- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
U.S. takes fight to Taliban leader
Both Pakistani and U.S. officials have accused Mr. Mehsud of leading the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Mr. Mehsud denied any involvement, and Mrs. Bhutto’s followers said later that they doubted Mr. Mehsud was responsible.
During the Bush administration, the apparent immunity of Mr. Mehsud and his forces from U.S. drone attacks prompted a spate of rumors that the militant leader was somehow involved with the Americans.
After Sunday’s attack, local tribesmen told The Times that they expect Mr. Mehsud to retaliate by targeting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Mr. Mehsud is the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organization of Pakistani Taliban, as well as the undeclared leader of the recent alliance known as the Shura Ittehadul Mujahedeen (SIM).
In forming the alliance, militant commanders said they had two goals: fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan and imposing Shariah law throughout Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Syed Alam Mehsud, vice president of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party in the North West Frontier Province, told The Times that the missile strikes will have a profound impact.
“It seems the Americans have come to realize that after the unification of major Taliban groups and Baitullah being its head, the TTP chief is the real threat and that is why they have started striking his strongholds with missiles from drones,” he said.
He added, “I think Baitullah’s turn has come. The reason is the anticipated spring offensive of Taliban to start in April and the arrival of thousands of additional [U.S. troops] in Afghanistan’s south.”
• Sara A. Carter reported from Washington.
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Border Patrol policy still permits agents to shoot at rock-throwers
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again