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Mehsud charged for killing 7 CIA agents in Afghanistan

world Updated: Sep 02, 2010 11:13 IST

PTI
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Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was today charged for his involvement in the murder of seven American nationals last year at a CIA base in Afghanistan, the US said on Thursday.

The two-count criminal complaint, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on August 20, 2010
and unsealed today, charges Mehsud, with conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass
destruction (explosives) against US citizens abroad.

"Today's charges underscore our continuing commitment to seek justice for Americans who are murdered or victimised
by overseas terrorist attacks," David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security said.

Department of Justice made these announcements as the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, designated Pakistani
Taliban a foreign terrorist organisation and its leaders Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-Ur-Rehman as a foreign terrorist.

If convicted of the charges unsealed today, Hakimullah Mehsud faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Mehsud, a resident of the Federally
Administered Tribal Area in Pakistan, the primary purpose of Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is to force withdrawal of
Pakistani troops from the Pakistan's tribal region.

FATA is located along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

It aims to establish Sharia—or Islamic law—in the tribal territories.

The affidavit alleges that the TTP has had alleged roles in, or claimed responsibility for, a number of acts of
violence, including the December 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the September 2009 suicide attack on the Bannu,
Pakistan police station, and numerous attacks on NATO supply lines throughout the FATA.

These attacks are often coordinated with other insurgents or terrorist groups, including the Taliban and al
Qaeda.

On December 30, 2009, the affidavit alleges, Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, also known as Abu Dujanah
al-Khorasani (al-Balawi), a Jordanian physician, entered a US military base near the town of Khost, Afghanistan, for a
pre-planned meeting.

Shortly after entering the base, al-Balawi detonated a suicide device concealed beneath his clothing, killing
himself and seven US citizens. Six other US citizens were also injured, it said.

Soon after the attack, the affidavit alleges, the media arm of the TTP released a video depicting Hakimullah
Mehsud and al-Balawi seated together, in which they explain in detail their motivation for launching a suicide attack against the Americans.