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Myriad militant groups operate on Pakistan border

Myriad militant groups operate on Pakistan border

Key militant groups that operate in Pakistan's violent northwest. While all are anti-U.S., only some are anti-Pakistan.
TEHRIK-E-TALIBAN
Leader: Baitullah Mehsud
An umbrella organization that embraces several Taliban-style groups, including the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law, a violent affiliate of al-Qaida with close ties to its No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri. Declared war on Pakistan in 2007 after its military operation against religious students holding a siege at the Red Mosque in Islamabad. Strong in Bajaur tribal region. Blamed for most attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
ANTI-MEHSUD TALIBAN GROUP
Leaders: Gul Bahadar, Maulvi Naseer
This group has promised not to attack Pakistan. Pakistan praises the group for killing hundreds of Uzbek al-Qaida fighters earlier this year, but Washington says the group sent fighters over the border into Afghanistan to attack U.S. forces. Washington wants Pakistan to shut Nasser down.
HAQQANI NETWORK
Leaders: The father and son team of Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani
This group is considered by the U.S. as its biggest Taliban enemy in Afghanistan but does not fight Pakistani troops. Jalaluddin Haqqani has a 40-year association with Pakistan's intelligence and once visited the White House, where he was welcomed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The fiery, red-bearded Haqqani fought against the former Soviet Union after its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, then seized power with other "freedom fighters" in 1992 to U.S. applause.
HEZB-E-ISLAMI
Leader: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
This group is committed to fighting international and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and took responsibility for the August ambush and killing of 10 French soldiers in eastern Afghanistan. However, Hekmatyar does not fight Pakistani troops and was a favored "freedom fighter" during the 1980s. Shamshatoo Refugee camp in Pakistan's northwest continues to house Hekmatyar loyalists and Hezb-e-Islami security officers.
AL-QAIDA
Leader: Osama bin Laden
Opposed to both the U.S. and Pakistan, funds the Taliban. Trains suicide bombers and foments violence, which in turn has given the global terrorist network the room and the oxygen it needs to revive.
JIHADI ORGANIZATIONS
Leaders: Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba
All have close links to Pakistan's intelligence but have been slipping out of its control since the 2007 assault on the Red Mosque in the federal capital of Islamabad. The organizations have acted as proxies for the Pakistani military against India in the disputed state of Kashmir, but have more recently sided with Taliban-style tribal militants to fight Pakistani security forces in the border regions.
LASHKAR-E-JANGHVI
Leader: Mohammad Ajmal, alias Akram Lahori
A violent sectarian group committed to killing Shiite Muslims in Pakistan but also affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban. Less involved in fighting in Afghanistan, but at war with Pakistan and hunted down by the Pakistani military. Strong ties to al-Qaida, believed to be Tehrik-e-Taliban's greatest asset for providing suicide bombers.
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Sources: Pakistan's Interior Ministry and intelligence agencies, Taliban officials and newspaper reports.


Updated : 2021-04-15 05:24 GMT+08:00