
Fazlullah is known as Mullah FM and Mullah Radio for the incendiary speeches he used to give over his illegal FM radio station. On the radio, Fazlullah called for the imposition of sharia, or Islamic law, and railed against anti-polio campaigns for children, calling the vaccine an attempt to sterilize Muslim youth.
Incidentally, a Taliban commander known as Qari Sohail, who is a close aide to Fazlullah, surrendered to the government over the past few days. Sohail ran Fazlullah’s FM stations.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.