May 4th, 2010
03:01 PM ET

Security Brief: Are the Pakistani Taliban about to go global?

Unlike al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban organization has shown little appetite for taking its brand of jihadism beyond the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Maybe that's changing.

Certainly that's the case if the messages from the organization's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, are to be taken at face value. "From now on," he says in an audio message said to have been recorded in April, "the main targets of our fedayeen [fighters] are American cities. This good news will be heard within some days or weeks. Today onwards, the direction of our jihad is American states and cities. Inshallah we are successful in this mission and objective."

The Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, does not lack a motive to lash out. In recent months it has come under increasing pressure as the United States has intensified drone strikes and the Pakistani army has carried out offensives against the group deep inside its safe haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Officials are keeping an open mind about any link between the Taliban and the failed car bombing in New York last weekend. Within hours of the incident, an audio message purportedly from Qari Hussain Mehsud (a senior member of the TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. "This attack is a revenge for the great and valuable martyred leaders of mujahedeen," he said. At first intelligence analysts discounted the message (not least because of specious claims by the group in the past), but as more information emerged about the incident, it has received renewed attention.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dave Althaus

    This is just great!!!! ...they have Meshud and we are stuck with that idiot Napolitano. It may just be time for a regime change in DC before this gets ugly.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    They have Meshud? Are you're actually crying about not having a delusional mass murderer as head of the DHS. If so, take it easy with the ambien and see a doctor. Meshud will flap until the CIA puts another rocket in his pocket and they have to draw straws to see who goes on tape to deliver the message of the faithful. Enjoy the limelight while it last, Hanky Meshud!

    May 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick

    This is bad, very bad. Pakistan is screwed.

    A successful attack here would mean Obama had to react.

    Ask the Serbs. There's nothing more dangerous than a president with a friendly press.

    Drones will seem like fond memories.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marcus

    God, this Taliban is nuts! Muslims need protection from these nut cases that are similar to our very own Fundamentalists/Evangelicals such as the Hutaree Rebels, Pamela Gellar, Robert Spencer, Tea Party, etc.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fred

    Well, it's not like we can't try again. That dude is living on borrowed time.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mark

    Lets just flatten the whole of Pakistan starting with Quetta where most of these nuts like to hide. This crappy little country has given nothing to the world except intolerance (Taliban), global terrorists (Al Qaeda) nuclear prolierfation (AQ Khan) and unstable neighbors (Afghanistan).

    Time to erase them from the world map with a couple of well placed nukes.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SamRam

    RE: Highly Trained Terrorist

    Thankfully, he was not a "highly trained" terrorist; the people who encouraged him might be. The sons and daughters of families that received a $25,000 "grant" from the Saddam Hussein regime were not "highly trained" (some were actually teenage pregnant females); but they were effective and blew to bits hundreds of people on busses, at weddings or funerals, or at any place where unguarded innocents gather. Now, they have advanced the bizarre drive in their fanatic pursuit of "glory." They are attacking other groups of the Muslim Religion while they pray and prostrate themselves toward Allah; they are blasting to bits the dreams of their fellow citizenry while they gather in the marketplace or for a soccer game. Where is the "glory" and joy when you invade the lives - and end or ruin the lives - of those who have done you no harm? What kind of a bizarre fantasy does it take to think a soul, spirit - whatever one believes is the residue of our life on Planet Earth - will be welcomed with open arms after blowing to bits and maiming others of your own species?! And if there is a Here-After - wouldn't one have to Believe that there would be some other residual beings there that were somehow attached to the bodies that were blown apart on Planet Earth - and they would be a bit miffed?!

    May 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GiveMeABreak

    What, are they going to bathe less then they do now and stink up the planet? Maybe these people are the cause of global warming.

    May 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Henry

    You will see another 911 under this Administration and you will see Iran deploy a nuke and you will also see North Korea, because this administration does not have a clue how to collect information. All of you can say what you want, but under Bush we did not get attack in NY after 911. But you will see one I hope it does not happen. But this Commander in chief does not have a clue he is to busy changing this country into a socialism.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The Tater

    After the whole fiasco in NY....why in the world do we even let these people into the United States???? They hate us and have made it very clear all they want to do is blow us to bits....Our commander in chief wont do anything about I say, do the "real" U.S. citizens a favor, stay in your own country and blow each other up!!!
    Yeah....sounds good!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dominique

    Somehow a 25 year old caucasian female such as myself cannot carry body lotion onto an airplane but a pakistani on the no fly list is able to board a plane after setting up a car bomb in times square. Airport security and ALL security....especially in NYC is a joke. Our only saving grace is seems it's the civilians catching these terrorists. Hopefully everyone continues to keep their guard up because that seems to be our best defense because the FBI, CIA and Airport Security are not doing their jobs.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Terry

    You have to love it! Somehow, the United States Government has lost focus of the end-game. The answer is fairly simple, stop all flights from any country in the Middle East, except Israel. Let these folks try to clear security for an El Al Flight.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Spencer

    These brown people need to stop believing in the imaginary GOD they have and just live there life in peace, and quit worrying about what everybody believes in, because no one knows where we go when we die.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |