In light of the revelations that the alleged Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad admitted to receiving training in Waziristan, SITE is releasing a timeline and brief report looking at how the recent videos from the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) were released to the internet.
As SITE reported, between May 1 and May 2, 2010, a total of three videos related to the TTP were released. The three videos include TTP's claim of credit for the Times Square attack, as well as two videos featuring Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the TTP who was believed to have been killed in January 2010.
Below is a timeline related to the release of the three TTP videos.
April 30, 2010
On April 30, 2010, a YouTube account was created called “Taliban News Channel.” The profile associated with the account claimed it was the “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.” No videos were yet posted to the account.
May 2, 2010
Following the Mayor Bloomberg's press conference on Sunday morning, around 3:00 AM EDT on May 2, 2010, a video allegedly from the TTP was posted to the “Taliban News Channel” and advertised on jihadist forums.
The video claims the Times Square attack on behalf of the TTP, though it does not mention Times Square or New York by name. In the video, the TTP states that the attack was in revenge for the recent deaths of Abu Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, killed in Iraq in April. The group also maintains that the attack was in “revenge for the Global American interference & terrorism in Muslim Countries, especially in Pakistan for Lalmasjid operation, the recent rain of Drone attacks in the tribal areas and the abduction, torture and humiliation of our most respected & innocent sister Dr. Aafia Siddiquie.” The group further threatens NATO countries, “to oppose the evil U.S policies and sincerely apologize for the massacres in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan & Pakistani tribal areas otherwise be prepared for the worst ever destruction and devastation in their regions.”
Several hours later, another YouTube channel was created on May 2, 2010, called “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.” The profile associated with the account contains similar details to the first YouTube account created on April 30, including the same name (“Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan”), occupation (“Jihad in the path of ALLAH Subhanahu wa Taala.”), companies (“Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan”), and hobbies (“Khilafat, Shariah, Jihad”).
Around 9:00 PM EDT, the same user who had posted links to the first YouTube video posted a new message to jihadist forums advertising the same TTP video claiming credit for the Times Square attack.
However, in addition to having the initial video of TTP's claim for the Times Square attack, this new YouTube account had two other videos uploaded featuring Hakimullah Mehsud. One video featured Mehsud on screen allegedly recorded on April 4, 2010, while the other was an audio message from Mehsud allegedly recorded on April 19, 2010.
Mehsud appears on screen in a 9 minute video subtitled in English bearing the mark of Umar Studio, the TTP's media arm. In the video, Mehsud states that the TTP will within a month retaliate against the United States in the country itself for having “martyred many of our great muslim Leaders i.e., Baitullah Mehsud Shaheed RA and many respected brothers from Al-Qaida who were prince of Arab and they only came to us for shelter.”
Furthermore, Mehsud promises strikes on “major cities” in the United States, saying, “The time is very near when our Fidaeen [soldiers will to die] will attack the American states in their major cities. And inshaALLAH we will succeed in our attacks. Our fidaeen have penetrated the terrorist America, we will give extremely painful blows to the fanatic America.” He also adds, “InshaALLAH very soon in some days or a month's time, the Muslim ummah will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fidaeen in USA.”
In addition to the new video footage of Mehsud, the TTP leader speaks in a 2-minute audio message also subtitled in English and bearing the mark of Umar Studio, the TTP's media arm. In the audio message, which is played over a map of the United States along with animated explosions, Mehsud states that the TTP has branded American cities as the group's “main targets,” and promises that attacks will happen within days or weeks. He says, “From now on, THE MAIN TARGETS of our FIDAEEN [self-sacrificing soldiers] are AMERICAN CITIES. The good news will be heard within some days or weeks. Today on-wards, the direction of our JEHAD is AMERICAN States & Cities.”