Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Little Things the Democrats don't think are threatening

Many say Baitullah Mehsud and the supreme leader of the Taleban, Mullah Omar, have several similarities. Both have fought against the Soviet occupation, both are against photographs, both vow jihad and both keep moving from one hideout to another.

As we were preparing to leave to meet Baitullah, a man came to the militants and handed over a small blue plastic bag.

"This is how Allah takes care of our needs. This is money. Half a million Pakistani rupees [more than $8,200]," Zulfiqar said. I asked who gave it to him. "Someone," was his brief answer.

Baitullah's private army along with other militant groups have imposed a strict Islamic code in North and parts of South Waziristan.

They run a parallel government here. Music and videos are banned while militants claim people approach them for settlement of their disputes.

With a black-dyed beard, 34-year-old Baitullah greeted us in a big room with several of his armed men beside him. We sat on a new colourful quilt spread on the ground.

Baitullah seemed a man with only jihad (holy war) on his mind. During the interview he quoted several verses from the Koran to defend his stance that foreign forces must be evicted from Islamic countries.

"Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfil God's orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world," he says.

The militant leader on several occasions in the past had openly admitted crossing over into Afghanistan to fight foreign troops.

"We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."

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