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- Monday, February 18, 2013 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: A recent video released by the Tehrike- Taliban Pakistan, eulogising two ‘martyred’ white Jihadis from the US and UK, confirms that despite the ruthless US drone campaign in Waziristan, Pakistan’s lawless tribal region continues to be a major destination for the white Jihadis from western nations who are being recruited and trained in terrorism by al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban who want to effectively strike in the heart of the west. An increasing number of Westerners who wanted to join the so-called jehad al-Qaeda is waging against the US-led Allied Forces in Afghanistan have travelled to the Pakistani tribal areas in recent years, which include Americans, Britons, Germans, French, and Australians. The TTP-trained white Jihadis have formed their own contingents in North Waziristan which are also fighting along al-Qaeda militants on the Pak-Afghan border. The white jehadis living in Waziristan wear local clothes and travel in small groups in vehicles or on motorcycles, flaunting sophisticated weapons. In fact, recruits bearing Western citizenship are prized by the Taliban because of their nationality and English speaking ability. Therefore, more and more Muslim converts from the West are being chosen by the al-Qaeda-linked Tehrik-e-Taliban as recruits to strike in the heart of the West. The TTP was banned by the US State Department as a terrorist group after it transpired that Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who was sentenced to life in prison for trying to bomb New York’s Times Square in May 2010, was trained in North Waziristan by the Taliban. The TTP had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing in New York. Following his conviction by a US court in New York, Faisal appeared in a video with an AK-47 rifle, sitting next to TTP ameer Hakeemullah Mehsud. Wearing a black turban, the video showed Faisal first shaking hand with Hakeemullah and then hugging him. “Today, along with Commander Hakeemullah Mehsud and Ameerul Momineen Mullah Omar, we are planning to wage an attack on your (American) side, Inshallah”, Faisal is shown as saying in the video which was reportedly shot in North Waziristan when he had travelled to Pakistan for training. Terrorism experts believe that the number of foreign militants currently present in the Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) is estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000, who belong to at least 25 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The latest TTP video confirming the presence of white jehadis from the US and Britain in Waziristan, has been produced by Umar Studio, the media arm of the Tehrik-e-Taliban. The three minutes video, released on Jihadi forums, identifies two ‘martyred’ white jehadis as Inaam from America and Abbas from Britain. The full identities of Inaam and Abbas were not disclosed, nor have their deaths been previously reported in the international media. The video did not disclose the date or locations of their deaths, or how they were killed, but it is believed the white Jihadis had lost their lives recently in a US drone attack. The growing intensity of the US drone attacks in Mir Ali area is ostensibly meant to target the leadership of the North Waziristan-based white Jihadis, which the Western intelligence agencies believe, has been training and dispatching white men to Europe for carrying out commando-style terrorist raids in the West - similar to the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, including many foreigners. Therefore, the American Central Intelligence Agency, which actually runs the drone programme, has been constantly targeting al-Qaeda hide outs in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan to wipe out the white jehadis’ network. The latest TTP video also carries images of over a dozen top Jihadi leaders who had been killed over the past four decades, mostly in US drone attacks, including the slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, Qari Tahir Yuldashev and Abu Usman Adil, two former ameers of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Saiful Islam Khattab or Ibne Khattab, a former leader of Arab fighters in Chechnya, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, al-Qaeda founder in Iraq, Baitullah Mehsud, the founder of Tehrik-e-Taliban, Commander Nek Muhammad and Commander Abdullah Masood, two senior Taliban leaders from Waziristan; Mullah Dadullah Akhund, the Afghan Taliban’s military commander, two senior al-Qaeda leaders, Mustafa Abu Yazid and Abu Laith al Libi and last but not the least, Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, the founder of Hamas. Hakeemullah has personally praised Osama bin Laden in the videotape that featured Inaam and Abbas. “We can only please Allah if we are killed fighting in His Cause. One example is that of Sheikh Osama bin Laden. May Allah have mercy on him. He endured so many difficulties and won Allah’s blessings by sacrificing his life in the Cause of Allah”, Hakeemullah Mehsud is shown in the video as saying. The latest video released by the TTP shows that al-Qaeda-run terrorist training camps in North Waziristan and elsewhere in the largely lawless troubled region remain open and despite repeated claims by Pakistani authorities that they are committed to closing them down, it has not happening because of the reluctance of the military leadership to carry out the much-delayed operation in North Waziristan.