Cracks in takfiri nasbi Taliban widen as Shahidullah Shahid removed

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Tuesday, 21 October 2014

While declaring that Mulla Fazlullah remains loyal to the Afghan Taliban ringleader Mulla Omar, the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has said in a baffling announcement that “Shahidullah Shahid had been replaced as the TTP spokesman long ago and another “brother” will be named later to replace him”. 

Shahidullah Shahid had abandoned the outlawed takfiri terrorist outfit Taliban (TTP) on October 15, 2014 along with five other takfiri Taliban leaders while pledging allegiance to another notorious takfiri outfit DAESH aka ISIL (ISIS) led by Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph. The move came as a major setback not only for Mulla Fazlullah but also for Mullah Omar and Ayman Al Zawahiri. But Mulla Fazlullah, the fugitive TTP ameer, took five days to manage the issuance of a confusing statement on his behalf, denying that the group’s spokesman had defected to the Islamic State, adding that Shahidullah Shahid is merely a nom de guerre (fictitious name) that is shared by every TTP spokesman. The statement added that the person who defected in Shahidullah Shahid’s name [and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State] to is no longer a member of TTP.

The TTP statement, which was released on October 20 and produced by the Long War Journal, then claimed: “Long ago, another brother had replaced Sheikh Maqbool as the TTP spokesman. But we did not announce that due to our policy. Sheikh Maqbool, who previously served as the group’s spokesman, defected under the name of Shahidullah Shahid, although he had no right to do so as he was replaced long ago by another brother who will be named at a later date”. However, one wonders as to why the TTP leadership is still not making public the name of the incumbent group spokesman if he has already been appointed.

The bewildering TTP statement added: “We want to make it clear that Sheikh Maqbool is not Shahidullah Shahid and he is not our spokesman anymore.” Strangely, the TTP statement is also silent about five more TTP commanders who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State along with Sheikh Maqbool including Saeed Khan, the TTP chief in Orakzai Agency; Hafiz Quran Dolat, the TTP chief in Kurram Agency; Gul Zaman, the TTP chief in the Khyber Agency; Mufti Hassan, the TTP chief in Peshawar; and Khalid Mansoor, the TTP chief in Hangu.

If the past is any guide, Fazlullah should have sacked the five rebel commanders by now as had been the case with Commander Abdul Wakil alias Omar Khalid Khorasani, who was removed as the chief of the Mohmand Agency chapter of TTP on September 4, 2014 because of his interference in the affairs of the Afghan Taliban and his contacts with the mysterious groups like Ahraarul Hind and Junudul Khorasan. But there are those in the TTP circles who argue that there is no point in sacking those commanders who have already abandoned their organisation.

The TTP statement also made it clear that Mulla Fazlullah remains loyal to the Afghan Taliban leader Mulla Omar. This clarification is significant because the Pakistani Taliban as well as al-Qaeda owe allegiance to Mulla Omar who is also the ameer of Afghan Taliban. While pledging allegiance to the DAESH, the former TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid had declared in a video message on October 14: “From today, I accept Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi as my Caliph and I will accept every directive of his and will fight for him whatsoever the situation. While Mulla Fazlullah supports Abu Bakar Baghdadi, he had not accepted him as his Caliph”.

But the latest claim—made in the takfiri TTP statement that Shahidullah Shahid is merely an imaginary name which is shared by every TTP spokesman— is clearly flawed given the fact that the real name of the previous TTP spokesman was Sajjad Mohmand who acted as the TTP spokesman under the pseudonym of Ehsanullah Ehsan. Coming from the Mohmand chapter of the TTP, Ehsanullah had abandoned the TTP in September 2014 and joined Jamaat ul Ahraar formed by Omar Khalid Khorasani February this year. Ehsanullah Ehsan was made the central spokesperson of banned TTP in mid-2011 but he was sacked in July 2013 for making remarks that angered the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.

On the other hand, Sheikh Maqbool was appointed the central TTP spokesman in July 2013 after Ehsanullah Ehsan was sacked by the then TTP ameer Hakeemullah Mehsud. Sheikh Maqbool, who is considered close to the Afghan Taliban and has spent much of his time since 2007 in Afghanistan, had been using the fake name of Shahidullah Shahid from the day one. But as things stand, both the former TTP spokesmen - Ehsanullah Ehsan and Shahidullah Shahid - have already abandoned the TTP and pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State led by Abu Bakar Baghdadi. The pledge by some key TTP leaders comes at a time when the Islamic State is taking control of parts of Iraq and Syria.
In a clear bid to broaden its influence in Pakistan, the ISIL or Daesh had even distributed pamphlets in Peshawar city, declaring that the Caliphate led by Abu Baghdadi, was planning to expand its boundaries to “Khorasan” which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of India. The distribution of the pamphlets in Pakistan indicates that the ultra-radical group is trying to inspire militants even in the strongholds of al-Qaeda, thus prompting Ayman Zawahiri to establish the South Asia franchise of al-Qaeda, led by a Pakistani commander, Maulana Asim Umar.

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