Turkish jihadist commander executed by the Taliban in Waziristan: report


Abu Zarr, from the jihadist website that announced his execution.

A Turkish jihadist commander who fought in the Caucasus for 15 years before arriving in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas was executed recently by the Taliban.

Abu Zarr, who is also known as Serdal Erbasi, was executed in the Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan for ordering the deaths of two “foreign fighters,” according to a Turkish jihadist website. Two of his followers, who carried out the deaths of the foreign fighters, were also executed along with Abu Zarr.

The “Sharia court of the Waziristan-Uruzgan region” ordered Abu Zarr’s execution after accusing him of ordering the murders of Samil Dagistanli and Ismail Azeri, two other jihadists from the Caucasus, presumably from the Russian republic of Dagestan, and Azerbaijan. Dagistanli and Azeri were in opposition to Abu Zarr after he split off from the Taifatul Mansura, or the Victorious Sect, due to a dispute over money received from outside of the region. According to the Taliban sharia court, Abu Zarr ordered two of his followers to kill Dagistanli and Azeri.

The jihadist website, which is supportive of Abu Zarr, claimed that “plots were hatched full of sedition and disinformation about Abu Zarr who was in disagreement with some groups,” and that he was executed by the Taliban because he was “uncontrollable.”

Abu Zarr is known to have entered the Afghan-Pakistan border area from the Caucasus sometime in late 2008. According to the jihadist website, he “previously took part in the jihad within the borders of Chechnya for 15 years, acted as the leader of a group of Turkish mujahideen, and went to Afghanistan after parting ways with the movement named the ‘Caucasus Emirate.'” The Caucasus Emirate was designated by the US as a terrorist entity, and some of its top leaders have connections to al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in the region.

Abu Zarr was reportedly arrested in January 2010 during a raid in southern Turkey. Turkish officials described him as the leader of al Qaeda’s network in Turkey.

The Victorious Sect is a transnational Turkic jihadist group that operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border and is based in North Waziristan. Abu Zarr was a commander in the Victorious Sect before he formed his splinter faction. He has been featured in their propaganda. In one tape, released on YouTube, Abu Zarr is seen planning and executing mortar attacks in Afghanistan.

The Victorious Sect was established in 2009 by the Islamic Jihad Union, a splinter faction of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, to accommodate the increasing influx of European foreign fighters in the region, according to DPA. Scores of German and other European fighters belong to the Victorious Sect. They are often called the German Taliban or the German Taliban Mujahideen.

The Victorious Sect has issued multiple statements from Pakistan’s tribal areas. In June 2010, Abu Yasir al Turki, the spokesman for the the group announced the deaths of two al Qaeda fighters and a Turkish fighter in a US Predator strike in North Waziristan. The Victorious Sect also announced the death of Eric Breininger, a German member of the Islamic Jihad Union who was killed while fighting Pakistani security forces during a clash near Mir Ali in North Waziristan on April 30, 2010.

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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  • Wasn’t this guy arrested in Turkey last year as the supposed head of Al Qaeda operations in that country? And the Russians started racking up a lot of HVT kills in the wake of his capture?
    Winner of the Fu Manchu lookalike contest.
    If its the same guy, and (not another faux picture issued by jihadi propagandists.) I’ll venture a guess that he was flipped, and the Turks (or the CIA) were attempting to infiltrate him with a ‘catch & release’ excuse into the upper echelons of Al Qaeda. The jihadists didn’t buy it and capped him a la Colonel Imam.

  • sports says:

    LOL! I don’t usually laugh about people dying…but, now they are killing each other. I guess I chuckle because I fail to understand the logic.

  • David Verbryke says:

    I am not malicious about the passing of death, as it is the worst thing in the world, but these jihadists who fancy themselves shaheeds deserve the end of a Kalasnikov or a Saracen sword over their head. They have caused THOUSANDS of people to die and when they get it, and we don’t have to participate, we don’t have to expend energy, money or our valiant men or women. May the destroy each other.

  • Soccer says:

    “The Victorious Sect also announced the death of Eric Breininger, a German member of the Islamic Jihad Union who was killed while fighting Pakistani security forces during a clash near Mir Ali in North Waziristan on April 30, 2010.”
    Bill, you *MUST* clarify this or go into detail. So you are saying Pak. security forces have a presence in NWA, and that they do fight the militants whenever they can? I hope so, because there is about 36,000 soldiers INSIDE North Waziristan right now and I don’t see why they just don’t launch that operation already….
    I hope they kill many more militants in NWA in the future.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    I said no such thing. Eric Breininger was killed while assaulting a Pakistani installation near Mir Ali.
    The PakMil has troops in North Waziristan (Miramshah is a garrison town) but they don’t attack the Taliban. The PakMil adheres by the peace agreement and doesn’t confront the Taliban.
    Also, the PakMil claimed there are 40,000 troops in North Waziristan. I’d love to know where they are.
    Don’t hold your breath while waiting for that operation.

  • PaglWalla says:

    Article from Dawn News that echoes the above, but with some very intriguing differences.
    @Soccer and others “wishing” for an operation in Nwaz: “you can wish in one hand…. ”
    Bottom Line: It’s not in PAK or PAKMIL interests to conduct this operation, and won’t be for a long time.
    PAKMIL and Kayani specifically are still reeling from the evening of 1 May 2011. Meaningful progress in Mohmand Agency in the last 96+ hours is helpful to restore respect/order to the PAKMIL’s house, but it will be a long time before respect is restored to PAKMIL in the eyes of its public and junior officer corps- – neither of the latter two groups will tolerate an operational failure by the PAKMIL at this time.
    A NWaz operation would draw the ire of militants who heretofore won’t attack inside Pakistan; conducting a full-scale, named operation would amount to picking a playground fight with a kid whose best friends are offensive linemen on the school football team- – it may go well initially, but you’re destined for an ass-kicking in the worst way. This is not lost on PAKMIL leadership. Don’t confuse American interests for Pakistani interests, or think that we can go in and buy their cooperation through aide/equipment.
    The larger the PAKMIL presence in Miran Shah, the easier for them to point out their limited “search operations” in NWaz to pacify loud-mouths in DC. They’re doing just enough to get you to cross your fingers, but they speak with forked tongues.
    Thanks for the hard work Bill. Please keep it up.
    – J

  • Max says:

    Maybe the 40,000 PakMil troops are actually Taliban and/or Al-queda fighters! We call them Taliban, and the Pak military calls them soldiers. What’s the real difference anyway?

  • Soccer says:

    I know you said no such thing, but I just got excited. An NWA operation *needs* to happen to wipe out dangerous and vital extremist commanders and sanctuaries that represent a threat to the entire world.
    I think if Pakistan mustered all their force they possibly could, and went after only bad militant areas, they could do a good job of wiping them out while only sustaining minimal casualties. Even if an NWA operation involves just going after the bad militants, I’m fine with that. But SOMETHING needs to be done soon.

  • Soccer says:

    Oh and Bill, why did you remove the video of Abu Zarr? You embedded it in the article but now it’s gone… was it removed or something?

  • Ravi says:

    Revolutionary or any insurgent type movements tend to regularly execute members who are deemed unreliable or present a threat to the leadership. I suspect this happens LESS with the jihadis because they are so dispersed in terms of their units. Its not like you have a Mao, Ho, or Castro who is determined to lead the movement.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    The video was deleted by Youtube; I made the mistake of failing to capture it and put it on LiveLeak.

  • GB says:

    ISI still maintains the same strategy. Dont ever count on a N. Waz operation.

  • Neonmeat says:

    I have to say LOL,
    This guy obviously was an experienced commander and fighter after 15 years in the Caucaus and they top him over some money issues and cause he liquidated a couple of low level fighters!
    Just goes to show for all their talk of the Umma and the brotherhood between Muslims they are still all caught up in their petty squabbles.
    Special Forces are gutting their Mid-Top level Leadership and now they are helping us do it!

  • PaglWalla says:

    @ Max:
    “We call them Taliban, and the Pak military calls them soldiers. What’s the real difference anyway?”
    Are you serious? This sounds misinformed to me.
    @ Soccer:
    What do you hope would be accomplished in a hypothetical Nwaz operation?
    Only going after the “bad” militants would do nothing to effect change in Afghanistan; and I’m willing to bet the bad militants would get the hell out of there as soon as Haqqani and the other “good” militants vacate the area. Wouldn’t you pack up and leave town if you saw folks with “friends in high places” doing the same thing?
    Look at their operations Swat, Bajaur and Mohmand (x2), SWaz and other places throughout NWFP/KPK and FATA and you’ll see an inability (or unwillingness) by Paks to conduct targeted operations on a large scale. The M.O. in these operations was clearing an area with artillery, followed by ground forces moving in to collect whatever was left as “proof” of dead militants and a “cleared” area.
    The military there, much like our US military, is finite in number, and their troops appear to be committed in areas all over the northwest- – not mention the presence on the eastern border for the perceived India threat. My point here is that “mustering all the troops they possibly can” might not amount to much more than are already present in NWaz.
    It would be nice if they would do something, but I just don’t see it happening the way any of us would hope.

  • Villiger says:

    The following article, coming from a very different source, General Keane, says miuch the same thing (its a *must read* linked by Bill Roggio (thank you!):
    Heading: “ISI aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in Pak: Ex-US general”

    Soccer, note its from the Times of India again. Very newsworthy, but completely ignored by the mainstream media in the US from where it emanates!
    I’d say well done to the TOI for its incisive reporting.

  • Mr T says:

    Imagine that. A murderous thug who has killed lots of Muslims becomes uncontrollable.
    I also have this vision in my head of Pakastani soldiers passing a truckload of Jihadists on a mountain road somewhere. They just wave their guns at each other and shout a few Allah Akbars. Meanwhile, they both have operations against each other planned out and ready to put in action if one side or the other feels the need.
    Brothers in treachery. Watch your back.

  • Soccer says:

    Of course. All this talk of an “Ummah” and being “united” is just pure propaganda for them to get support from somewhere, whoever that may be. When it comes down to it, they are all divided and most of them can’t even get past a tribal mindset and thus they fight each other instead of fighting the perceived Great Satan, which is us.
    A secure Pakistan is one step closer towards getting out of Afghanistan. As for what I hope to be achieved, it’s simple really: Neutralize the Mir Ali suicide training camps, destroy the bomb making factories, cut off militant supply lines for supplies and logistics, and take out as many militant leaders (bad ones) as possible. Doing all of this will disperse the foot soldiers of the militants and force them into Afghanistan, SWA or the rest of the tribal regions where they will face either US soldiers (in Afg) or Pakistani soldiers.
    I too find it appalling that they would only go after certain bad militant groups, but from their perspective, it might make sense. It only makes sense if the military is only willing to go after the people who threaten their military and country directly; they should be taken out first. So, the bad militants from Pak.’s perspective should be taken out first because they represent the greatest real-time dangerous threat to their country.
    And I read once (forget where) that the plan for NWA would go as follows: The air force attacks militant compounds, bases, and outposts, while troops in SWA, Razmak military camp and Miranshah Military Camp shell and fire artillery at the militants retreating to the hills and mountains. After that has been done for a certain while, 30,000 ground troops would then move in to “finish off” the militants on the ground.
    I sort of already knew they supported militant sanctuaries, I just think they should launch the operation against bad militants now. It would at least put a dent in militancy around the region, and it would stabilize Pakistan a great deal more than it has been in the past few years.


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