The United States has put a $5 million bounty on his head, and he says militants under his control are planning a terrorist attack in Washington that “will amaze everyone in the world.”
And he isn’t Usama bin Laden. Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Taliban in Pakistan, told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that his group was responsible for Monday’s attack on a police academy in his country that killed seven police officers and injured more than 90 others.
Terrorism experts call Mehsud a “rising young star” who is linked both to the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the bombing last September that killed 54 people in the Marriott hotel in Islamabad — and they say his threat to carry out an attack in Washington should not be discounted.
“It should be taken seriously because [Mehsud] has ordered the deaths of many Pakistanis and Afghans and has a close alliance with Al Qaeda,” said James Phillips, a terrorism expert and senior research fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation. “It’s not too much of a stretch to think he might be involved in an attack on the U.S. if he’s able to get his followers inside the United States. He’s a militant extremist whose threats cannot be ignored.”
A Taliban leader in Pakistan, with known links to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden says the Taliban will capture the whole of Pakistan very soon. Is Washington DC next?
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