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Tribal Pakistan

A new generation of Taliban leadership gains influence in Pakistan.

By Matthew Vree

Related Links

FRONTLINE: The Return of the Taliban
This FRONTLINE report from 2006 looks at the Taliban’s use of tribal lands in Pakistan as a safe refuge and de facto base for operations since being run out of Afghanistan in 2001.

Christian Science Monitor: Pakistan Losing Territory to Radicals
In part one of a three-part series for the Christian Science Monitor, David Montero reports on the rise of Maulana Fazlullah in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and the political and economic failures fanning extremism in formerly stable regions.

CSC Sentinel: A Profile of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (PDF)
Hassan Abbas, a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and author of Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism, writes about the December 2007 formation of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban Movement, or TTP), an umbrella organization created to unite the smaller militant factions in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Abbas lays out the group’s power structure, goals, and how the U.S. government could disrupt the group.

Der Spiegel: Pakistan’s New Breed of Ruthless Leaders
German newspaper Der Spiegel examines the new generation of Taliban leaders and their particularly ruthless methods. Reporter Susanne Koebl focuses on Baitullah Mehsud, as she lays out the evidence the CIA has to support its belief that Mehsud was behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Time Magazine: The Face of Pakistan’s New Taliban
Time Magazine’s Aryn Baker profiles Pakistan’s “New Taliban” and looks at the parallels to the Taliban’s genesis in Afghanistan during the 1990s. Baker compares Mehsud to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Mehsud’s mentor and with whom he fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Jamestown Foundation: The Impact of Pashtun Tribal Differences on the Pakistani Taliban
Rahimullah Yusufzai writes for the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor about the tribal nature of the Pakistani Taliban. He also considers how tribal loyalties might trump the recent attempt to band together smaller militant groups.

Jamestown Foundation: Al Zawahiri’s Pakistani Ally – Profile of Maulana Faqir Mohammed
Sohail Abdul Nasir of the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor writes in 2006 about the rise to prominence of Maulana Faqir Mohammed, from his early life as a religious student unaffiliated with politics or militancy to his jihadi indoctrination under Islamic extremist Maulana Sufi Mohammad.

The Long War Journal: Targeting Taliban Commander Siraj Haqqani
Former U.S. Army infantryman Bill Roggio writes in Long War Journal about the growing power of Taliban leader Siraj Haqqani and the U.S. military’s concerted effort to target him as someone who might now rival Mullah Omar for Taliban leadership.