Profile Baitullah Mehsud
Background. Baitullah is from the Broomikhel branch of the Shabikhel sub-tribe of Mehsuds. Son of the late Muhammad Haroon. Baitullah was born in the early 1970s in village Landi Dhok in Bannu. Baitullah Mehsud who primarily hails from South Waziristan has spent major portion of his life in Janikhel tribe in FR Bannu. His father, Maulana Haroon, was imam Masjid in Bannu Cantonment. He got religious education from a madrassa in Daud Shah, Bannu and for some time he studied in a Miranshah Madrassa as well. He remained Imam Masjid in Mati Mamman Khel village in Jani Khel area of FR Bannu. After 9/11, he moved to his ancestral area of Shabi khel Mahsud in South Waziristan. The Mehsud tribe makes up approx 60% of the population while the rival Wazir tribe comprises 35%. Baitullah, believed to be around 39 years old, is diabetic.
Affiliation. Although Baitullah calls himself a Talib and swears allegiance to Mullah Mohammad Omar, yet the reality on gr sp neither his claim of being a Talib nor the allegiance to Afghan Taliban. Firstly, he has no religious education to his credit except Nazra Quran which is mere cramming of the holy verses in Arabic without translation. Secondly soon after his appointment as Amir Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, he was sacked by Mullah Muhammad Omar, thus, putting an end to whatever little allegiance ever existed. His actions also prove that the method, aims, funding etc are more aligned to hostile int objectives against Pakistan rather than any religious motives. However, later Mullah Braader the self proclaimed deputy of Mullah Omar and suspected for his role in assassination of Mullah Dad Ullah at the behest of CIA/ MI-6 retracted his expulsion order through his spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Rise to Power
· During the eighties Baitullah only received Nazra Quran edn. He is believed to have visited Afghanistan and remained part of Taliban insurgency in early nineties under Jalaluddin Haqqani group. This version of remains a myth with no prominent/ convincing proof whatsoever of any linkage with Afghan Jihad in any manner. In any case he did not Participate in Afghan Jihad against Russians during 1980s. Though he may have joined in infighting amongst Afghan groups for war bounty. Many Afghan Talibians despise Baitullah for his alleged role in assassination of Mullah Dadullah.
· By early 2000s he joined embryonic Pakistani Taliban under Nek Muhammad Wazir.
· Baitullah was a little-known figure on the tribal scene until late 2004, when he filled the vacuum left by Nek Muhammad Wazir who was killed in a missile attack in June 2004.
· Baitullah thus became second in command of Abdullah Mehsud who remained in US custody at Guantanamo Bay. He was released by USA in 2004 for reasons that remain unclear, and returned to Waziristan.
· Abdullah and Baitullah orchestrated the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers working on a dam in his region in 2004.
· In July 2007, Abdullah died during a shootout with Pakistani military and detonated a grenade killing himself. Abdullah’s death was a crucial element in catapulting Baitullah to the top leadership slot in South Waziristan and its vicinity.
· Baitullah consolidated his hold and established his warlord credentials in late 2007. On the road to upper echelons, Baitullah superseded several influential Taliban leaders, including Sadiq Noor, Mullah Nazir, and Noor Islam.
· Taliban Movement of Pakistan (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan: TTP) was announced on 14 December 2007. Baitullah’s strength as a leader was made definitive in December 2007 when a Taliban shura, a 40-member consultative council, chose Baitullah to unify its operations in Pakistan. The council consisted of Taliban representatives from seven tribal agencies of FATA -- Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, Orakzai, and North and South Waziristan -- as well as from several districts in the Northwest Frontier Province, including Swat, Bannu, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohistan, Buner, and Malakand.
· Baitullah's link with Afghan Taliban was short, as Mullah Omar had sacked Baitullah as he was excessively focused on fighting the Pakistan military, rather than foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Baitullah Mehsud’s Enemies
· In North Waziristan, one of the important militant leaders, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, has kept a cease-fire with the government, while Baitullah’s fighters have continued to carry out attacks on government troops.
· Qari Zainuddin the worst enemy of Baitullah has urged tribal leaders to resist Mehsud and said his fighters, he claimed to have 3,000, would stay neutral if the army launches an operation in South Waziristan, Mehsud’s stronghold. `Whatever Baitullah Mehsud and his associates are doing in the name of Islam is not a jihad, and in fact it is rioting and terrorism,” Zainuddin said. “Islam stands for peace, not for terrorism.”
· Zainudin Was brutally murdered on 23 Jun by BAitullah Mehsood through purchasing a personal bodyguard of Zainudin.
· Baitullah’s 1st step in establishing his writ to enforce his own version of Islamic tagged society was the brutal removal of all opposition. He is believed to have massacred 500-600 local elders, Maliks, and government support to deprive the masses of the ability to resist his hold. Additional measures implemented brutally are as under:-
o Baitullah runs a tight ship. Deserters are summarily executed. Even Taliban not fol a tightly regulated code of conduct are summarily dealt with.
o Tribal elements cooperating with Pakistani and US forces, considered as spies, are targeted and killed with impunity.
o One unit of Baitullah’s lashkar, or private army, is tasked to kill those who support the federal government. He would send the target person a Rs. 1,000 note along with a thread and a needle, telling the person to buy and have his kafan [shroud] stitched within 24 hours and the guy is murdered within 24 hours.
· All of Civil Liberties have been regarded by the Taliban as haraam e.g:-
o Civil liberties and fundamental human rights are not allowed in this society, and strict conformity to Taliban code of conduct is required.
o All hair-cutting saloons in the area have been ordered by Baitullah to display warning signs to the effect that since shaving the beard has been forbidden, that service is not offered. Not only so, those violating this order are punished with barbershops being reduced to ashes; some have been put to death for undertaking this sacrilegious act.
o Music is banned, music and video shops are burned, vehicles if equipped with stereo are confiscated.
o Women are not allowed to visit markets and even to leave their homes with a re-invented definition of Mehram.
· Opposite To Islamic Sharia. The rules implemented on the name of Sharia by Baitullah Mehsud tantamount to disgracing the Sharia e.g:-
o Religious laws have been twisted, misinterpreted and ill implemented to suit their own requirements / agenda.
o Many Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Comrades are not even Muslims as several captured/ killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan comrades were not even circumcised.
o There have also been reports of group sex with women who were married to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan comrades. The stories when disclosed led to separation of Wazirs etc, while many go unreported.
o Attks against mosques, shrines, tombs etc.
· Extortion. Baitullah also collects forced donations from the local people to establish peace. It was a kind of protection money.
· State Within a State. Baitullah has established his own parallel government and has set up his own judicial system wherein tribals approach him for delivery of justice rather than resorting to the federal judicial courts.
· Propaganda Means. Baitullah used local clerics and 20 illegal FM radio channels in FATA to enforce his writ.
· Traitor to His Own People. Max SB volunteers turn out to be from Mehsud origin. Baitullah is using Mehsud children, teens and youth as sacrificial for satisfying his own fanaticism/ lust for power.
Traiter Baitullah Mehsood. Baitullah’s actions speak louder than his claims of being an enemy of the west or US. So far -- apart from brutally murdering thousands of Pakistanis and bringing misery to added millions, he has never been of much inconvenience to the US/ west e.g:-
· The only incident when Mehsood has claimed responsibility for a potent action against USA was for the shootings in Binghamton, New York on Friday, 3 April 09, claiming 13 lives after which the attacker committed suicide. The claim was a hoax as the assassin was a non Muslim of Vietnamese origin and had no links with any of Baitullah’s net.
· The US though has hesitantly placed Baitullah on wanted list and declared him a target; yet they have never tgt him with drones despite having the ability to do so.
· The rec of US weapons from Mehsud’s comrades is another proof.
· The inteligence means include communication equipment being used by Mehsud proven by his active intelligence on Pak LEAs is also proven.
· Practically, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has never been involved in support Afghan Jihad. They have only been entangled in fighting Pakistan forces and occupying Pakistani territory making the lives of the inhabitants miserable, disgracing sharia and spreading terror in every corner of the country. The long list of the terrorist acts is a testimony to this fact.
· They are by no means a threat to USA/ west; however their $ 50 Million yearly campaign do serves India/ USA/ West by weakening Pakistan.
Finances and Logistics. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan extravaganza requires an estimated US $ 40 to 50 Million yearly for sustenance. Their foreign masters apart from the sweat and blood of our Pakistani brethren are sustaining this menace. Details are as under:-
· The biggest question arises that how Baitullah is sustaining $ 50 Million annual campaign, when Pakistan has enforced economic and logistic blockade on Baitullah since 2004, virtually isolating him from any worthwhile financial/ logistic support from within Pakistan.
· The only possible means for logistic and financial support are from across the Afghan border i.e. territory controlled by US/ NATO and their regional allies like RAW etc.
· Even if we consider that Al-Quaida or Afghan Talibs are assisting Baitullah, it is not convincing as the annual TTP Budget is well over Usama Bin Laden/ Al-Quaida’s assets in Afghanistan worth $ 50 Million.
· The surface expenditure of TTP includes following:-
o Vehicles, fuel, weapons, ammunition and explosives etc do cost a lot.
o The comrades are given monthly salaries ranging from Rs/- 2000 to 25000.
o The SBs are paid heavily, at times in lacs.
o Communication equipment and media tools like FM Radio stations also cost dearly.
o Food, shelter and other administration explosive etc also make a huge financial burden.
Wicked Negotiations With Govt of Pakistan. There has been a consistent pattern of negotiation going on between the government and Baitullah: there is a military operation, then negotiations, followed by a cease-fire. The cease-fire has tended to be violated by the warlord, and the intervening period is ostensibly being used to either strengthen his position or violate the terms of the peace treaty by capturing security personnel or imposing his radical laws on the local populace:-
· The government forces first entered the tribal areas in 2002 in response to reports of militancy, subsequently discarding military operations, which sustained high casualties, in favour for negotiated peace.
· Between March and July 2004, the government imposed a blockade on the Mehsud area of South Waziristan with extreme difficulty and protracted resistance, only to enter hasty negotiations in February 2005.
· While Baitullah negotiated a peace deal with the government in February 2005, attacks on security forces were resumed in July 2005, resulting in yet another inglorious peace deal.
· Another deal on September 5, 2006, also fell apart. Each time Baitullah gets the government to agree to a cease-fire, he uses the opportunity to regroup and plan, such as for the August 2007 capture of 240-plus soldiers.
· Repeated peace deals in Swat in 2008/ 2009 met similar fate.
Terrorist Acts Alleged on Baitullah Mehsud
· Chinese Engineer Kidnapping 2004. Baitullah’s name appeared for the first time in newspapers after the abduction of two Chinese engineers.
· Capture of Pakistani Soldiers. On 30 August 2007 some 250 Pakistani soldiers, including a colonel and 8 other officers, were taken prisoner when pro-Taliban militants ambushed their convoy in South Waziristan.
· Attks on Pakistani Forces in South Waziristan. In South Waziristan, Baitullah Mehsud's forces conducted assaults on key forts in Ladha, Sararogha and Seplatoi between 10 and 17 January 2008.
· November 2007 SBs at Rawalpindi. On 24 November 2007 twin SBs again targeted an ISI vehicle near Hamza camp and an attack on GHQ check post.
· Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination. 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. Though denied by Mehsud but believed by most owing to BB’s dedication to be firm with extremists. The February 16, 2008 suicide attack on PPP rally in Parachinar was testimony to Baitullah’s hatred against PPP/ BB.
· 2008 Major Terrorist Incidents Sponsored By Baitullah Mehsud and His Affiliates in TTP
o January 10: Sixteen policemen and four civilians killed in a suicide bomb attack on police outside the high court in Lahore.
o January 14: Bomb kills 10 people at a crowded street market in Karachi.
o February 4: SB on Army Medical Corps Vehicle. On 4 February 2008 a SB targeted an Army Medical Corps Vehicle near RA Bazar Rawalpindi leaving 11 dead incl 6 x civilians.
o February 16: Suicide car bomber strikes a rally by party of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto in the northwestern tribal town of Parachinar, killing 37.
o February 22: Roadside bomb hits wedding party in northern Swat, killing at least 14 people.
o February 25 : Lt. Gen. Mushtaq Ahmad Baig February 25 2008. The attack on his staff car claimed the lives of eight other people, including the attacker and five civilians.
o February 29: A suicide bomber kills 44 people in Mingora, the main town in the troubled Swat valley, during the funeral of three policemen killed by a roadside bomb earlier in the day.
o March 2: Suicide bomber kills 43 at a meeting of anti-militant tribal elders in the northwestern district of Darra Adam Khel.
o March 4: Two suicide bombers attack Pakistan Naval War College in Lahore, killing five people and wounding 19.
o March 10: Suicide attackers detonate two huge truck bombs in Lahore, killing 26 people and partly demolishing the Federal Investigation Agency building in the city.
o May 19: Suicide bomber kills 13 at an army bakery in the northwestern town of Mardan.
o July 6: Suicide bomber kills 15 people in an attack on police in Islamabad during a rally to mark the anniversary of an army raid on the radical Red Mosque.
o August 12: Roadside bomb rips through Pakistan air force bus in Peshawar, killing 13.
o August 19: Suicide bomber kills 23 people at a hospital in northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan.
o August 21: Twin suicide attacks kill at least 57 people outside Pakistan's main arms factory in Wah, near Islamabad.
o August 28: A bomb attack targeting policemen kill 10 people in the northwest garrison town of Bannu near the Afghan border.
o September 6: Suicide bomber kills 33 people at a security checkpoint near Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province.
o September 11: Suspected militants hurl grenades and fire into a mosque in Peshawar killing at least 20 worshippers.
· 2009 Major Terrorist Incidents Sponsored By Baitullah Mehsud and His Affiliates in TTP
o February 5 - At least 24 people were killed in a suspected suicide bombing near Shi'ite mosque in Dera Ghazi Khan, central Pakistan.
o February 20 - Suicide bomber kills 27 people and wounds 65 in an attack on a funeral procession for a Shi'ite Muslim killed a day earlier in Dera Ismail Khan town.
o March 30 - Lahore Police Academy Attack. In telephone interviews with news media Mehsud claimed responsibility for the March 30, 2009 attack on the police training academy in Lahore. He told the BBC that the attack was in retaliation for continued missile strikes from American drones for which the Pakistani government shared responsibility.
o March 27 - A suicide bomber kills 37 people when he blows himself up in a crowded mosque near the Afghan border. Among the dead were 14 policemen and paramilitary soldiers
o April 5 - A suicide bomber blows himself up in a religious centre for minority Shi'ite Muslims in Chakwal in central Pakistan. At least 17 people are killed and about 11 seriously wounded. The attack comes a day after a suicide attack in Islamabad killed eight paramilitary soldiers.
o April 15 - A suicide car-bomber blows himself up at a security post in the northwest, killing nine policemen and three civilians.
o April 18 - A suicide car-bomber rams a military convoy, killing 25 soldiers and police and two passers-by near Kohat, 190 km (120 miles) west of Islamabad.
o May 11 - Ten people are killed and more than a dozen wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on a security check post near Peshawar.
o May 16 - Car packed with mortar bombs blows up in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 11 people, including four children passing in a school bus.
o May 27 Lahore Attack. The attack target Lahore Police and local ISI setup leaving 15 dead.
o May 28 - Two bombs explode in a market in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing six people.
o June 5 - A suicide bomber killed around 40 people at a mosque in northwest Pakistan as U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke consulted the country's leaders on what needs to be done once the army eliminates the Taliban in Swat valley.
o June 9 - Militants attack the Pearl Continental Hotel, which is popular with foreigners, in the Pakistani city of Peshawar with guns and a truck bomb killing five people including a U.N. worker, authorities say.
o 13 June - SB Killing Sarfaraz Ahmed Naeemi at Lahore. On 13 June a SB claimed life of respected cleric at Lahore after Juma prayers.