09 January 2010

Multiple Groups Claim Responsibility, But Only Hakimullah Mehsud Has The Video to Prove It.

I was quite surprised this morning to see a Taliban propaganda video on CNN with the Jordanian suicide bomber sitting next to Hakimullah Mehsud. I have yet to see anyone mention his name since the focus of the story is about Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi's reasons for Martyrdom, see the video here.

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid provided a statement from Al Qaeda stating this attack was in retaliation for not only the death of Baitullah Mehsud but also, Abu Saleh al Somali (AQ external operations cheif), and Abdullah Saeed al-Liby (leader of Lashgar al Zil)

The Taliban in Afghanistan claimed credit for the attack on FOB Chapman on December 31. They claimed the bomber was dressed as an Afghan National Army officer.

Bill Roggio's August 26 post covers Hakimullah Mehsud's retaliatory threats to the United States. The interesting part of this story is that Humam Khalil's motivation was to avenge the death of Baitullah Mehsud. He never mentioned the death of the Shadow Army leader or AQ External Operations Chief. It is possible that the video was shot prior to the drone strikes that killed Abu Saleh al Somali and Abdullah Saeed al-Liby. If that was the case, then we might be able to assume that Al Qaeda played some role in the FOB Chapman attack. This could be an opportunity to learn more about the dynamics of the AQ, TTP, and HQN operational relationships as this story unfolds. It seems right now that AQ is attempting to gain some credit for an attack they did not perpetrate. If this attack was planned and executed solely by Hakimullah Mehsud's TTP, we can now assume that Hakimullah is becoming a transnational threat. Prior to the release of the TTP's propaganda video, I thought Al Qaeda was the only group capable of recruiting a Jordanian as a triple agent.

We need to continue our analysis of this event in order to confirm or deny the TTP's increase in capabilities, or identifying what roles the HQN and AQ played in conducting this particular attack.

1 comment:

  1. I have been working hard on the analysis of the interactions between the TTP, HQN, and AQ spurred from the video of Hakimullah with Balawi. Expect to post it either this week or next.