Shakirullah Shakir, a spokesman for the Fedayeen-e-Islam, a terrorist group in Pakistan, recently claimed that his group has trained more than 1,000 suicde bombers at camps in North Waziristan. From The Express Tribune:
Pakistani Taliban have claimed that they are running three secret camps in South and North Waziristan tribal regions close to the Afghan border to train potential suicide bombers with their total strength exceeding 1,000.
“We have three facilities exclusively for fidayeen (suicide bombers). Each one has more than 350 men being trained in it,” a purported spokesperson for the little-known Fidayeen-e-Islam Group of the Taliban, told The Express Tribune from a secret location in North Waziristan.
The man, who identified himself as Shakirullah Shakir, added that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Hakimullah Mehsud had recently separated the operations of suicide bombers from the overall activities of the group.
“Fidayeen-e-Islam is a part of the overall chain of command of the TTP but it works separately and has its own structures,” Shakir said but gave little details of the working relationship between the mainstream Taliban leadership and the group handling suicide bombers.
Shakir confirmed a statement from a would-be child suicide bomber who was captured before he could detonate at a Sufi Shrine in the district of Dera Ghazni Khan in Punjab province. On April 8, the teenage boy claimed he trained at a camp near Mir Ali in North Waziristan.
Shakir has emerged once in the past to claim credit for a pair of suicide attacks on Shia worshippers in Lahore and Karachi on Jan. 25.
The Fedayeen-e-Islam is an alliance between the Pakistani Taliban, the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammed. For more on the terror group, see LWJ report, Suicide bombers kill 16 Pakistanis in attacks in Lahore, Karachi. Qari Hussain Mehsud, the so-called trainer of suicide bombers who instructed the failed Times Square bomber, is a top leader of the Fedayeen-e-Islam.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.