Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, "Bloodshed & Revenge"

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan senior leaders Hakimullah Mehsud (center) and Wali al-Rahman Mehsud (left) in a still from the October 2009 video release from al-Sahab, "Message from Hakimullah Mehsud & Wali al-Rahman Mehsud."

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP; sometimes transliterated as "Tehreek-e Taliban" and "Tehrik-e Taliban") is a Pakistani Pashtun jihadi group that is made up primarily of militiamen from the Mehsud tribe. It was founded in 2002-2003 by Baytullah Mehsud (Baitullah Masoud), who died of wounds suffered in a United States pilot-less drone missile strike in late August, and is composed of at least several thousand fighters. Baytullah was succeeded by Hakimullah Mehsud (Hakeemullah Mehsud), who is aided by a cousin of Baytullah, Wali al-Rahman Mehsud (Waliur Rehman Mehsud/Masoud). For more information on both, see my previous POST.

Hakimullah is identified in the group's communiques as the its amir ["leader"] while Wali al-Rahman is identified as the head of "Mehsud tribal forces." The Pakistani military has been waging a massive offensive against TTP since October 17 and the group has responded with a string of attacks on military and government targets. There have also been numerous attacks in civilian population zones, which have been blamed on Blackwater and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency by TTP and al-Qa'ida Central (AQC).

Video still of TTP commander Wali al-Rahman Mehsud (center) and chief spokesman 'Azzam Tariq (left) from an interview video produced by AQC's Al-Sahab Media Foundation and released two days ago.

In July, TTP's media outlet, 'Umar Studio, released an almost hour-long video entitled "Bloodshed and Revenge" about its conflict with the Pakistani state. A version of the video with English subtitles was released a couple of months later. The video includes footage of alleged Pakistani military atrocities in the Pashtun-majority Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP), particularly in TTP's main base of operations, South Waziristan. It also includes footage of fighting between TTP and the Pakistani military, TTP attacks and ambushes on the latter, a martyr will, and footage of captured Pakistani military equipment. Finally, the video also includes an interrogation of a captured Pakistani soldier from the "Baluch regiment", who is then executed (the execution is not shown).

"The Amir [commander] Hakimullah Mehsud, God protect him: Taliban Amir in Pakistan," with a photograph of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's most revered shrines

I have just started to take advantage of the opportunities for blogging that BlipTV provides and have embedded a copy of the video with English subtitles. It is only the second video that I have uploaded to BlipTV, but I hope to make much more use of the site in the future. Hopefully it enhances the usefulness of Occident.

Watch "Bloodshed & Revenge"

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