Articles by Amir Mir

TTP launches special group for terrorist operations

ISLAMABAD: (The News) As five ferocious militant commanders have recently joined hands with Mullah Fazlullah-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the TTP has launched a special group of highly trained fidayeen (suicide attackers) commandos with the name of the Mujahideen Special Group (MSG) to carry out massive terrorist operations across Pakistan.

The launching of the Mujahideen Special Group has been made public by the TTP in a lengthy video showing images of the Taliban fighters being trained at a terrorist camp in the border areas of Pakistan. The video released by the Taliban shows dozens of men going throw various stages of the commando training. According to Muhammad Khurasani, the central spokesman of the TTP, the video, titled “MSG Training,” was filmed at the “Mehdi Alaih Rizwan Training Centre” of the Pakistani Taliban. But the location of the camp, which is situated in a mountainous area in northwestern Pakistan, has not been disclosed in the video which has been released by Umar Media, the official propaganda arm of TTP, and reported by the US-based Long War Journal.

Interestingly, the members of the Mujahideen Special Group are shown getting training in the

open, with no fear of reprisal. At one point, a group of the Taliban commanders meets the fighters and sits in the open to supervise their training. The fighters of the Mujahideen Special Group are shown going through a variety of instructions, including weapons training; manufacturing explosives and assembling and testing IEDs; assault drills; conducting assassinations using a motorcycles, land navigation, and first aid. The fighters also navigate an obstacle course.

According to Khurasani, the MSG men have already reached the Khyber Agency of Fata where Pakistan Army is currently carrying out Operation Khyber I and Operation Khyber II. The MSG has been launched by the TTP almost a month after the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Mullah Fazlullah [on April 7, 2015], the mastermind of December 2014 Peshawar school massacre, for perpetrating and financing terror acts. Fazlullah was added to the Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions list and he would now be subject to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. The US had in January 2015 designated Fazlullah as a global terrorist and had slapped sanctions against him.

However, almost a month shortly after these sanctions were imposed, the ameer of the Jamaatul Ahraar Commander Omar Khalid Khurasani and the ameer of the Lashkar-e-Islam Commander Mangal Bagh decided to join hands with Mullah Fazlullah.

Only a few days ago, the most wanted Lashkar-e-Jhangvi-linked al-Qaeda commander Matiur Rehman aka Abdul Samad Sial decided to join hands with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in a bid to fortify the terror outfit. The al-Qaeda-backed move to make stronger the largely shattered Mullah Fazlullah-led terrorist group was made public by the TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani, saying three outfits led by Qari Matiur Rehman, Qari Ehsanul Haq, and Ashfaq alias Shamil have merged with the TTP. The moving spirit behind the merger of the three groups with the Taliban is none other than Matiur Rehman who is not only wanted by the Pakistani authorities but also by the American FBI.

Matiur Rehman is wanted by the Pakistani authorities for masterminding two failed assassination attempts against General Pervez Musharraf (in Rawalpindi in December 2003) and Shaukat Aziz (in Fateh Jang in July 2004). On the other hand, the Americans had sought his arrest while describing him as a key member of al-Qaeda’s external operations council who had attempted to target American interests in Pakistan as well as abroad. The UN Security Council subsequently tagged him as a most wanted al-Qaeda linked terrorist on August 22, 2011 for taking part in the financing and planning some major terrorist activities, including the August 2006 failed plot to destroy mid air as many as 10 US-bound British jetliners.

The plan was modeled after the 1995 Bojinka plot that was devised by al-Qaeda’s chief operational commander, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his nephew, Ramzi Yousaf.Although the TTP spokesman Khurasani has claimed responsibility for the downing of the Army chopper in Gilgit, saying that Nawaz Sharif was the target, senior military and government officials have strongly refuted his claim. It may be recalled that the helicopter of the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Swat Major General Javed Iqbal was hit by the Taliban on September 22, 2011 in Nusrat Darra in Upper Dir while he was taking an aerial view of the troops’ deployment. Although the GOC Swat received two bullets, the chopper was able to land safely.


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