Taliban assassinate Karachi police chief

Yesterday, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan killed Chaudhry Aslam Khan, the chief of the Crime Investigation Department in Karachi. Khan was known to have been tough on the Pakistani Taliban and other jihadist groups.

The Taliban killed Chaudhry and two other policemen in a suicide attack on the streets of Karachi. The suicide bomber rammed a pickup truck with an estimated 200 kilograms of explosives into Khan’s car.

The Mohmand branch of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan claimed credit for killing Chaudhry, in a statement that was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The Taliban accused Chaudhry of being “involved in torturing Mujahideen in prison and killed many of them while [torturing them]. This attack was the avenge of killing of our friends by him.” The Taliban singled out “Dr. Maqbool” and “Abdurrahman” as being killed, and warned policemen who continue to imprison Taliban followers that “their future will be worse than Chaudhry.”

It is unclear if the Ansar al Aseer Khorasan (“Helpers of the Prisoners”), a group that includes members from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban and was founded to free jihadists from Pakistani prisons, was involved in the attack that killed Chaudhry. Ansar al Aseer has been involved in a series of prison breaks in Pakistan. Its leader, Adnan Rasheed, who was freed in a prison break, has created a “death squad” that has vowed to kill former President Pervez Musharraf.

The Mohmand branch of the Taliban is led by Omar Khalid al Khurasani. He is considered one of the Taliban’s most effective and powerful leaders in the tribal areas. He also maintains close ties to al Qaeda and is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past.

Khalid has been active in the Taliban’s propaganda machine since the death of Osama bin Laden, and has been vocal in his support of al Qaeda. In mid-May 2011, Khalid vowed revenge on Pakistani and US forces for the death of bin Laden. In the same interview, Khalid said that Ayman al Zawahiri is al Qaeda’s “chief and supreme leader.” He stated this more than one week before Zawahiri was officially declared emir of al Qaeda.

In March 2012, Khalid said that the Taliban seek to overthrow the Pakistani government, impose sharia, or Islamic law, seize the country’s nuclear weapons, and wage jihad until “the Caliphate is established across the world.”

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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