On September first, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism, Daniel Benjamin, announced that as part of its continued efforts to disrupt and dismantle terrorist organizations operating from Pakistan, the U.S. "designated the Tehrik-e Taliban as both a Foreign Terrorist Organization and as a Special Designated Global Terrorist Organization." The U.S also designated 2 of the organization's senior leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman, said Ambassador Benjamin:
"These designations are part of our multipronged approach to disrupt and dismantle Tehrik-e Taliban in Pakistan. These actions will help stem the flow of finances to the TTP and provide the Department of Justice with a critical tool to prosecute those who knowingly provide material support to the TTP and its senior leaders."
Tehrik-e Taliban, or TTP, consists of a number of militant groups that coalesced under the banner of TTP in 2007. It is rooted in the tribal belt along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Its goals include toppling the Government of Pakistan by waging a campaign of terrorism against the civilian leaders of that country and its military.
TTP has a symbiotic relationship with al-Qa'ida. TTP draws ideological guidance from al-Qa'ida, and al-Qa'ida relies on TTP for safe haven in the Pashtun areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border. This mutual cooperation gives TTP access to both al-Qa'ida's global terrorist network and the operational experience of its members. Given the proximity of the two groups and the nature of their relationship, TTP is a force multiplier for al-Qa'ida.
Hakimullah Mehsud ascended to TTP leadership upon the death of his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009. Wali Ur Rehman is TTP's chief military strategist, and its amir in South Waziristan.
Under the direction of these 2 men, TTP launched numerous attacks against U.S. and Pakistani targets, and against NATO forces in Afghanistan.
U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards of as much as $5 million each for information that leads law enforcement or security forces to Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman.
Tehrik-e Taliban and its leaders are a danger to the interests of both the United States and Pakistan, to their facilities and citizens. For that reason, the U.S. is determined to eliminate TTP’s ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks.