Taliban execute Mehsud’s family members on espionage charges

Baitullah Mehsud

Baitullah Mehsud

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Four relatives of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud were reportedly arrested last week by Taliban militants, who suspect them of having informed Pakistani and US intelligence about Mehsud’s whereabouts. Pakistani and US officials say they are almost certain that Mehsud was killed in an unmanned drone air strike (probably remotely operated by the CIA) earlier this month. Mehsud’s family members arrested by the Taliban include his father-in-law, Ikramuddin Mehsud, his son, Ziauddin Mehsud, his brother, Saeedullah Mehsud, and his nephew, Iqbal Mehsud. Earlier today, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, told reporters that the Taliban have executed Mehsud’s family members, listed above, after “confirming” their espionage activities. The report of the execution comes amidst increasing speculation in Islamabad and Washington that the Pakistani Taliban forces have formed rival camps and are now fighting each other. Meanwhile, the Taliban in Pakistan still deny that Mehsud has been assassinated, and claim that he is simply “unable to perform his duties because of ill health”. Interestingly, however, the main Taliban faction in Pakistan has already appointed a new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud. The 28-year-old militant has been connected by Pakistani intelligence sources with the March 3, 2009, attack on the Sri Lankan national cricket team, in Lahore, Pakistan.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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