A Taliban commander and spokesman who claimed credit for running suicide camps and executing suicide attacks in Pakistan has been gunned down in the tribal agency of North Waziristan, according to reports from the region.
Shakirullah Shakir, a leader and spokesman for the Fedayeen-e-Islam, was shot and killed today as he was riding a motorcycle in the Miramshah area. He was killed by unknown gunmen who were traveling in a sports utility vehicle with tinted windows, Pakistani intelligence officials told Dawn. His death has not been confirmed by the Taliban.
Shakir, who is also known as Shakirullah Mehsud, serves as a commander under Qari Hussain Mehsud, the Taliban’s top trainer of suicide bombers. Qari Hussain leads the Fedayeen-e-Islam, an alliance between the Pakistani Taliban, the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and other terror groups. The Fedayeen-e-Islam is also closely linked to al Qaeda [see LWJ report, Terror alliance takes credit for Peshawar hotel assault for more information on the Fedayeen-e-Islam].
The Fedayeen-e-Islam has claimed credit for multiple suicide attacks in Pakistan. Shakir has contacted the media to claim suicide attacks. On Sept. 3, 2010, Shakir claimed that his group executed the suicide attacks in Quetta and Mardan that killed 55 Pakistanis. And on Jan. 25, Shakir claimed credit for a pair of suicide attacks on Shia worshippers in Lahore and Karachi that killed 16 Pakistanis.
Most recently, Shakir contacted the media to boast about suicide camps in North Waziristan. He claimed that more than 1,000 suicide bombers are currently being trained in the three camps that are situated in the Mir Ali area.
“We have three facilities exclusively for fedayeen,” he told The Express Tribune. “Each one has more than 350 men being trained in it.”
Shakir also admitted that the Fedayeen-e-Islam was an element of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the terror group that carries out attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is led by Hakeemullah Mehsud, attempted to carry out a car bombing in Times Square in New York City on May 1, 2010.
“Fedayeen-e-Islam is a part of the overall chain of command of the TTP but it works separately and has its own structures,” Shakir told The Express Tribune.
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