Baitullah Mehsud
Pakistani Taliban leader
Baitullah Mehsud
Baitullah Mehsud was a leading militant in Waziristan, Pakistan, and the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. He formed the TTP from an alliance of about five militant groups in December 2007. He is thought by U.S. military analysts to have commanded up to 5,000 fighters and to have been behind numerous attacks in Pakistan including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto which he and others have denied. Disagreement exists over the exact date of the militant's death.
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Pakistan’s militants: Bee sting
The Economist - over 3 years
Hakimullah goes from public enemy to public hero THE swaggering leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP or, loosely, the Pakistani Taliban) Hakimullah Mehsud, met a violent end at his lavish home in Pakistan’s remote northern tribal areas on November 1st. Just like his predecessor and clansman, Baitullah Mehsud, he died in a missile strike from an American drone. He had helped transform the terrorist outfit from being simply a thorn in Pakistan’s side. He once sent an al-Qaeda triple agent back to his CIA handlers as a suicide bomber. The resulting attack on a base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009 killed seven CIA officers. The following year Mr Mehsud sponsored a bombing in New York’s Times Square, thankfully botched. The United States had reason to keep going after a man who for so long seemed to cheat the drones.Yet in Pakistan Mr Mehsud’s death sparked not relief but outrage. The leader of one Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, declared Mr Mehsud, the murderer of thousands of Paki ...
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The Economist article
Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud killed in CIA drone strike
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Mehsud killed when missile struck compound in village near capital of North Waziristan The CIA's secret drone campaign claimed one of its highest profile scalps on Friday with the killing of the chief of the Pakistani Taliban by an unmanned aircraft in the country's lawless tribal areas. Hakimullah Mehsud, the feared leader of an alliance of militant groups attempting to topple the Pakistani state, was killed when a missile struck a compound in the village near the capital of North Waziristan, according to militant, US and Pakistani sources. Although his death has been misreported in the past, informants in the tribal area said they were confident one of the country's most vicious militant leaders was dead. "He was targeted as he was returning to his home from a nearby mosque where he had been holding discussions with his comrades," said a military officer based in a city close to the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which is home to many Islamist terrorist gro ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Taliban talks: lessons from the past
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 3 years
Perhaps the killing of a two-star general in Upper Dir district days after a unanimous call for dialogue from the platform of an All Parties Conference (APC) was not enough to obliterate the message of goodwill so the terrorists sent two human bombs to wreak havoc on the lives of more than 80 innocents at the All Saints Church, in Peshawar. Apologists with ambiguous statements of condemnation termed the gruesome attack an act to scuttle the process of dialogue with militants; liberals such as the MQM, the ANP and the PPP straightforwardly called it a blatant act of terrorism; while those treading the middle path, such as the ruling PML-N, have yet to make up their mind on the next critical move. The message from the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks is clear and loud: surrender to our demands, else we will not let you live in peace. Taking their lesson from the previous five-year rule of the ANP government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the coll ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Talk to the Taliban — here’s why
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 3 years
RAWALPINDI: When death is all around and the drums of war bellow loudly, rational thought is often drowned out. Pakistan is facing a watershed moment in its fight against terrorism, when finally after more than 10 years of bloodshed, an endgame is being planned out. Call it what you may, but it is a tragic irony that our fate is inextricably linked with that of the Americans; our endgame in the war on terror coincides with theirs. However, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that a decade drawn out on an ill thought-out and ill-planned war may finally be behind us. There are a lot of questions that need answering but the ones being tended to these days are: doesn’t the state hold the monopoly over all sorts of use of force? Can there be a peaceful settlement or coexistence between the state and the militant elements? Can the militants be reintegrated with the mainstream society? If yes, then how? If no, then how does the state neutralise ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Making sense of the Musharraf indictment
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 3 years
On Monday, Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation. He spoke of staggering challenges: a paralysed economy, a crippling energy crisis, the existential threat of terrorism.  The implication: there’s much to be done, with not a moment to lose. The very next day, Pervez Musharraf was charged in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Is this unprecedented indictment of a former army chief a resounding victory for democracy in Pakistan? Absolutely. But is it also an ill-timed move that smacks of revenge politics? Certainly. What else to make of the fact that the leader of a cash-starved, energy-deprived, militancy-choked, flood-ravaged nation has chosen this moment to pursue the man who overthrew him from power nearly 15 years ago? Now to the heart of the matter: is there enough evidence for a conviction? Let’s start with what we know—which is not much. For years, Pakistan has contended that the Pakistani Taliban carried out the attack that killed Bhutto. This may well b ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Are drones the sticking point?
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, speaking to the Asia Society in Washington on September 27, posed a conundrum when she said that Pakistan did not disagree with the use of drones to kill militants but could not approve its illegal method. She said exactly this: “If they’re going for terrorists — we do not disagree; but we have to find ways which are lawful, which are legal. The use of unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory is illegal — illegal and unlawful.” From this convoluted stance springs the Washington claim that drone attacks had Pakistan’s ‘tacit consent’. But Washington, unofficially, is also subject to criticism from within the opinion-makers of America: two American universities, Stanford and the New York University, published a joint report, which said that the drones stirred anti-Americanism in Pakistan as they killed a lot of innocent people as well. There are further complications on the Pakistani side, as pointed o ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Study on drone strikes
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: This refers to a report issued by academics and legal experts at Stanford and the New York universities’ law schools on the viability of drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Before commenting on the report, we need to understand a few things: it was commissioned and funded by the UK-based charity, Reprieve, which is on the forefront of the campaign against drone attacks. Also, the researchers were unable to physically visit the tribal areas, probably for security reasons, and were limited to Islamabad and other urban centres, interviewing the possibly pre-screened victims’ relatives and other people. There is no doubt that drone attacks are causing collateral damage as they kill innocent people too, but at the same time, what other options are available to eliminate al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists who now seem to rule the tribal areas of Pakistan? Law school academics can tell us what other means could have been adopted to ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
The Obama doctrine: Drones and just wars
Foreign Policy- The AFPAK Channe - over 4 years
Weapon of Choice Less than half of Americans approve of Obama's job as president. According to Gallup's most recent poll, his job approval rating is 49 percent. However, there is one area where President Obama gets high marks: drone warfare. In June the Pew Research Center reported that 62 percent of Americans approve of the President's use of drone strikes. Targeted killings by drones were first introduced under President Bush in 2002 when a Hellfire missile slammed into a Jeep in Yemen, killing Qaed Senyan al-Harithi, a key conspirator in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.  And yet it is President Obama who has consistently made headlines for authorizing hundreds of attacks in Pakistan, and recently dozens more in Yemen. According to a recent CNN article based on data compiled by the New America Foundation, President Obama has carried out six times more strike during his first term than Bush did during his entire ei ...
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Foreign Policy- The AFPAK Channe article
Ask the Experts: Do Targeted Killings Work?
Council on Foreign Relations - over 4 years
The United States did not always carry out targeted killings (or assassinations) of perceived national security threats. To the contrary, the norm against targeted killings outside of battlefield settings was established by President Gerald Ford in 1976, when he issued Executive Order 11905: “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.” Until the late 1990s, U.S. targeted killings were officially proscribed and rarely seriously considered or authorized by senior officials. When President Ronald Reagan was asked about the failed assassination attempt of Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut in March 1985, for instance, he replied: “Never would I sign anything that would authorize an assassination. I never have, and I never will, and I didn’t.” Actually, Reagan signed a directive on November 13, 1984, that was interpreted as “truly a ‘license to kill’ provision.” Sixteen years later, U.S. ambassador to Israel Mar ...
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Council on Foreign Relations article
Taliban attack on Pakistani Air Force base linked to country's nuclear program, 1 dead
Fox News - over 4 years
A team of up to nine Taliban militants — believed to be working under the direction of Al Qaeda — attacked a Pakistani Air Force base linked to the country's nuclear program early Thursday, killing one security official during a gunfight lasting more than two hours that left the insurgents dead. Armed with rocket-propelled grenades, automatic weapons and suicide belts, the militants attacked Air Force Base Minhas at about 2 a.m. local time, Pakistani Air Force officials said. Sources told Fox News that while Taliban militants carried out the attack, initial indications show that Al Qaeda ordered the predawn raid. Military officials believe the attack may be a response to speculation that following longstanding U.S. pressure on Pakistan, armed forces may be launching a clearing operation in the terrorist stronghold of North Waziristan. At least one of the rockets struck a hangar, pierced its wall and exploded, damaging one of the aircraft parked inside, said Pakistani Air Force ...
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Fox News article
Operation in North Waziristan
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
On August 11, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the monthly Corps Commanders Conference, which reportedly discussed a forthcoming operation in North Waziristan. It will be a targeted operation, kept as a low intensity conflict, to be gradually scaled up after better target-identification of the militants and after augmenting the troops’ operational preparedness. The Pakistan Air Force will be part of the operation and the “Isaf authorities would be consulted for intelligence sharing”. If the attack really happens, it will be after a major revision of the Pakistan Army’s stance on the elements located in North Waziristan. One main announced aspect of this stance was that the terrorists attacked there would make their way into regions already pacified by the Pakistan Army and reignite conflict there. Perhaps, for this reason, ‘sources’ reveal that ‘additional troops would be deployed after Eid in Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies’. Presently, ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Taliban to debate Pakistani cricket star's protest
Fox News - over 4 years
Taliban leaders will hold a meeting to decide whether a Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician will be allowed to hold a planned march to their tribal stronghold to protest U.S. drone strikes, the militant group's spokesman said Thursday. Ahsanullah Ahsan said the Pakistani Taliban consider Imran Khan to be an "infidel" since he has described himself as a liberal -- a term they associate with a lack of religious belief. But the spokesman denied a threat reported earlier by The Associated Press that the group would kill Khan if he holds the demonstration he has planned for September. The Pakistani Taliban leadership council "will decide what to do a week before his arrival and will announce it," Ahsan told the AP by email. "It's sure and clear that we don't have any sympathy with Imran Khan, neither do we need his sympathy, as he himself claims to be a liberal, and we see liberals as infidels." The AP reported Wednesday that the Taliban would target Khan with suicide bombers ...
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Fox News article
Rethinking drone wars
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
It is no secret that drone strikes have become a hot button issue in Pakistan. The Pakistani security establishment has publicly distanced itself from the CIA’s drone programme, while it continues to support it quietly. Pakistani military officials have called the drone attacks in its federally administered area ‘against humanity’ but at the same time, they openly ask the United States for joint control of drone operations and a transfer of drone technology. Only recently, a US team was asked to stop drone attacks and let the PAF bomb Fata instead. So clearly, we don’t seem too concerned with civilian casualties, either. According to statistics, there have been a total of 311 drone strikes since 2004 that have resulted in a maximum of 2,887 deaths. However, these figures will always remain controversial because of the lack of access of human rights organisations to Fata. However, what’s not controversial is that drone attacks have had an effect. In ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Taliban factions at each other’s throats – again
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
ISLAMABAD:  Hardly half a year after forming an alliance on the intervention of Taliban head-honcho Mullah Omar, rival groups of the Pakistani Taliban are once again at each other’s throats following the killing of a top militant blamed on a pro-government commander. Tension gripped South Waziristan Agency when Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatened to attack the Wana-based Maulvi Nazir group to avenge last week’s murder of Wali Muhammad Wazir. Wali was a younger brother of Nek Muhammad Wazir, the militant commander who had unleashed Talibanisation in Pakistan before he died in the first-ever drone attack in the country in 2004. Wali Muhammad’s henchmen took control of the area to hunt down the murderers, but nobody has been identified thus far. Approximately 200 men are associated with his group, and most are non-local. If fighting breaks out between the TTP and Maulvi Nazir group the new fragile alliance of Paki ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Forgotten heroes
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: Some Indians have raised a valid concern over ignorance and negligence on the part of the Indian government and media when it comes to honouring national heroes such as Indian physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose, for his work with Albert Einstein in the 1920s. However, their brethren across the border are no different. How many people in today’s Pakistan are aware that it was a Pakistani physicist, Dr Abdus Salam, who was at the forefront of theorising the Higgs Boson particle in the 1960s and 1970s, which is known as the final piece in the standard model of particle physics — a theoretical model that explains the fundamental particles and forces that control our universe. Dr Salam, the only Pakistani to ever receive the Nobel Prize, pioneered a number of projects in his homeland, which over the years have proved their immense worth. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology and t ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
The Last Months of Osama bin Laden
Counter Punch - almost 5 years
The story behind the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden remains a puzzle despite the torrent of documentaries and articles appearing on the anniversary of his death. An absurdly high number of American political leaders, generals, security officials and former CIA and FBI agents have given interviews claiming a central role in the hunt for the leader of al-Qa’ida. Many attribute their inability to find and eliminate him in Afghanistan and Pakistan over 15 years to the blindness and incompetence of other parts of the US administration. Most appear to have convinced themselves of their own clear-sightedness and willingness to tell truth to power throughout the long pursuit. Much of this is fantasy. There are always those who delude themselves that they were the crucial brain behind any political, military or commercial success. The crop of those exaggerating their part in the hunt for Bin Laden is particularly high, because of obvious motives of career enhancement. President ...
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Counter Punch article
German jihadist killed by US in March drone strike
The Long War Journal - almost 5 years
A German jihadist is thought to have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US drones on March 9 in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan. The German, a known "Islamist" from Aachen, has been identified at Samir H., according to a report in Der Spiegel. Samir was one of 13 Taliban and "foreign fighters" who were killed in the March 9 strike in Makeen, South Waziristan. In that strike, the remotely-piloted US strike aircraft fired missiles at a pickup truck transporting Taliban fighters. Samir was the "son of a Tunisian father and a German mother" and was "born and raised in East Germany," according to Jih@d, a website that tracks European jihadists. Samir "traveled to Pakistan in October 2009 with his wife and two children, and joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). In November 2009 Samir´s sister, at the age of 18, followed her older brother and made her way to the Waziristan tribal region." The town of Makeen is in an area und ...
Article Link:
The Long War Journal article
Expanding CIA Drone Strikes Will Likely Mean More Dead Innocents
The Atlantic - almost 5 years
President Obama the agency extraordinary authority in Pakistan. Now it wants these powers in Yemen too. Reuters An eye-opening report published last November in the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Obama Administration was permitting the CIA to kill people in Pakistan without even knowing who they were: "Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren't always known. The bulk of CIA's drone strikes are signature strikes." As I noted at the time, this is the same CIA that is known to have jailed innocent people, subjecting them to harsh interrogation tactics and years of wrongful imprisonment. Despite those errors, and the CIA's lack of transparency and accountability, the Obama Administration loosed it in Pakistan, where we've killed lots of innocent people. And while it's been operating in Yemen for some time, the CIA now wants official permission to kill people whose identities it can't confirm in th ...
Article Link:
The Atlantic article
Pakistan urges Afghanistan President Karzai to help free 30 youth in Taliban ... - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
He called on Muslims to join the fight, saying, “the answer to all our problems lies in jihad.” Hakimullah took over the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 after his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a US missile strike
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Baitullah Mehsud
    THIRTIES
  • 2009
    Age 35
    Disagreement exists over the exact date of the militant's death. Pakistani security officials initially announced that Baitullah Mehsud and his wife were killed on 5 August 2009 in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency drone attack in the Zangar area of South Waziristan.
    More Details Hide Details Interior Minister Rehman Malik delayed giving official confirmation and asked for patience and an announcement by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) or other agencies. Kafayat Ullah, a TTP source, also announced the death of the militant in the strike, as did his deputy Faqir Mohammed. Later Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan commander Hakimullah Mehsud denied previous TTP announcements and said Mehsud was in good health. Major General Athar Abbas, ISPR spokesman, and Robert Gibbs of the White House said his death could not be confirmed, U.S. National Security Adviser James L. Jones also claimed that there was "pretty conclusive" evidence that proved Baitullah Mehsud had been killed and that he was 90% sure of it.
    On 30 September 2009, the BBC received a video that showed the body of Mehsud.
    More Details Hide Details Syed Saleem Shahzad, writing in the Asia Times, described Baitullah Mehsud as a physically small man, with diabetes. Baitullah Mehsud was born in the early 1970s in Landi Dhok village in the Bannu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, which lies some distance from the Mehsud tribe's base in the South Waziristan Agency. An ethnic Pashtun, he hailed from the Broomi Khel side of the Shabi Khel sub-clan of the Mehsud tribe, and was one of five brothers. He avoided media attention and refused to be photographed in adherence with his religious beliefs. He did not attend schooling or religious madrassa.
    On 23 August 2009, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman telephoned the BBC to say that the Baitullah Mehsud had died on 23 August 2009 due to injuries sustained during the 5 August attack.
    More Details Hide Details
    In telephone interviews with news media Mehsud claimed responsibility for the 30 March 2009 attack on the police training academy in Lahore.
    More Details Hide Details He told the BBC that the attack was in retaliation for continued missile strikes from American drones for which the Pakistani government shared responsibility. In the same interview Mehsud claimed two other attacks: a 25 March attack on an Islamabad police station and a 30 March suicide attack on a military convoy near Bannu. Although the FBI later completely refuted that he had any involvement in the incident, Mehsud claimed responsibility for the shootings in Binghamton, New York, on Friday 13 April. 13 people were killed in the shooting, after which the attacker committed suicide. In a telephone interview, Mehsud reportedly said: "I accept responsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to US drone attacks." Mehsud made this claim despite the fact that the gunman in the shootings was alone and of Vietnamese nationality and had stated other motives in his last letter.
    The attack is part of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) campaign using unmanned aerial vehicles in the region by the agency's Special Activities Division. U.S. missile strikes targeting Mehsud territory in South Waziristan became more common after June 2009 when Pakistan, while having been publicly critical of the missile strikes, declared a military offensive against Mehsud. A September 2007 report from the United Nations attributed almost 80% of suicide bombings in Pakistan to Baitullah.
    More Details Hide Details
    On the night of 5 August 2009, while he was staying with his second wife at his father-in-law's house, a U.S. drone attacked the premises.
    More Details Hide Details According to former CIA director Leon Panetta, he was observed on the roof of the house and identified by the distinctive hat he wore. According to The Times, it may have been his desire to father a son that ultimately led to his demise. Two of his followers, Maulana Meraj and Hakimullah Mehsud, denied the report the following day, dismissing it as "rumors" intended to negatively impact the Taliban's spread of jihad. They suggested that Baitullah had gone into hiding and isolation as a part of a strategy. Hakimullah added that meetings of Taliban officials in Dir and surroundings are proceeding as usual "to make worth of their abilities and to discuss other plans which he called 'war game plans'." These reports were followed by several telephone conversations between AP reporters with Qari Hussain, Maulvi Omar and Hakimullah Mehsud to deny Baitullah's death and to claim he had been ill, perhaps gravely, for several months or had been "busy on the battlefield." Hakimullah indicated that soon a videotape would be released as a proof of his statements.
    The rivalry culminated on 23 June 2009, when a gunman shot and killed Zainuddin in Dera Ismail Khan.
    More Details Hide Details The gunman had served as one of his bodyguards and after the incident was suspected to be Baitullah's agent. On 28 June 2009 the Pakistani government announced a reward of Rs. 50,000,000 for information that leads to the capture, dead or alive, of Baitullah. The bounty coincided with a previous offer from the United States, which offered $5,000,000.
    On 27 March 2009, Pakistan's Daily Times reported that Baitullah Mehsud's group was engaged in a dispute with Qari Zainuddin's group for control of South Waziristan.
    More Details Hide Details Both groups had distributed pamphlets leveling accusations against the other groups' leader. Qari Zainuddin stated that Baitullah's group was not practicing jihad because Islam forbids suicide attacks. Baitullah's pamphlet claimed that the slain Abdullah had been a government puppet and Qari Zainuddin was a traitor to Islam and to the Mehsud tribe.
    In February 2009, senior Taliban leaders Baitullah Mehsud, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir put aside their differences in an effort to refocus against a common enemy.
    More Details Hide Details Nazir had previously feuded with Baitullah for his sheltering of Uzbek militants whom Nazir had fought to evict from South Waziristan. As a result of the February agreement, Maulvi Nazir ended support for Qari Zainuddin Mehsud, who the Daily Times described as the "self-appointed successor of... Abdullah Mehsud." Zainuddin's group then allied with a group led by another militant, Turkestan Bhittani.
  • 2008
    Age 34
    Mehsud entered a second marriage in November 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Mehsud's first wife bore his four daughters and he may have hoped his second wife, "the daughter of an influential cleric," Ikramuddin Mehsud, would bear him a son.
    Various news media sources reported the death of Baitullah Mehsud on 30 September 2008 at the age of 34 due to kidney failure.
    More Details Hide Details Many of his close associates, including his aide, his doctor and a Taliban spokesman, vehemently denied the rumors. According to the spokesman, Mehsud was "fit and well." Mehsud's doctor also said he had spoken with him after the rumors of his death. The rumors proved to be false.
    In February 2008, Mehsud announced that he had agreed to another ceasefire with the government of Pakistan although the Pakistani military claimed that operations against Mehsud's forces continued.
    More Details Hide Details The New York Times, however, reported that anonymous high-level officials in the Pakistani government confirmed the deal. In April Baitullah circulated a pamphlet that ordered his followers not to undertake any attacks inside Pakistan due to ongoing peace talks. In July 2008, Baitullah issued a statement that threatened to take action against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government if it did not step down within five days. The NWFP parliamentary leaders promptly refused.
    On 18 January 2008, The Washington Post reported that the CIA has concluded that Mehsud was behind the Bhutto assassination. "Offering the most definitive public assessment by a U.S. intelligence official, Michael V. Hayden said Bhutto was killed by fighters allied with Mehsud, a tribal leader in northwestern Pakistan, with support from al-Qaeda's terrorist network." U.S. President George W. Bush then placed Mr. Mehsud on "a classified list of militant leaders whom the C.I.A. and American commandos were authorized to capture or kill."
    More Details Hide Details
    In an address to the nation on 2 January 2008, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said that he believed Maulana Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud were prime suspects in the assassination of Bhutto.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 33
    In December 2007, Mehsud was declared the first leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
    More Details Hide Details
    On 28 December 2007 the Pakistan government claimed that it had strong evidence regarding Baitullah Mehsud as the man behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007.
    More Details Hide Details The Pakistani government released a transcript it asserted was from a conversation between Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Sahib (literally "Mr. Cleric"). According to the transcript Maulvi Sahib claimed credit for the attack, Baitullah Mehsud asked who carried it out, and was told, "There were Saeed, the second was Badarwala Bilal and Ikramullah was also there." The translation released from Agence France Presse differed slightly from the translation from the Associated Press. According to the transcripts Baitullah Mehsud says he is at, "Anwar Shah's house", in Makeen or Makin. The Agence France Presse transcript identifies Makeen as a town in South Waziristan. Subsequently, both Agence France Presse and NDTV released an official denial by Mehsud's spokesman in which he said that Mehsud had no involvement in the attack, that the transcript was "a drama", that it would have been "impossible" for militants to penetrate the security cordon around Bhutto, and that her death was a "tragedy" which had left Mehsud "shocked". Mehsud's spokesman was quoted as saying: "I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women."
    Preliminary investigations concerning the September 2007 bombings in Rawalpindi note that Mehsud is the primary suspect behind the attacks.
    More Details Hide Details An 18 December 2005 report stated that Baitullah Mehsud, Abdullah Mehsud and Yaldeshev were the subject of a man-hunt. Authorities said they believed that the militants were short of ammunition and would be captured soon.
    Pakistani officials traced an estimated 90% of suicide and militant attacks within Pakistan throughout the 2007–2009 period to his South Waziristan stronghold.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Age 32
    By 2006, Baitullah Mehsud's growing influence in South Waziristan led terrorism analysts to label him as "South Waziristan's Unofficial Amir".
    More Details Hide Details An official in Frontier Constabulary described his army: In June 2006 Taliban-aligned Waziri tribes began negotiating another ceasefire with Pakistani forces. In a January 2007 interview with the BBC Urdu Service, Baitullah extolled the virtues of jihad against foreigners and advocated taking the fight to the U.S. and to Britain. After the siege of Lal Masjid in July Baitullah turned his forces against the Pakistani state.
  • 2005
    Age 31
    The ceasefire agreement ended in July 2005 when after accusing the government of reneging on the deal, Baitullah resumed attacks on security forces.
    More Details Hide Details
    Mehsud entered into a ceasefire with Pakistani authorities on 8 February 2005.
    More Details Hide Details During the meeting at Sara rogha, the Pakistani military agreed to withdraw its troops from areas under Baitullah's control. The removal did not include the paramilitary Frontier Corps, consisting mostly of fellow Pashtuns. In exchange, Baitullah's followers would not attack government officials, impede development projects or allow foreign militants to operate within their territory. Mehsud was offered US$20 million for his cooperation in the ceasefire. He declined the money and told Pakistani authorities that they should use the pay-out to "compensate families who had suffered during the military operation".
  • 2004
    Age 30
    He emerged as a major tribal leader soon after the 2004 death of Nek Mohammad.
    More Details Hide Details In a ceremony attended by five leading Taliban commanders, including Mullah Dadullah, Baitullah was appointed Mullah Omar's governor of the Mehsud area. After Nek Muhammad's death, Abdullah Mehsud and Baitullah Mehsud both vied for dominance of the Pakistani Taliban. When Abdullah died in a raid by Pakistani security forces and later his successor perished in a bomb explosion, Qari Zain and other members of Abdullah's faction suspected that Baitullah played a role in the attacks. The rivalry continued after Zainuddin obtained leadership of Abdullah's group. Abdullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader who was among the first captives set free from Guantanamo, has been described as Baitullah's brother. Other sources have asserted that they were clansmen or merely associates. Islam Online reports that Baitullah suspected that Abdullah was a double agent.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1974
    Age 0
    Born in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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