Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taliban Create Lashkar-e-Khorasan to Hunt Predator Spies

Via The Long War Journal (March 28, 2011) -

The Taliban have created a group assigned to hunt down tribesmen suspected of providing information to the CIA that enables the Predator campaign to target terrorist leaders in Pakistani tribal areas.

The group, known as the Lashkar-e-Khorasan, or Army of the Khorasan, was established in North Waziristan last year by both the Haqqani Network and Taliban forces under the command of Hafiz Gul Bahadar, The Express Tribune reported. The creation of the group was confirmed by Pakistani intelligence officials, tribesmen, and members of the Taliban.

The Pakistani government continues to maintain that Bahadar and the Haqqani Network are "good Taliban" as they do not attack the Pakistani state. But both Bahadar and the Haaqani Network shelter al Qaeda and also various Taliban groups that do conduct attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Lashkar-e-Khorasan was first established as a "loose network with members casually going out and trying to find out who is providing information to the US," but has become an "organized" unit that is "scientifically on the counter-intelligence line," a Taliban member associated with Bahadar's group told the The Express Tribune.

The unit is estimated have more than 300 fighters and to operate primarily in the Datta Khel, Mir Ali, and Miramshah areas. These three areas are strongholds of the Haqqani Network and Bahadar's Taliban forces, as well as for al Qaeda and allied terror groups, and have been heavily targeted by the CIA.


The Taliban's usage of the term "Khorasan" indicates that they are working in conjunction with al Qaeda in the effort to hunt down the spy network in North Waziristan. Al Qaeda's forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan are known as Qaidat al-Jihad fi Khorasan, or the Base of the Jihad in the Khorasan. It was in North Waziristan that the US killed Mustafa Abu Yazid, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Khorasan, in a Predator strike last summer.

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