Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pakistani Taliban Commander Claims Responsibility for ISI Suicide Attack and Threats More

Via The Long War Journal -

Qari Hussain Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban commander and trainer of child suicide bombers, has threatened to step up attacks throughout the country if the military did not end operations in South Waziristan. According to Xinhua, he "challenged the government to stop the wave of suicide attacks if it can."
He claimed responsibility for the Friday's suicide attacks on the office of the intelligence agency ISI in Peshawar and police station in the city of Bannu. Up to 20 people were killed and 60 others were injured in the attacks on the ISI office and police station.

Hussain told the BBC Urdu service that the ISI office was targeted as secret agencies have a major role in the government policy-making.

"These attacks are reaction to the military operation in Waziristan and Pakistan's help and joining the anti-terror campaign," he said.

About the military operation in South Waziristan, the Taliban leader said that the fighters have retreated under a strategy. "The strategy is aimed at saving our manpower and weapons for guerrilla war in the region," Hussain said. He said Taliban will soon launch guerrilla war against the Pakistan army in South Waziristan.

According to AKI, the Taliban leadership cadre has relocated to "their new base in the town of Shawal, located in neighbouring North Waziristan tribal area," and will step up attacks against the Pakistani security forces nationwide.

My sources are saying that is correct, but they add that the Taliban have also regrouped in South Waziristan, Arakzai, and Khyber (I'll expand on this and the state of the South Waziristan operation in the near future at LWJ). The short of it is that the narrow focus of the Pakistani military's operation, absent action in the rest of the tribal areas, will deal only a tactical defeat to the Pakistani Taliban.

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