The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan released a lengthy video of fighters from its “Mujahideen Special Group” who are training at a camp in northwestern Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban, which has advertised the Mujahideen Special Group as its version of special forces, shows the fighters going throw various stages of instruction.
The video, titled “MSG Training,” was released on April 17 by Umar Media, the official propaganda arm of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. The footage was posted on Umar Media’s website as well as emailed to The Long War Journal by the group’s spokesman, Muhammad Khurasani.
The Taliban are shown training members of the Mujahideen Special Group at its “Mehdi Alaih Rizwan Training Center.” The location of the camp was not disclosed but it is situated in a mountainous area in northwestern Pakistan. The camp appears to be well-used.
The jihadist are shown training in the open, with no fear of reprisal by Pakistani forces. At one point, a group of Taliban commanders meets the fighters and sits in the open to supervise their training.
The Mujahideen Special Group fighters are shown going through a variety of instruction, including weapons training; manufacturing explosives and assembling and testing IEDs; assault drills; conducting assassinations using a motorcycles, land navigation, and first aid. The fighters also navigate an obstacle course.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan first publicized the Mehdi Alaih Rizwan Training Center and the Mujahideen Special Group in a statement and a short video released on Nov. 23, 2014. In a posting on Umar Media’s website, the Taliban said that the Mujahideen Special Group “has reached” the tribal agency of Khyber “for fighting.”
The Pakistani Taliban have also referred to the Mujahideen Special Group as its “Special Task Force.”
Both the Mujahideen Special Group and the Special Task Force are frequently mentioned by Muhammad Khurasani in emails claiming attacks and assassinations. Attacks that have been attributed to the “MSG” and “STF” include:
An April 3 attack that killed Bahawal Khan, a deputy superintendent of police, in Dera Ismail Khan.
A March 27 attack that killed Pakistan Army Colonel Tahir in Peshawar.
A March 27 attack on a police vehicle that killed five policemen in the Loralai district in Baluchistan.
A March 26 attack that targeted the “Karachi Special Security Unit” and killed two policemen in Karachi.
A March 18 attack on Frontier Levies personnel in the Chamarkand District in Bajaur.
A March 18 attack that killed Haji Sardar Mohmand, a PML-N politician, in Peshawar.
Images of the Mujahideen Special Group training at the Taliban’s “Mehdi Alaih Rizwan Training Center.”
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