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Tehrik-e-Taliban—or the Taliban Way

world Updated: May 12, 2009 23:16 IST

Baitullah Mehsud (Age - 35)

Chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Who’s he?

A Pathan from the Mehsud tribe, he has never finished formal schooling although he has received some instruction in a madrassa.

Claim to fame

He was named in the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto. “We never feel sad about the deaths of Pakistani soldiers. They are actually implementing the orders of the West and the US….”

Fazlullah (Age - 38)

Chief of the Taliban in Swat Valley, in northwest Pakistan.

Who’s he?

Studied in a seminary headed by Maulana Sufi Mohammed, his father-in-law. Fought in Afghanistan in 2001, runs his own radio station.

Claim to fame

A brutal Taliban commander, his slogan is shariat or shahadat (the shariat or martyrdom). After Friday prayers in Mamdheray, likes to ride a black horse. Military strength is over 9,000 cadres.

Faqir Mohammed (Age - 35)

Heads the Taliban in the Bajaur Agency, northwest Pakistan.

Who’s he?

Born in Chopatra village is from the powerful Mommand tribe. Previously associated with Maulana Sufi Mohammed, he fought in Afghanistan in 2001.

Claim to fame

Controls the Bajaur Agency. Escaped a US drone attack in Chingai village in October 2006. He has close ties with al Qaeda number two, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Masood Azhar (Age - 31)

Founder of the the Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Who’s he?

Released by the BJP-led govt in December 1999 in exchange for hostages onboard an Indian plane. Studied in Binori town madrassa, he is close associate of Mullah Omar.

Claim to fame

Rabble-rouser, he brought in the element of Sunni domination among jihadi groups. Said to be living in Waziristan, where Jaish cadres are believed to be fighting.