Pakistani Taliban publish picture of Hakeemullah before burial


A picture of Hakeemullah Mehsud just before his burial. Courtesy of the SITE Intelligence Group.

A picture purporting to show the face of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the al Qaeda-linked Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, was published by the group’s official media arm. Hakeemullah was killed by the US in a drone strike in North Waziristan on Nov. 1.

The image of Hakeemullah was published on the Facebook page of Umar Media, the official propaganda outlet of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained the photograph. The picture shows Hakeemullah “before his burial,” SITE stated.

“Umar Media posted on its Facebook page a version of the picture showing Hakeemullah alive and dead,” SITE noted. The picture was subsequently published by other jihadists.

The photograph of Hakeemullah is final confirmation that Hakeemullah was indeed killed in the Nov. 1 drone strike in the village of Danday Darpa Khel in the Miramshah area of North Waziristan. The area is administered by the Haqqani Network, a Taliban subgroup that operates in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is closely tied to al Qaeda.

Hakeemullah has been reported killed in drone strikes, and even in a feud with a Taliban leader who later became his deputy, multiple times in the past. Hakeemullah eventually surfaced to dispel the rumors.

Since Hakeemulah’s death, the Taliban has appointed Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, a longtime military commander and the head of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan’s executive council, to serve as the temporary emir, a top spokesman said yesterday.

Khan Said, who is also known as Sajna Mehsud, is thought to be the frontrunner to replace Hakeemullah as the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Other Taliban leaders thought to be in the running are Omar Khalid al Khorasani, the leader of the Mohmand branch who is closely tied to al Qaeda; Mullah Fazlullah, the radical cleric in charge of forces in Swat and the Malakand Division; and a commander known as Ghalib Mehsud.

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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  • Showing a picture like this does two things; confirm that the person is dead and/or rise debate on whether this is right or wrong.
    Honestly, I think showing a picture of a dead person, regardless of who they are, is morally wrong.
    Thanks for sharing the store with us.

  • Paul D says:

    Apparently lived in a big house close to the pak army.Sounds familiar?

  • strYker555 says:

    Good riddance. US assets in Pakistan and Afghanistan should prepare for suicide attacks. All services should be on full alert.

  • Mr T says:

    Can you see me now?
    Good riddance.

  • pre-Boomer Marine brat says:

    There’s no word yet whether Imran Khan broke down in tears at the sight of the photo.
    I’m inclined to assume he did.

  • JJ says:

    “They look so peaceful when they’re sleeping.” I hope it hurt.

  • Evan says:

    These tangos are so jacked up by what we hit them with, wether it be hellfire missiles or 20mm cannon fire, they literally cannot clean them up enough. Look at this sorry sack, blood caked all over his face, mouth and nose. Sangeen looked like his eye popped out of his head like a cork in his death pic, and Abu Musab al Zarqawi had blood streaming from both his ears in his.
    Just burnt flesh, a bad smell, and some ashes. That’s what your “paradise,” looks like jihadis. That’s whats really waiting for you. Maximum ugly.

  • Ghost Soldier says:

    Good thing you mentioned Omar Khalid. Thanks for keeping the public informed. He’s an important figure that is flying largely below the radar of many who claim to be ‘analysts’ in the field.

  • . says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

  • Neonmeat says:

    Isn’t the usual Islamic practice to wash the body before burial? He seems to still be covered with blood.
    In reply to the commentator who claims it is immoral to show his body, this picture has been released by his close associates and aides, so I would argue it is perfectly fine to show it as it is with the permission of what are essentially his next of kin.
    If it was a battlefield ‘trophy’ photo then that would be a different matter.

  • Mirza Charoc, le Roi de Herat says:

    Do they have this in Hi-Res?

  • gb says:

    All blowd up…

  • EDDIED. says:

    I bet the shot of him in the crosshairs of the drone looked good too. Can we see a before and after shot so we can compare? This looks like his good side pose. Lollllllll. Next!!! Khan Said your time is limited.

  • mi1400 says:

    U ppl rejoicing too much .. LOL… state dept has not confirmed it… it could end up like Ilyas Kashmiri the phoenix which rose from its ashes and U.S was like “Dah!?!” …

  • mi1400 says:

    @Neonmeat … no … for martyr, body is buried as is … even removing uniform/jihadi-outfit with white sheet is not allowed … that is his honor … the treatment u r telling of washing is for who ever dies not fighting the enemy e.g. road accident, natural causes etc. He has scarified himself so he departs us and is accepted their, in blood.

  • Thaffar Maaitah says:

    That was strong hit to Taliban. but many questions rises:
    1- what is the revenge will look, will they target the western intrusts in Pakistan or gulf or Europe.
    2- were the Pakistani Gov happy with this result .. specially the negotiations with Taliban were progressing.
    3- will Taliban is going to Coordinate with al-Qaeda a large scale attack. ( Alqaeda wings to carry the attack, Taliban will offer logistic, training, finance)
    For sure the coming weeks will be challenging for Taliban new leadership to prove its capabilities and at the same time it will be challenging for the NATO members and the Americans to Foil any attack.
    Thaffar Maaitah


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