ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Taliban cleric Faqir Mohammed is tall, thin, very serious and very religious. His eyes are hard and he speaks slowly. He never smiles.
And when you hear what he has to say, you won't be smiling either.
"If we get hold of nuclear weapons – which we hope to get very soon – then we will safeguard them until Allah Almighty guides us when and against whom to use them," he told NBC News in an interview at his mountain hideout.
These days, the 38-year-old cleric prefers to be called "Commander Faqir." He thinks it befits his new role as deputy leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the umbrella organization that was formed last December to try and unite Pakistani militants.
|Faqir Mohammed, left, speaks with NBC News Mushtaq Yusufzai, center, at his remote mountain top stronghold near the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border while Faqir's bodyguards standby in the rear.|
Hat tip to table Hand at Jawa, I saw ths there.
U.S. Striking Al Qaeda Targets in Pakistan
James Joyner | Thursday, March 27, 2008
The United States is stepping up its attacks on al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, largely without coordination with that country's government.
The United States has escalated its unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda members and fighters operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, partly because of anxieties that Pakistan's new leaders will insist on scaling back military operations in that country, according to U.S. officials. Washington is worried that pro-Western President Pervez Musharraf, who has generally supported the U.S. strikes, will almost certainly have reduced powers in the months ahead, and so it wants to inflict as much damage as it can to al-Qaeda's network now, the officials said.
Under the current terms the Paki Gov has with the Taliban the Government has withdrawn troops from the border areas, allowing for the possibility of HOT pursuit of Taliban on the border areas.
Expect some good hits on HVT in border areas.
Time to crunch up some talbi.