Pakistani security forces reportedly detained the chief spokesman for Baitullah Mehsud and his Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. A senior aide to Baitullah was also captured in Islamabad on Monday.
Maulvi Omar and two aides were captured in the tribal agency of Mohmand as he was traveling through the region. Omar was captured with the help of tribal leaders, Pakistani intelligence officials told Dawn.
Omar has been the face of the Pakistani Taliban for the past several years. He has been in constant contact with the media and has credited the Taliban with conducting some of the largest attacks inside Paksitan.
Most recently, Omar claimed Baitullah Mehsud is still alive after Pakistani and US officials claimed Baitullah was killed in the Aug. 5 airstrike that killed his wife.
Omar's capture may have been facilitated by the controversy surrounding Baitullah's reported death. Taliban spokesmen and leaders have been contacting the media to state that Baitullah is alive. The increased contact may have provided clues on Omar's whereabouts to Pakistani and US intelligence services seeking to dismantle the Taliban in the insurgency-ridden northwest.
The military previously had claimed Omar was killed during fighting against the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal agency in October 2008. Omar later surfaced and resumed his job as the chief Taliban spokesman.