The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan released a videotape on the fighting in the Mehsud areas of South Waziristan which includes graphic footage of the mutilation of several Pakistani soldiers who appear to have been killed in a firefight last summer.
The videotape, which was sent to The Long War Journal by a spokesman from Umar Media, the media arm of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, is titled “Strike of a Believer.” It focuses on the Taliban’s fight against the Pakistani military in the tribal agency of South Waziristan, and includes a statement from the terror group’s emir, Hakeemullah Mehsud.
A three-minute segment shows what appears to be the aftermath of a clash with Pakistani soldiers in a mountainous area of South Waziristan. The Taliban are seen taking the soldiers’ weapons. The soldiers are seen with their Pakistani Army-issued weapons, body armor, and helmets.
At least three of what appear to be six soldiers who were killed and beheaded are shown. Their heads are displayed on top of rocks. The body of one Pakistani soldier, who was not beheaded, was thrown down the mountainside.
Although the date of the Taliban attack on the Pakistani soldiers was not provided in the video, a spokesman for Umar Media told The Long War Journal that “this fight was held on 22 June 2012.”
The Pakistani media did not report the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in South Waziristan within three days before or after June 22, 2012. The nearest report of Pakistani soldiers killed in South Waziristan was on June 18, 2012, when two soldiers were said to have been killed in an attack on the Ladha area of South Waziristan.
Hakeemullah threatens the US and Britain
In addition to the graphic Taliban clip, a speech by Taliban emir Hakeemullah Mehsud was also featured in the lengthy tape. Hakeemullah vowed to continue to attempt to execute attacks on US and British soil.
“At present we are waging defensive jihad but our resolve is very strong,” Hakeemullah said, according to a translation of the videotape which was provided by the SITE Intelligence Group. He continued: “We resolve to enter Britain and America. They come here and target us, so we will go to America and Britain and target them. These will be blessings of jihad. Allah willing, we will have access there and avenge inside America and Britain.”
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan nearly detonated a car bomb in Times Square in New York City on May 1, 2010. The bomb was placed by Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen who was born in Pakistan and returned home to train for an attack on the US. Both Hakeemullah and Qari Hussain, another Taliban commander, claimed credit for the attack. Hakeemullah was later seen on tape with Shahzad, boasting about the plot.
Videotape the latest to show Taliban executions of Pakistani security forces
In the past, the Taliban have released several videos of the execution and beheading of Pakistani troops. Most recently, in September 2012, the Taliban released a videotape of the aftermath of the beheadings of several Pakistani soldiers who were captured after fighting in Bajaur.
In June 2012, a video showing the heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers who had served in the district of Dir, which is near Bajaur, was released by the Taliban. [See LWJ report, Pakistani Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers.]
In June 2011, the Taliban released a video of the execution of 16 Pakistani policemen in Dir. The Taliban lined them up, and executed them via firing squad. The policemen had been captured after the Taliban crossed the border from Kunar. [See LWJ report, Video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges.]
In February 2011, Hakeemullah released a videotape of the execution of a former Pakistani military intelligence official known as Colonel Imam. Although Imam, a senior officer in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, was a favorite of the Afghan Taliban for his support of Mullah Omar, the Pakistani Taliban accused him spying against the terror group. [See LWJ report, Video: Pakistani Taliban execute Colonel Imam.]
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