Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

19 Jan 2012


About: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan along the Afghan border.

History: The TTP started to come together in 2002 when the Pakistani military started planned attacks into the tribal areas to battle against the foreign (Arab and Central Asian) militants, who had fled from the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Many of the TTP members are fighters of the war in Afghanistan and have fought against the Nato forces. In December 2007, TTP announced their existence under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud.

On August 25, 2008, Pakistan banned the group, calling it a terrorist organisation and froze its assets, and also banned it from making media appearances.

The TTP is also referred to as the Pakistani Taliban. Regardless of the ‘Taliban’ in their name, the TTP are not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban, in fact they are resisting against the Pakistani state’s laws and they want to establish their own version of Sharia in Pakistan.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is also thought to have associations with Al Qaeda. According to John Brennan, who is President Obama’s chief counter terrorism adviser; TTP is a close ally of al-Qaeda, so much so that it’s hard to differentiate between them. TTP has supposedly also played a role in the 2010 Times Square car bomb attempt.

Agenda: TTP’s agenda remains to implement their own version of Sharia in Pakistan and to oppose the Pakistani government in the process; also to assist the Taliban in the war in Afghanistan.

Activities: Some major terrorist activities carried out by TTP are as following:

  • The Pakistani government accused the TTP for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. The group denies the charge but the US Central Intelligence Agency also confirmed its belief of TTP's involvement in the assassination.
  • Qari Hussain claimed in a video posted on YouTube that the TTP was behind the May 2010’s attempted car bomb in New York City's Times Square.
  • TTP's Karachi leader, Abdul Qayyum Mehsud confessed that their faction was responsible for the murder of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain.
Current status: Rivalry has developed within the group, as one faction aims to establish ties with the government of Pakistan and declares a ceasefire whilst the other is still aiming to launch attacks on the Pakistani soil.

Years of Action: December 2007 until present

Leaders: Hakimullah Mehsud; from Aug 2009 until present. Its first leader was Baitullah Mehsud (Dec 2007 – Aug 2009)

Areas of Operation: Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Fata

Disclaimer: The aforementioned organisation is categorised as militant because it resorts to violent/armed means to achieve its objectives.