Counter Terrorism Perspectives: CTP

TM: "Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Factions Reunited for ‘Holy War’ Against Islamabad"

October 05, 2020

Since the death of firebrand Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in June 2018, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has witnessed a substantial decline in stature and firepower due to a leadership crisis, inherent factionalism, and a sustained military offensive on its strongholds across the Durand Line, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following nearly two years of internal conflict, the Pakistani Taliban under the leadership of Abu Mansoor Asim Mehsud (a.k.a. Noor Wali Mehsud) has seemingly recovered from those reversals and is back from a near obsolescence.

In a surprise show of force and integration, Taliban factions in Pakistan renewed their pledge of allegiance to the present TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud on August 17. Two major, violent Taliban factions—Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) under Omar Khalid Khurasani and Hizb ul-Ahrar (HuA) led by Omar Khurasani—have re-joined the anti-Pakistan jihadist conglomerate. The statement issued by TTP’s official media arm Umar Media congratulated the Muslim Ummah and the Taliban commanders for the merger. The announcement communicated that the factions are currently fighting individually, and that the jihad in Pakistan and efforts to establish sharia would be strengthened following the merger. The statement also emphasized the ‘Holy War’ (jihad) and vowed to continue it until the ‘tyrannical system’ in Pakistan is eradicated. [1] Both of the Ahrar factions have pledged to join TTP and adhere to the principles of TTP and Islamic sharia law.

The other major pro-Taliban groups that re-joined the TTP bandwagon were Maulvi Khush Muhammed Sindhi, led by Lashkar-e Jhangvi (of the Saifullah Kurd faction), the Amjad Farooqi-led Punjabi Taliban, and the Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed group. A video message issued later by Umar Media showed the oath of allegiance ceremony (Jihadology, August 8; Jihadolgy, August 19).

For Complete Analysis, See, "Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Factions Reunited for ‘Holy War’ Against Islamabad", Terrorism Monitor (Jamestown Foundation), Volume: 18 (17), September 25, 2020