Six Pakistani Taliban leaders pledge allegiance to IS

Published October 14th, 2014 - 05:07 GMT

Six key Pakistani Taliban commanders, including the spokesman of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan -- a conglomerate of different Pakistani insurgent groups -- announced their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Tuesday.

Shahidullah Shahid, the Pakistani Taliban spokesman, said in a statement that he, along with five other key commanders, have pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi -- the self-declared Caliph of the Muslim world.

“My name is Abu Umer Maqbool Khurrasni and people know me as Shahidullah Shahid. I swear allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. I will listen to and follow his commands, whether I like or dislike them,” Shahid proclaimed.

According to the statement, which was written in Urdu and cited various Quranic verses, the five other Pakistani Taliban commanders who have pledged allegiance to ISIL are: Fateh Gul Zaman, head of the Khyber district; Saeed Khan, head of the Orakzai district; Daulat Khan, head of the Kurram district; Mufti Mohammad Hassan, head of the Peshawar district and Khalid Mansoor, head of the Hangu district.

Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, is currently on the run due to the ongoing military onslaught in the restless North Waziristan province that aims to eradicate his militant network.

Though he supports their struggle, he has not pledged his allegiance to ISIL. 

"This pledge of allegiance is not from the Pakistani Taliban or its chief Mullah Fazlullah, but it is from me and the five other commanders,” the statement clarified.


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