Sunday, May 02, 2010

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan Spokesman Qari Hussain Mehsud Purportedly Claims Failed New York City Vehicle Bombing in Unauthenticated Audio Message

Qari Hussain Mehsud, chief spokesman for Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan, TTP) has purportedly claimed responsibility for an attack in the United States, an attack which many analysts and journalists think is the recent failed vehicle bombing in New York City's Times Square. In the short audio message (embedded below), Mehsud, if it is indeed him (the audio message was posted to YouTube and was not released via the regular TTP or jihadi-takfiri channels and is not branded with the logo of TTP's media outlet, 'Umar Studio, nor has it been authenticated) does not mention New York City by name. He speaks only in generalities about a major attack in the U.S. Speculation is mostly based on the fact that a cyber jihadi-takfiri posted a link to the audio-video on YouTube along with a story about the failed attack.

Qari Hussain claims that the attack is in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of TTP's founder, Baytullah (Baitullah) Mehsud in August 2009, and for the recent killings of Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri), the two senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq, on April 18. He also mentions the recently convicted jihadi, scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who tried to murder a U.S. military officer who, together with other federal officers, arrived to interrogate her after she was arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani police.

New York City's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, says that there is no evidence (see ALSO) at this time that TTP was behind the attack, which throws cold water on many "insta-pundits." It may turn out that TTP was behind the attacks, though the group has falsely claimed responsibility before for attacks outside of Pakistan-Afghanistan. It has been tentatively linked to one cell of operatives in Spain (Javier Jordan, "Anatomy of Spain's 28 Disrupted Jihadist Networks," CTC Sentinel, Vol. 1, Issue 11, October 2008). However, much more information is needed before such a claim will be substantiated with actual evidence, rather than speculation. Australian doctoral candidate and specialist in transnational jihadi movements Leah Farrall has posted some useful initial thoughts on the reported nature of the failed attack, noting that it is more difficult to construct and successfully carry out such an attack than most people think. It is WELL-WORTH a read.

A cyber jihadi-takfiri writes of the purported audio message, " inshallah (God willing) even now the kuffar (unbelievers) are scared beyond our imagination, it surely has sent a wave of terror through their evil souls...mashallah (praise God) our Commander Hakeemullah Jaan Mehsud (Hakimullah Mehsud, the TTP leader) may Allah (the One God) protect you and every other Mujahid (warrior of faith, "one who struggles"), i am sure the cell present will do something before the security agency reach them, inshallah Allah willing they wont fall in the hands of the Kuffar..." This bravado can not be taken as reliable evidence since armchair jihadi-takfiris have a well-deserved reputation for shooting off their mouths without any information that is not available to the general public.


Fernando said...

Thank you for the video.

It seems it was a message recorded for a successful attack, not a foiled one. It doesn't refer to NY especifically.

I think the last photo collage (of a devil, a crusade, dolar's masonic simbols, the US President, a plane, injured bodies) tells us as much of TTP as the message itself.

إبن الصقلي said...

Great eye! Perhaps you could elaborate a bit on what you mean re: the collage, as some colleagues have asked about that.

Charles Cameron (hipbone) said...

Given that we've now learned that Faisal Shahzad recently returned from Pakistan, this video from TTP -- apparently posted the day before the Times Square attempt -- which was initially dismissed as of little interest, seems once again to merit closer examination.

I hoped Fernando might respond to your comment re the collage, IbnS -- but since he hasn't, here are a couple of quick clues buried not too deep in Google Images. The crusader is this Templar knight, as featured here. The devil is this fellow, as featured here.

Does Google keep a record of all searches -- or of all image downloads -- I wonder?

إبن الصقلي said...

Long time, no hear, Charles!

Thanks very much for sharing your insights and the links. I hope to look at them more closely later today.

Fernando said...

Oh sorry for the delay.

I only meant that the collage features in a single picture the major themes of TTP (and others') speeches. Like, US is the big satan, they call them crusades (resembling it to a sort of religious war), thet hurt our civilians, etc.

What puzzles me is the dollar's masonic symbol; but conspiracy theories are not uncommon un Pakistan and other places of the Middle East (like US invaded Iraq to set up the first Shia Arab State; I also remember some conspiracies around the US embassy in Pakistan).

By the way, the devil and the crusade images look like they are from video games... A sign of the times :)

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