Pakistani Taliban threaten Pakistani state after Osama bin Laden’s death

The Pakistani Taliban have put the Pakistani state at the top of their hit list after US special operations and CIA forces killed Osama bin Laden at a fortified mansion in Abbottabad. From Reuters:

“Now Pakistani rulers, President Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target,” Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Ihsan’s threat is very likely not an empty one. Osama bin Laden was revered in Pakistani Taliban and wider jihadist circles, just as were two radical clerics, Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and Maulana Abdullah Aziz who co-ran the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad up until July 2007. President Musharraf launched an assault on the Red Mosque after the clerics began enforcing sharia and kidnapping government officials. Rasheed was killed and Ghazi was jailed. The Red Mosque raid caused several disparate jihadist groups to unite and wage a massive terror campaign against the Pakistani state. These terror groups also allied with al Qaeda to carry out attacks. Top al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, and Abu Yahya al Libi called for jihad against the Pakistani state and aided in organizing the Pakistani Taliban as well as launching attacks.

By April 2009, almost 10 percent of Pakistan was under effective control of the Taliban, while wave after wave of high-profile terror attacks were launched against security forces, the government, and civilians alike.

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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  • mike says:

    Wait, if UBL was under ISI protection, and ISI is an instrument of the Pakistani state, wouldn’t the Pakistani state be an ally of these groups? Or do they consider ISI as their friends and everyone else in the State apparatus as their enemies? Or do they merely play this game for propaganda purposes, as a way to channel anger at the ineptitude of the Pakistani government amongst the populace?
    See, from where I sit, as an American, ISI is the enemy, and as it is an arm of the Pakistani state, the Pakistani state is also the enemy. I know our government tries to split hairs on this issue because a war to destroy the Terrorist State of Pakistan would be too expensive and difficult and politically impossible without first having a Pakistani nuclear bomb exploding in New York or Washington, but it seems strange to me that the main beneficiaries of the Terrorist State of Pakistan seem so eager to bite the hand that feeds it.

  • honjj says:

    the TTP’s first target has always been Pakistan, hey ISI, next time you help build an Osama bin laden hide out, think about how many Pakistanis have died at the hands of both “good” and “bad” taliban,
    open up your eyes, the Taliban only want one thing, power, and you Pakistanis are standing in their way. and your ISI are helping them kill your own people…
    catch a clue Pakistan, the US isn’t going to keep helping you for ever, if you only knew how many markets filled with women and children that the Taliban planned to bomb but were stopped by US drone strikes, you would cry. Pakistan, you need to change or continue to bleed. root out the ISI taliban. they are your worst enemies.
    for gods sake the ISI let them build a compound right next to the rest of the ISI elite… seriously wake the hell up.

  • Spooky says:

    mike- The ISI is a state within the state. You make the presumption that the ISI is the arm of the Pakistani State…it’s actually the other way around.
    But yes, ISI is indeed the enemy.

  • My2Cents says:

    Given that the assault was carried out by US forces inside Pakistan there has got to be some kind of quid-pro-quo involved Pakistani government and the ISI in particular. Probably either a promise of no residual US forces in Afghanistan after the withdrawal or a veto right for Pakistan on any peace treaty in Afghanistan.

  • jayc says:

    One of the Israelis favorite sayings is: “there never is a bad time to take out a good terrorist.” Of course they are going to be mad about this. What do we do? Not take him out for what he did to us? Let these madmen know that they are subject to the same treatment. “All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  • Charu says:

    I sure hope that this successful outcome is not viewed by the administration or the American public as a convenient excuse to get out of AfPak. This is just the first volley in the battle to crush Islamic extremism. Whether AfPak is able to break out of Islamic fundamentalism and create a viable functioning democratic state is not as important as keeping the jihadis from securing safe territory to launch new terror attacks on the west.
    Of course it would greatly help to have a democratic civilian government in charge and (most importantly) in full control of this volatile region, but this seems to be a losing proposition so long as the powerful Pakistani military is running the show behind the scene, and the majority of the population support their rogue military and the religious extremism that it nurtures. We need to maintain our presence just to contain these forces of terror. A military stalemate in AfPak is anytime preferable over a repeat of a 9-11; sponsored this time by a more capable (and nuclear-armed) militarized state. Finish the job, Mr. Obama!

  • Paul says:

    Bring it on moron…..give us a reason to come in and clean house with or without Pak approval. One more attack on us and you will join your friend in hell. No virgins….only fire.

  • Baloch says:

    Again one of the favorite ISI tactics. Taliban statement is actually helping pakistani military to save their face. its to give the impression ( to western audience) that its actually Pakistani military facing the burnt of the war. which obviously is not the case. though i sympathize with ordinary citizens but Pakistani Military has outgrown the state even. Stop Aiding Pakistani.

  • Adam Bell says:

    Ihsan’s threat to Pakistani rulers and America are emty. If the TTP (Talibane Movement of Pakistan) had serious plans and the risk of such operation was high – they will never prepare the Pakistan and America for such attacs.
    “The cow which lows a lot, gives small milk”.
    Pakistan and America will be safe as long as their security agencies will do their best.

  • Isn’t it useful with the elections planned that Bin Laden is found deceased today?


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