Omar Khalid al-Khorasani, identified as the top commander of the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), released a video statement on Monday, June 3rd, answering questions concerning recent attacks in Pakistan. Al-Khorasani stated that these attacks are just the start of their revenge; the TTP plans to attack American targets in retaliation to the death of Osama bin Laden: “We have networks in several countries outside Pakistan. Our war against America is continuing inside and outside of Pakistan. When we launch attacks, it will prove that we can hit American targets outside Pakistan.”
As we have previously blogged, the TTP has been quite active in the weeks following bin Laden’s death, ultimately targeting Pakistan and American Diplomats. Such attacks include a 20 man operation targeting Pakistan’s naval aviation base in Karachi as well as a car bombing of US consulate vehicles in Peshawar, killing one and wounding twelve others.
Al-Khorasani also described Ayman al-Zawahiri, a likely successor to bin Laden, as the TTP’s "chief and supreme leader." This is the second group to publicly support Zawahiri as a leader in the aftermath of Bin Laden’s death; the first being al Qaeda in Iraq. Zawahiri has been described as the strategic and operational mastermind behind Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network, especially known for his public criticisms of America and its allies on several video messages. In recent months, Zawahiri called on Muslims in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and other Muslim countries to attack NATO and American forces in Libya. While Saif al-Adel has allegedly been appointed the interim leader of al Qaeda, it is still believed by many that Zawahiri will eventually replace bin Laden.