Thursday, February 24, 2011

IN PICTURES: Waziristan Connections III: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan's Alliance with Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud (second from left with gun), TTP's Nur Islam, called a "helper of the emigrants (Hajjimuhajiroun) from outside Pakistan, and the late Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader Tahir Yuldashev (Muhammad Tahir Farouq) on the far right.

North and South Waziristan is a key base for a number of militant groups, chief among them the various Pashtun groups and confederations such as Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP; Taliban Movement of Pakistan) and the militia commanded by Mullah Nazir Ahmad. It is widely believed that Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) senior leaders are also based in Waziristan. The former AQC general commander of Khurasan (Afghanistan), Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was killed in a drone missile strike in North Waziristan in late May.

TTP's third in command Qari Husayn (Qari Hussain) Mehsud appears on video for the first time. He is believed to be the umbrella organization's trainer of suicide bombers.

TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud (left) threatens revenge for the killing of IMU leader Tahir Yuldashev as his replacement, Abu Usman Adil, listens in.

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's deputy commander and "commander of Mehsud tribal forces" Waliur Rahman (Rehman) Mehsud lectures to a group of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and TTP members.

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (left) with field commander 'Abbas Mansur

TTP maintains ties and alliances with a number of other groups, including AQC and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group composed of several thousand fighters that was led by Tahir Yuldashev, who is also known as Muhammad Tahir "Farouq," who was killed last year. All but one of the stills in this post were taken by the author from a recent German language IMU video, "Good News/Glad Tidings from Pakistan" released in January by the IMU's media outlet Jundullah (God's Soldiers) Studio and later subtitled in English by an Urdu-English jihadi-takfiri Internet forum.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan's media guru behind its Jundullah (God's Soldiers) Studio, Abu Ahmad al-Madani. His nom de guerre suggests that he is an Arab.

TTP deputy leader Waliur Rahman Mehsud (right) with IMU fighter, who was killed in 2010, Muqatel.

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (left)

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (in white hat)

IMU and TTP members fraternize

TTP member Hajji Nur Islam, one of the "helpers of the emigrants" from outside Pakistan who join the IMU.

IMU members praying du'a


Commander Sejena

Commander Fatih

Commander 'Abbas Mansur


German IMU member Abu Adam Almani (The German), Mounir Chouka

German IMU member Abu Layth

TTP deputy leader Waliur Rahman Mehsud (front) leads IMU and TTP members in prayer, including IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (in white hat).

The use of this scene from Kingdom of Heaven is noteworthy. For those who have seen Ridley Scott's film, it is clear that this scene of the Crusader army from the Kingdom of Jerusalem marching to meet the army of Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn al-Ayyub is ready-made for jihadi-takfiri propaganda visual art.


Past installments of IN PICTURES: Waziristan Connections, showing IMU and TTP leaders together, can be viewed:

PART 2 (Abu Usman Adil & TTP)

PART 1 (Tahir Yuldashev & TTP)

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