For three months, Hakimullah Mehsud was supposedly dead, killed in a U.S. drone attack in the mountains of Pakistan, according to Pakistani officials.
Then word came last week from intelligence sources in Pakistan that he had not after all been killed, that he had been injured but not seriously.
And within days of that news, not one but two messages followed from Mehsud himself, both purportedly recorded in April. They warned of imminent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, on unspecified targets in the United States.
U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials remain very skeptical about any TTP involvement in the weekend's attempted car bombing in New York. One senior official said it would be "an enormous surprise" if they were involved.
The TTP has shown little appetite or capability for operating beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, though it was linked to a suicide bombing plot that unfolded in Spain and was broken up in 2008.
But Mehsud is back in action, courting publicity again.