On Thursday, the Trump Administration offered $5 million for information leading to the identification or location of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah. Fazlullah is the head of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group (TTP). In addition, the Trump Administration offered $3 million for two other Islamic militants associated with the TTP: Abdul Wali, leader of Jamaat ul-Ahrar, and Mangal Bagh, the leader of Lashkar-e-Islam.
Fazlullah has been linked to the 2010 attempted Times Square car bombing in New York, but his most evil acts have come against children, including the order to massacre 132 of them at a Peshawar school in December 2014. As the Telegraph reported:
Seven Taliban gunmen stormed into the Peshawar’ school, shooting and bombing children, killing 132 of them in their classrooms and the school auditorium. They also burned teachers alive in front of their pupils. The headmistress, Tahira Qazi, was blown up with a hand grenade as she cowered in a bathroom.
The State Department wrote:
Maulana Fazlullah is the leader of the TTP, a terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani and U.S. interests, including the failed attempt by Faisal Shahzad to detonate an explosive device in New York City’s Times Square on May 1, 2010. Under his leadership, the TTP has also claimed responsibility for the December 16, 2014, attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan in which gunmen killed 148 people, including 132 students. Fazlullah also is responsible for the June 2012, beheading of 17 Pakistani soldiers, and the October 9, 2012, shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. In 2015, the Department designated Fazlullah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, which freezes all of his assets based in the United States or in possession or control of U.S. persons.
Abdul Wali is the leader of Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JUA), a militant faction affiliated with TTP. Under Wali’s leadership, JUA has staged multiple attacks in the region targeting civilians, religious minorities, military personnel, and law enforcement, and was responsible for the killing of two Pakistani employees of the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar in early March 2016.
Mangal Bagh is the leader of Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant faction affiliated with TTP. Under his leadership, LeI operatives have attacked NATO convoys. His group generates revenue from drug trafficking, smuggling, kidnapping, and collection of “taxes” on transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In September 2007, the Government of Pakistan announced a reward offer of about $60,000 for the capture of, or information leading to the arrest of, Mangal Bagh.
Each of these individuals is believed to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of the United States and its nationals. In addition to opposing the Pakistani military, one of TTP’s stated goals is the expulsion of Coalition troops from Afghanistan. The group has demonstrated a close alliance with al-Qa’ida, and, since 2008, has also repeatedly publicly threatened to attack the U.S. homeland.
Fazlullah is best known for the attempted assassination of Malala Yusufzai, the 15-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner who was shot in the head in 2012 because she defied his ban on attending school.