Ex-TTP members pledge allegiance to Islamic State

Published January 11, 2015
Ex-TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid (c) speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location. —AP Photo/File
Ex-TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid (c) speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location. —AP Photo/File

ISLAMABAD: An online video was released on Saturday apparently showing former militants of the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The video shows former TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid along with dozens of other militants in a wooded area.

Shahid already announced his support for the Islamic State group in an audio message in October.

Read also: Six top TTP commanders announce allegiance to Islamic State's Baghdadi

He was later replaced by the TTP. Other militant leaders who identify themselves as from Afghanistan and Pakistan also pledge their support to the Islamic State group.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based terrorism monitor, said the video was released by the Islamic State group on Twitter and jihadi forums.

The video is sure to raise concerns about whether the Islamic State group has found support in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a region already awash with dozens of militant groups.

At the end of the video, the militants killed a man they claim to be a Pakistani soldier.

Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan owe their allegiance to Mullah Omar, a cleric who has led the Taliban since the 1990s and hasn't been publicly heard from for years.

The area where the video was shot was not identified but Taliban militants are known to operate in the rugged mountainous regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The militants frequently target Pakistani troops who have been carrying out missions in the country's northwest.

There was no immediate comment from the military or government. The Islamic State group controls about a third of both Syria and Iraq.

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