Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi appeared next to the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, and explained how the “emigrants” — Muslim jihadists from abroad — were given shelter by the Pakistani Taliban and so should exact revenge for US attacks.
In August, Baitullah Mehsud, the supreme commander of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a CIA missile strike.
“We will never forget the blood of our emir Baitullah Mehsud. We will always demand revenge for him inside America and outside,” he said, addressing the “enemies of God” and Jordanian intelligence. “It is an obligation of the emigrants who were welcomed by the emir.”
Al-Balawi, wearing traditional Afghan dress, spoke in Arabic during the minute-and-a-half video. Several extremist Islamic web sites linked to the Jazeera video.
The IntelCenter, a US-based group monitoring extremist sites, said the video was released by the Pakistani branch of the Taliban. Jordanian intelligence officials have said they believed the devout 32-year-old doctor had been persuaded to support US efforts against the al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. They say al-Balawi was recruited to help capture or kill Ayman al-Zawahri, a doctor from Egypt who is Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man, according to a counterterrorism official based in the Middle East.
Al-Balawi blew himself up in a meeting with seven employees of the CIA in eastern Afghanistan. In the video, al-Balawi appeared to mock reports that he had ever been an employee of the US or Jordanian intelligence.
“The emigrant, for the sake of God, will not put his religion on the bargaining table and will not sell his religion even if they put the sun in his right hand and the moon in his left,” he said, making a reference to a verse in the Muslim holy book.
Al-Balawi ended the video by saying that the Taliban under the leadership of the new emir, Hakimullah, would continue fighting until victory.
The Pakistani Taliban named Hakimullah their top commander after the death of their leader. The 20-something heir is considered a somewhat rash actor who doesn’t hesitate to use violence.
The CIA attack would be the most prolific strike on a US target by the Pakistani Taliban under Hakimullah. He is believed to be evading the Pakistani military offensive by hiding somewhere along the border dividing South and North Waziristan tribal regions.
The Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban are separate, though linked, insurgent movements.