Schlagwort-Archive: TTP

Schweizer Taliban-Geiseln in Pakistan freigelassen

von Florian Flade

Nach monatelanger Geiselhaft in Pakistan sind zwei Schweizer von den Taliban freigelassen worden. Ob ein Lösegeld gezahlt wurde ist unklar. Die Islamisten hatten eine Millionen-Summe gefordert.

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Who is Abu Zarr al-Burmi?

by Florian Flade

Abu Zarr al-Burmi has been around for a while now even though there has not been an official introduction to the audience – the spiritual leader of the Waziristan-bases terrorist group „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU).

The middle-aged cleric wearing glasses and spotting shoulder-long hair, is featured in several IMU video and audio tapes including the last two video releases in Urdu and Burmese language a short while ago.

In Pakistan the voice of Abu Zarr al-Burmi is a known one to those familiar with a Urdu-language recording featuring a debate by the Jihadi cleric and a Pakistani military official. The IMU mufti declares himself to be part of the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP) and a representative of the Uzbek and Tajik Muhajiroun (foreign militants) stationed in the tribal areas of Waziristan.

Though unconfirmed Abu Zarr al-Burmi claims to have worked as a teacher at the „Al-Farooq Islamic University“ in Karachi. One of his students was Qari Hussain, the infamous Pakistani Taliban trainer of teenage suicide bombers. „Qari Hussain Ahmad Mahmoud was one of my students“, al-Burmi says. When the Pakistani military started to raid and bomb places in Waziristan in 2004 both Qari Hussain and Abu Zarr left Karachi to join the Mujahidin in the tribal region.“He gave up learning and I gave up teaching“, al-Burmi remembers that time.

Apparently both men joined the Tehrik e-Taliban in the first place. Al-Burmi, a Pakistani national of Burmese ancestry, later became the chief Shariah judge and Mufti of the „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU).

Today the Jihadi cleric seems to be actively preaching in the Waziristan mosques, calling locals to join the Mujahidin in their fight against the Pakistani government. Jihad against the Pakistani states, its military and politicians is a „individual duty“, Abu Zarr says in his sermons, also calling Pakistan´s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah a „kafir“.

According to his own video messages Abu Zarr al-Burmi is keen on establishing a Shariah state not only in Pakistan but worldwide. In a German-language video release by IMU for example he talks about the historic region of Al-Hind. „At the time of the Prophet Muhammad, nine countries were part of Al-Hind“, al-Burmi says, „Sri Lanka, Maledives, Pakistan, Nepal, Kashmir, Bhutan, Baharat, Burma and Bangladesh.“ From Al-Burmi´s understanding these countries must be islamized again and must join to form a Islamic caliphate ruled by the Shariah.

In the person of Abu Zarrr al-Burmi (also known as Abu Zarr Azzam) the IMU has found a impressive example of Jihadi globalization: a Pakistani-educated cleric of Burmese origin is preaching the idea of International Jihad to foreign fighters in Pakistan´s tribal areas in fluent Arabic and Urdu.

Pakistani Taliban Release Video of Swiss Hostages

by Florian Flade

CORRECTION: Previously I wrongly mentioned Mr.Saifullah Mehsud as part of the Taliban movement. This is of course NOT TRUE. Mr.Saifullah Mehsud is the Director of the „FATA Research Center“ (http://www.frc.com.pk) a non partisan and non-political research organization based in Islamabad which focusses on analysis of political events in the Federal Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. He is a key source when it comes to the case of the Swiss hostages.

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The Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that captured the two Swiss nationals David O. and Daniela W. in July have released two video messages by the hostages, both of them showing the Swiss couple alive, pleeing for their release.

In the first video David O. and Daniela W. of the Canton Berne are seen sitting inside a building during nighttime.

„A new announcement for the Swiss government but also for the Pakistani government and the American government“, David O. says in English, „We are still in danger here. Please let go Mister Aafia Siddiqi from America. So please also let go the prisoners that Pakistan have from the Taliban. Let them go because we are in danger and we have much of a problem if you don’t make what this person want.“

In the second video, both hostages are sitting in front of four masked Taliban fighters, three of them holding AK-47s to the hostages´ heads. The Swiss couple speaks for about four minutes in their mothertongue Swiss-German. David O. presents a the Pakistani daily newspaper „Dawn“ September 15th issue to the camera, proving the date the video was recorded.

„We fear for our lives“, David O. pleads, „Please, please finally agree to these demands!“

Swiss nationals David O. and Daniela W. were on a private journey touring Iran and then crossing into southern Pakistan´s region of Balochistan where they were kidnapped. The couple was then taken to the Waziristan tribal areas controlled by various local warlords and terrorist groups including the Tehrik e-Taliban and the Haqqani network. Both hostages are believed to be held near the town of Miranshah in the North Waziristan Agency.

According to information from Pakistan, the Taliban commander Wali ur-Rehman who claims to hold the hostages, is demanding the release of about 100 imprisoned Taliban militants and a ransom of about 3 Million US-Dollars. A very specific demand by the TTP was made public a few months ago: Allegedly the TTP want the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqi to be released from U.S. custody.

Siddiqi was arrested by U.S. forces on the accusation of being an Al-Qaida operative. During interrogation tried to kill an American soldier by grabbing his gun and was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a U.S. court in September 2010.