ISLAMABAD: Chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Hakimullah Mehsud has appeared in a new video issued months after his reported death, vowing revenge attacks on the US, American monitoring groups said on Monday.
In the nine-minute video apparently made on April 4, Mehsud threatened to retaliate against the US within a month to avenge the killing of al Qaeda militant leaders. “The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack American states in major cities,” said Mehsud, who was seen flanked by two armed and masked men in the video released by the US-based groups SITE and Intelcenter that monitor extremist websites.
Mehsud, who succeeded slain Baitullah Mehsud as the leader of TTP last August, was reported to have been killed in a US drone strike on January 14. The attack was launched after Mehsud claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing by a Jordanian double agent on a US base in eastern Afghanistan in December that killed seven CIA agents.
The TTP denied his death, but Pakistani intelligence officials only last week said that he had survived. Mehsud poured scorn on reports of his death, describing them as ‘open lies and propaganda by the kuffar (nonbelievers)’. “InshaAllah (God willing) very soon in some days or a month’s time, the Muslim ummah (world) will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fedayeen in the US,” he said.
Intelcenter said its analysis indicated that the video was ‘credible’ and that it had been issued by the TTP’s media arm Umar Studio. Mehsud, believed to be aged about 30, said the TTP would attack the US “for having martyred many of our great Muslim leaders, including Baitullah Mehsud, and many respected brothers from the al Qaeda,” SITE reported. “Our fedayeen have penetrated the terrorist America. We will give extremely painful blows to the fanatic America.”
Mehsud, bearded and with long hair, also warned members of Nato and other allies to abandon the US, telling them: “You will face even worse humiliation, destruction and defeat than America itself.” SITE also reported that an audio message from Mehsud, allegedly recorded on April 19 and making similar threats against the US, was released on the internet. A video from suicide bomber trainer Qari Hussain has also been released, in which he “takes full responsibility” for an attack inside the US but did not give details.