Taliban: Murder on Mind

Isis ‘executes 150 women for refusing to marry militants’ and buries them in mass graves

Isis 'executes 150 women for refusing to marry militants' and buries them in mass graves
Some of the women killed were pregnant at the time, according to the Anadolu Agency.
Isis has executed at least 150 women for refusing to marry militants in Iraq, Turkish media has reported.

READ ALSO: British ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ claims ISIS beheaded four children for refusing to convert to Islam

A statement released by the country’s Ministry of Human Rights on Tuesday said the militants had attacked women in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah.

READ ALSO: Life under ISIS: Captured teenage girl tells story of horrendous abuse

Some of the women killed were pregnant at the time, according to the Anadolu Agency.

READ ALSO: ‘300 Chinese fighting for ISIS in Mideast’

“At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage,” the statement said.

“Many families were also forced to migrate from the province’s northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats.”

READ ALSO: Yazidi girls seized by ISIS speak out after escape

Isis has overrun a large part of the western Anbar province in its push to expand its territory across swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The Independent is attempting to verify the reports.

ISIS unleashes terror across Syria and Iraq.

The executions come after the militant group shot dead at least 50 men, women and children in a tribe massacre in the province last month.

The attack against the Al Bu Nimr tribe took place in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of Ramadi, the provincial capital. There, the militant group killed at least 40 men, six women and four children.

A senior tribesman said they were lined up and publicly killed one by one. An official within the Anbar governor’s office corroborated the tribesman’s account, according to The Associated Press.

Isis also recently published what appeared to be an “abhorrent” pamphlet providing its followers with guidelines on how to capture, keep and sexually abuse female slaves.

ISIS beheads US aid worker Peter Kassig

1 of 8
The Islamic State jihadist group on Sunday claimed to have executed Peter Kassig, a US aid worker kidnapped in Syria, as a warning to the United States. (AP photo)

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values that are never translated to any action to protect them, particularly as they
continue to be targeted by the regime. this has expanded the acceptance of iSiS, and

militarisation, to rule local populations in areas it controls.

governed must comply” (Keister & l. Slantchev, 2014). coercion is a main factor in
creating compliance, as physical and nutritional security may overwhelm other
interests. however, civilians do have room to manoeuvre above a certain level.
considered as political actors, they have preferences and are capable of resisting and
shaping their governor’s governance tools.
the model developed in this study builds on three key governance tools that seem to
facilitate the governability of local actors beyond coercion; these are effectiveness,

international counterparts2 – an issue that could explain the failure of international

literature (Brikerhoff, 2005; Edwards, 2010; mac Ginty, 2011; Roberts, 2011; Zoellick,

Effectiveness: this is related to the regular and equitable provision of basic needs like
electricity, water, food, jobs, etc. it also extends to cover more sustainable measures
related to regenerating an economic cycle and livelihood opportunities.
Security: this is related to the capability to secure civilian lives. it involves managing
security and order on the ground in a systematic, rather than ad hoc, manner. this is
achieved via the creation, maintenance, and management of the relevant state
functions of the police, judicial system, and armed groups. it also extends to defending
infrastructure and sources of livelihood like power lines, pipelines, roads, and homes
from looting and destruction.
Legitimacy: this refers to a social compact or complex set of beliefs and values
(internal and external) governing state-society relations. it involves relationships,
processes, and procedures. Part of these is also the capacity-related legitimacy, which
relates to the provision of basic services and security measures in an accountable
manner to citizens.

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these include forces that do not share common causes and values for tolerance,
justice, exclusion of violence, etc., which characterise the “civil” in civil society (Fischer,
2006). While uncivil actors have money, arms, and power, their networks extend
beyond Syria to include nodes in other countries. these seem to be part of the agenda

rather, it is to expand their networks to control territory through political and military
means (Kaldor, 2003). their technique is terror; violence against civilians is their
deliberate war strategy (Kaldor, 2003). Soft power is also critical to this technique. Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics 73
the islamic State in iraq and Greater Syria (iSiS) is one of these most powerful uncivil
forces in Syria. iSiS is a predominantly jihadist group manipulating the country’s

sharia (Zachary laub, 2014). the group is said to have emerged in 2006 after the USled
invasion of iraq. it appears to be a product of the islamic State of iraq, established

April 2014 (Zelin, 2014). Since then, iSiS has come to be even more extreme than al-
Qaeda. At odds with al-Qaeda, iSiS seeks to expand its territorial control and establish

the brutality of iSiS and its ability to govern and expand has alarmed the international
community that remains incapable of dealing with it effectively. currently, a US-led antiiSiS
coalition of over 64 nations and groups continues to launch airstrikes in Syria and
iraq against it and other islamist groups in the aim of weakening the group (national
Post, 2014). however, according to local activists on the ground, this is only serving to
expand the legitimacy of iSiS.1 Some locals have since then moved their support to the
group because their security and livelihoods have not been spared the striking. Rather,
they are more in danger by both the coalition and the regime’s shelling. this has
promoted iSiS as the main group providing them with a form of security in contradiction
to the international community. the latter is perceived as preaching human rights

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World condemnation Tuesday’s attack brought condemnation from the world, including from the United Nation’s Security Council, which labeled it a “depraved and savage” act of terror against children. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the militants showed cowardice, and that “no cause can justify such brutality.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed condolences in a phone call to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying the United States stands in solidarity and support of Pakistan in the fight against terror. Authorities said the attack began when seven militants, carrying ammunition and explosives, used a ladder to scale a back wall at the school, which houses more than 1,000 students and staff. When they reached a student assembly in a packed auditorium, they opened fire. From there, witnesses said the attackers went from classroom to classroom, methodically killing everyone they could reach. The militants also wounded another 121 children and three staff members. MIlitary spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said all of the attackers were killed in hours-long gun battles with Pakistani troops, who swarmed the facility. Source: Voice of America

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VOA News Last updated on: December 17, 2014 7:42 AM Pakistani officials are taking steps to respond to Tuesday’s Taliban assault on a school in Peshawar while the nation begins three days of mourning for the 132 children and nine staff members who died. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved an order Wednesday lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases that had been in place since 2008. Sharif has also pledged to continue a military offensive against militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region, near the Afghan border. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul describes the scenes in Peshawar, Pakistan. Playlist Download The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out Tuesday’s attack in retaliation for the army’s push to go after the insurgents. Meanwhile, Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Rizwan Akhtar headed to Kabul on Wednesday to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. General John Campbell, who heads NATO forces in Afghanistan. VOA’s Ayaz Gul said the visit is unprecedented and could signal a break in what had been improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gul said a recent visit to Pakistan by Ghani had helped reduce tensions between the two countries, but this attack may raise tensions again. Pakistani Taliban fighters have long used the North Waziristan region to provide refuge for Afghan insurgents who cross over the porous border. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai also often accused the Pakistani military of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, which Pakistan denies.

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Pakistan’s Military Campaign Against the Taliban Maps of the major attacks since June. OPEN Graphic Pakistan’s leaders spent the early part of the day grieving for those killed on Tuesday. Before traveling to Kabul, General Sharif attended a service for victims at the army headquarters in Peshawar. Prime Minister Sharif, who held a meeting with opposition political leaders in the city, announced that he was lifting a moratorium on the death penalty that has been in place since 2008. Sitting grim-faced beside the prime minister was Imran Khan, the opposition leader who has spent the past four months trying to oust Mr. Sharif over vote-rigging accusations. In response to the crisis, Mr. Khan has agreed to suspend his street campaign. It was not clear, however, whether the Pakistani response would focus primarily on the Afghan sanctuary or whether it would, as analysts say is urgently needed, also examine the deep flaws in Pakistan’s own counterterrorism policy. Continue reading the main story Video Play Video|1:51 News Analysis: Pakistan School Attack News Analysis: Pakistan School Attack The Pakistani Taliban’s attack on a school in Peshawar in broad daylight Tuesday signaled a significant change of tactics. Video by Adam B. Ellick, Emily B. Hager and Quynhanh Do on Publish Date December 16, 2014. Photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters. Pakistani security officials in Peshawar initially reported that there were nine attackers on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they dropped that figure to seven. Mr. Khurasani, the Taliban spokesman, said the school had been selected for attack because it served predominantly children of military personnel. “Our shura decided to target these enemies of Islam right in their homes so they can feel the pain of losing their children,” he said. In Peshawar, all businesses and schools were closed, and long lines of vehicles were backed up on the roads, delayed by security checkpoints and barricades. Banners expressing solidarity with the victims’ families and condemning the attack were displayed across the city’s main squares. Student organizations were planning to hold candlelight vigils later in the evening. Security remained high in the city, which has a long history of Taliban attacks. Security officials barred vehicles without proper documentation from entering. Many residents visited relatives and friends who had lost their sons in the attack. “I lost everything,” said Muhammad Rizwan, whose son Maher was shot to death, as he received condolences from visitors at his home. “Without my son, life has become meaningless for me,” he said.

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The Pakistani Taliban, for their part, named the commander responsible for the attack as Omar Mansoor, the Taliban commander for Peshawar and Darra Adam Khel, a nearby tribal district known for its gunsmiths. In a statement on Wednesday, the militants released photos that showed six armed men, described as the attackers, wearing military fatigues and gripping assault rifles, standing alongside Mr. Mansoor. A Taliban spokesman, Mohammed Khurasani, warned of further attacks unless the army ceased a six-month-old offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal district.

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Survivors Recount Pakistan School Attack Witnesses described the scene on Tuesday in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan after at least 145 people were killed in a Taliban attack on a school. Video by Quynhanh Do on Publish Date December 16, 2014. Photo by Bilawal Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency. The other element of Pakistan’s militant problem, however, lies within — namely the military’s history of favoring some Islamist groups while fighting others. In Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif insisted that policy was ending. “We announce that there will be no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban,” he said.

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Pakistani soldiers arrived at the gates of the Army Public School in Peshawar on Wednesday. Credit Farooq Naeem/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images A senior security official in Peshawar, speaking on the condition of anonymity before the meeting, said Pakistan possessed hard proof that Tuesday’s attack had been coordinated by Taliban commanders hiding on Afghan soil. “The intel monitored the conversation between the attackers and their handler who was across the border during the siege,” the official said. “The chief would be demanding action.” Pakistan has long contended that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, is hiding in the mountainous eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Last year, Afghan officials admitted to helping Mr. Fazlullah, largely as payback for Pakistani support for the Afghan Taliban. But relations between the two countries have visibly warmed since September, when Mr. Ghani came to power, and in recent weeks some reports have suggested that American airstrikes inside Afghanistan had targeted Pakistani Taliban leaders.

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, traveled to Afghanistan on Wednesday to seek help in locating the Pakistani Taliban commanders who orchestrated the massacre at a Peshawar school on Tuesday in which 148 people, mostly schoolchildren, were killed. General Sharif and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency, Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, flew to Kabul, the capital, for meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military said. The sudden trip came as Pakistanis united in horror and grief at Tuesday’s assault, in which Taliban gunmen stormed the Army Public School and Degree College, firing randomly, throwing grenades and lining up some students to be executed. Of the 148 fatalities, 132 were students. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage One of the 132 students who were killed at a school in Peshawar as nine gunmen wreaked havoc with grenades and suicide vests. Taliban Besiege Pakistan School, Leaving 145 DeadDEC. 16, 2014 Journalists were shown around the blood-splattered school buildings where the killings took place. Clothes, shoes and schoolbooks were scattered about the deserted hallways. One military officer wept as he accompanied a reporter around the scene. Photo The bloodstained floor of an auditorium in the school. Pakistan began three days of mourning for the 132 children and nine staff members killed in the attack. Credit Basit Gilani/European Pressphoto Agency The government declared three days of mourning, the national flag was lowered to half-staff on all official buildings, and prayer services were scheduled across the country. Pakistan’s fractious military and political leaders also resolved to strike back against the Taliban. For the army, that involved pointing to their sanctuary in Afghanistan. In its statement, the military said that General Sharif had shared vital elements of intelligence with the Afghan president and American commander in Kabul. Mr. Ghani assured the Pakistanis of his cooperation against the Taliban, the statement said. There was no immediate reaction from Afghan or American officials in Kabul.

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Afghan Taliban slam Pakistan counterparts This is the deadliest incident inside Pakistan since October 2007, when 139 Pakistanis died and more than 250 others were wounded in an attack near a procession for exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, according to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan, who are closely affiliated with their Pakistani counterparts, criticized the killing of women and children as against Islamic teaching. The spokesman for the Afghan terror group expressed condolences to the victims of Tuesday’s attack. Source: CNN Asia Pacific Pakistani Army Chief Asks Afghans to Help Find Taliban Commanders Behind Massacre By ISMAIL KHANDEC. 17, 2014 Photo A soldier stood guard amid the damage at the Army Public School in Peshawar on Wednesday, a day after the massacre by the Pakistani Taliban. Credit Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

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Goal was to kill Pakistani authorities said the attackers’ goal was to kill, not take captives. While lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases, the Prime Minister expressed frustration about failed talks. “We tried dialogue with these militants, we reopened the door to talks,” Sharif said. “It was unsuccessful … there was no other option than to engage in an operation against these people.” He did not mention any specific terror groups. But the Pakistan Taliban and the government have been involved in peace talks in the past. Pakistan released 19 Taliban noncombatants in a goodwill gesture, but talks broke down after a wave of militant attacks. Violent past Pakistan has seen plenty of violence, much of it involving militants targeting restive regions in northwest Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan. It is the home base of the Pakistan Taliban, known as the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan or TTP, which seeks to enforce its conservative version of Islam in Pakistan. The group has battled Pakistani troops and attacked civilians, including in Peshawar, an ancient city of more than 3 million people. And the Taliban haven’t hesitated to go after schoolchildren. Their most notable target is Malala Yousafzai, who was singled out and shot in October 2012 as she rode to school in a van with other girls. The teenage girl survived and became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize last week for her efforts to promote education and girls’ rights. Yousafzai said the attack left her heartbroken. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” she said.

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Children drenched in blood Pakistani troops eventually pushed through the buildings, room by room, and confined the attackers to four buildings. They found children drenched in blood. Some of the bodies lay on top of others. “Even the children are dying on the frontline in the war against terror,” said Khawaja Asif, the defense minister. “The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry.” By the time the siege ended in the evening, military officials said all seven militants were dead. It’s unclear whether they were killed by soldiers or they detonated their explosives. The casualty tolls don’t include the terrorists. World leaders condemn Pakistan attack Malala: Taliban school attack ‘senseless’ Pakistan takes on Taliban militants Pakistan terror attack: What’s next? The ambush at Army Public School and Degree College left more than 100 injured, many with gunshot wounds, according to Mushtaq Ghani, a spokesman for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It started with a ruse The nightmare began in late morning, when a car exploded behind the school. Pakistani authorities said the blast was a ruse to divert security guards’ attention. Gunmen got over the walls and walked through where students in grades eight, nine and 10 have classes. The militants came in with enough ammunition and other supplies to last for days and were not expecting to come out alive, a Pakistani military official said. Most of those killed were between the ages of 12 and 16, said Pervez Khattak, chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. Some adults were also targeted, including a 28-year-old office assistant who was shot and burned alive, police official Faisal Shehzad said.

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Students thought Taliban attack was drill It accused the students at the army school of “following the path of their fathers and brothers to take part in the fight against the tribesmen” nationwide. The Army Public School and Degree College is home to about 1,100 students and staff, most of them sons and daughters of army personnel from around Peshawar. The public school admits children whose parents are in the military, but its classes are not restricted to future soldiers. A day after the massacre, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on the death penalty for terrorism cases. Who are the Pakistani Taliban? ‘Under the benches … kill them’ Student Ahmed Faraz, 14, recalled the moment the terrorists struck. He was in the auditorium when about five people burst in through a back door and started firing. ” ‘God is great,’ ” the militants shouted as they roared through the hallways, Ahmed said. They sought out terrified children. ” ‘A lot of the children are under the benches,’ ” a Pakistan Taliban member said, according to Ahmed. ” ‘Kill them.’ ” The ninth-grader got shot in his left shoulder and lay under a bench. “My shoulder was peeking out of the bench,” Ahmed recalled. “They went into another room, (and when) I ran to the exit, I fell.” Seventh-grader Mohammad Bilal said he was sitting outside his classroom taking a math test when the gunfire erupted. He fell into bushes before running to the school’s gates to safety. Students, teachers recount the horror they saw

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Pakistan militants: Children’s massacre was to avenge army strikes By Faith Karimi, Greg Botelho and Sophia Saifi, CNN December 17, 2014 — Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT) Watch this video The Taliban in Pakistan’s terror legacy STORY HIGHLIGHTS Pakistan lifts moratorium on the death penalty after massacre Of the 145 people killed, most were children between ages 12 and 16 Attackers gunned down students hiding under benches “A lot of the children are under the benches. Kill them,” an attacker said Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — As Pakistan started three days of national mourning Wednesday, the Taliban said they targeted a school that mostly admits soldiers’ children because the students aspired to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and target militants. Terrorists ambushed the school in Peshawar on Tuesday, explosives strapped to their bodies, and burst into an auditorium filled with students taking exams. They sprayed bullets rapidly, killing 145 people. Of those, 132 were children, authorities said. In an email, the terror group warned Muslims to avoid places with military ties, saying it attacked the school to avenge the deaths of children allegedly killed by soldiers in tribal areas.

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“The use of armed drones in the border areas of Pakistan is a continued violation of our territorial integrity,” he said. “It results in casualties of innocent civilians and is detrimental to our resolve and efforts to eliminate extremism and terrorism from Pakistan.” The drone program, however, enjoys broad support at home, where the prospect of taking out “bad guys” without risking American lives is very appealing. But the strikes can provoke a backlash, said Bruce Hoffman, terrorism expert at Georgetown University. As the Times Square incident attests, TTP and its affiliates may seek to mount an attack on US soil. “The message may be, ‘The US is pounding us with drone attacks, but we’re powerful enough to strike back,’” Hoffman said in an interview with The New York Times. According to Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, the Times Square attempted bombing shows that the United States and Pakistan face a common enemy. He called the failed terrorist attack “a pretty stark reminder that the same collection of terrorists that are threatening them are threatening us.” Jean MacKenzie worked as a reporter in Afghanistan from October 2004 to December 2011, first as the head of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, then as a senior correspondent for GlobalPost. Editor’s note: This is part of a two-part series called Know your Taliban. Click here for part one, Who bombed Pakistan’s Christians? Source: Global Post …and I am Sid Harth

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LeT has also been blamed for a series of attacks against Indian targets inside Afghanistan, including the bombing of the Indian Embassy in 2008 and 2009, in which 75 people died, as well as the 2010 bombing of a guest house in Kabul that served Indian workers. The TTP was decapitated in 2009, when a US drone strike killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud. His cousin and deputy, Hakimullah Mehsud, took over, but according to many reports, a power struggle led to the organization fracturing still further, generating more subgroups. “The government also does not know the exact number of [militant groups in Pakistan],” Rahimullah Yousafzai, a Pakistani journalist who specializes in covering militants, told Radio Free Europe. “Sometimes we hear that there are 70 or 80 groups. Some even say there are around 100 militant groups in Pakistan. But none of these numbers or information is completely accurate.” The problem is acute for a government that’s actively seeking a peace deal, in part to be able to proceed with plans for a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. The deal is in flagrant violation of US sanctions on Tehran, and the prime minister is worried that US drone strikes will make any peace agreement with the militants impossible. The US drone program is highly unpopular within Pakistan; revenge for Muslims killed in drone strikes is one of the main reasons cited in recent militant attacks. In his address to the UN General Assembly last week, Sharif urged the United States to back off.

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“The Taliban have provided shelter to Al Qaeda leaders, been operationally active with it, and most recently vowed to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden.” The Pakistani Taliban’s main focus has been its antipathy to the Pakistani state; the TTP is believed to have been behind the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, and bombings in Islamabad, Lahore and elsewhere. The TTP is also blamed for the attack on Malala Yousafzai, a teenaged Pakistani blogger who advocates for girls’ education. She was shot in the head in October 2012, on her way home from school. But the group has ambitions far beyond Pakistan’s borders. The failed attempt to bomb New York’s Times Square in May 2010 was carried out by Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who said the TTP had trained him. This led the US State Department to classify the TTP as a “foreign terrorist organization” that September. The Pakistani Taliban is also sending fighters to Syria. They’re helping the opposition in its bid to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been waging a brutal war against them for two and a half years. According to a Reuters report, the TTP is hoping to cement ties with Al Qaeda by helping out their affiliates in the Middle East. But parts of the Pakistani Taliban reserve their special ire for India. One particular TTP group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was behind the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that left more than 150 dead.

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Roots in Afghanistan The origins of the Pakistani Taliban are closely tied to their Afghan brothers. During the anti-Soviet jihad, fighters from Pakistan spilled across the border to help drive out the foreigners, and history repeated itself following the US-led invasion of 2001. By 2002 there were enough militants in Pakistan’s border areas that the government felt compelled to try and establish some form of control, which only forced the fighters to coalesce. “Supporters of the Afghan Taliban in the tribal areas transitioned into a mainstream Taliban force of their own as a reaction to the Pakistani army’s incursion into the tribal areas, which began in 2002, to hunt down militants,” the Council on Foreign Relations writes. “In December 2007, about 13 disparate militant groups coalesced under the umbrella of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) … with militant commander Baitullah Mehsud from South Waziristan as the leader.” The Pakistani Taliban was, from the outset, ideologically quite different from its Afghan colleagues. For one thing, it’s much more closely tied to Al Qaeda than the notoriously xenophobic Afghans. In an interview in 2010, a former high-level Afghan Taliban leader told GlobalPost: “You should have let us deal with Al Qaeda. We hate them more than you do.” The same is not true of Pakistan’s militants. “An important characteristic of the Pakistani Taliban is their alliance with Al Qaeda, including personal relations dating back to the days of the Soviet-Afghan war,” writes Shehzad Qazi, of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Detroit-based think tank.

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Of Terrorism and Islam II Jean MacKenzieOctober 6, 2013 05:05Updated December 16, 2014 09:46 Subscribe to Jean MacKenzie on Facebook Who are the Pakistani Taliban? A multitude of militant groups in Pakistan shares at least one characteristic: uncompromising hostility to the West, particularly the US. Could the Pakistani Taliban be the next big threat? Pakistan violence oct 3Enlarge A badly damaged mosque after militants attacked Spin Tal village in Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal district, Oct. 3, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images) Editor’s note: The story below was published on Oct. 6 2013. On Dec. 16, 2014, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a military-run school in Peshawar that killed more than 100 people, most of them young students. It’s the bloodiest assault in Pakistan in years. “The government is targeting our families and females,” a Taliban spokesman said. “We want them to feel the pain.” Follow GlobalPost’s live blog for news. BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — The explosion of violence in Pakistan over the past week has killed more than 100 people and, at least for now, derailed any hope that peace talks between the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani Taliban might provide some relief. Sharif has repeatedly expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue with the militants, provided they refrain from violence. Pakistan’s powerful military, however, is much more skittish in the wake of recent attacks. The militants themselves are not all that keen; the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the umbrella group of militants known as the Pakistani Taliban, has rejected any preconditions. “By telling us that we will have to lay down arms and respect the constitution, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, showed that he is following the policy of America and its allies,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahd recently told a Pakistani magazine. But even if some of the initial hurdles could be overcome, it’s far from clear who would have to be brought into any talks. There are so many different militant groups in Pakistan. Experts aren’t even sure how many there are.

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References Societies: core concepts and cross-cutting themes. Public Administration and Development, Volume 25, pp. 3-15. Edwards, l., 2010. State-building in Afghanistan: A case Showing the limits?. international Review of the Red Cross, 92(880), pp. 967-991. Fischer, m., 2006. Challenges, Gambhir, h. K., 2014. Backgrounder – Dabiq: The Strategic Messaging of the Islamic State, s.l.: institute for the Study of War. hassan, h., 2014. Isis Exploits Tribal Fault Lines to Control its Territory. [online] Available at:

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on a more positive note, it seems one governance factor iSiS has not yet well mastered is legitimacy. international policy can serve to further weaken the legitimacy of iSiS by supporting local alternatives to it that are civil and inclusive. capacity-related legitimacy may be promoted by supporting effective service delivery via local councils and civil society simultaneously. it could be furthered with re-constituting security on the ground by primarily protecting the locals and their institutions from the random shelling of the regime. meanwhile, although as far-fetched a dream as that of global civil society, the credibility of human rights values in the face of extremism needs to be reconstructed and applied impartially against power perpetrators ranging from the regime to iSiS to international actors who have supported human rights violations. Following these procedures, the locals will have more motivation and may face less risk and costs in rising against iSiS. Without understanding and investing in these local dynamics alongside the international dynamics sustainably, iSiS, anti-iSiS plans are doomed to fail. Notes [1] See also (ian & mona , 2014) and (hassan, 2014a). [2] For further explanation on how international actors perceive governance in Syria, see (Khalaf, Governance without Government in Syria: civil Society and State-Building [3] this section relies on primary data from interviews with local civil activists unless otherwise stated. [4] A form of islamic social contract in which the ruled express loyalty to the ruler (Kaldor, 2003). [5] See (the Washington Post, 2014).

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lose military and service support, governance moves to other, better-resourced extreme forces like iSiS. thus, the implications of holding resources from other viable alternatives to radical groups are also critical. to balance the power dynamics, support can also come in other forms than what is military or humanitarian, and to other local Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics 79 actors, like civil society actors, who could better hold rebels accountable. Without limitations. thus, to ensure aid effectiveness, local grassroots civil society on the ground needs to be supported. dair Ezzor provides a good illustration of this shortcoming of the international approach in dealing with governance dynamics in Syria. Right upon the overtake of dair Ezzor by iSiS, many donors have held back their resources become redirected to iSiS. however, these policies are limiting, on the other hand, the capacity of other alternatives to iSiS to provide public goods effectively and, thus, to challenge iSiS’s governance. Another critical governance aspect the international community is missing on in Syria is security. international actors seem to be more involved in their own security from iSiS’s Syria (Khalaf, 2014). At a greater level, and on a longer period to that faced by iSiS, the security of Syrian civilians on the ground has been and continues to be targeted by the regime’s random shelling. however, the international community has opted for only an anti-iSiS coalition that yet again ignores the regime. Such international actions have come to be seen by the locals as increasing the coercive capability of the regime (ian & mona, 2014). this is triggering a local reaction in support of iSiS (hassan, 2014), which, albeit brutal, is at least working on the provision of security on the ground.

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to minimise this ideological distance, iSiS has been working on diverting local ideology towards its own by investing heavily in justifying its religious ideology and rival organisations. iSiS continues to produce religious, military, and political arguments to market the correctness and ultimate solidity and victory of its islamic State (Gambhir, 2014). it backs these by its political institutions and by a sound media strategy. the most evident example of this is the iSiS online magazine Dabiq. Dabiq eloquently highlights its progress to its followers (Gambhir, 2014). Building on religious encouraging muslims to emigrate there (Gambhir, 2014). Albeit extreme, the discourse democracy, and other ideological discourses have failed them as they continue to face death, torture, and losses at all levels by predatory nation-states. Policy implications theoretically, Keister and Stantchev (2014) suggest that foreign sponsors and domestic counterinsurgency efforts may challenge rebel governance dynamics by changing their relative costs of coercion and service provision. in pursuing these changes, the model highlights that international policymakers and donors are at a dilemma. While military assistance may be critical to press the government, this may increase human rights violations and radicalise rebels, as it lowers the price of coercion. conversely, while much needed, humanitarian aid might enable rebels to take advantage of more-affordable service provision, thus boasting their governance, even if to relatively more moderate ideologies and actions through the form and amount of aid they offer. Seemingly, many donors in Syria have adhered to this recommendation. the implications of increased aid-related radicalisation are real and need not be ignored.

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With regards to its relationship-building efforts, as areas it controls are mainly tribal, iSiS pays particular focus on tribal affairs. to manipulate them with a divide-and-rule tactic, it seems to build on its long experience in operating amongst tribes. hassan (2014) explains this process: understanding local social and tribal rivalry and hostility to each other, iSiS has been successful in pitting tribes and members of a tribe against leaders. thus, by empowering tribes to govern their own state of affairs in allegiance to it, iSiS seems to be indirectly managing some of them. on an analysis of Dabiq, iSiS’s online magazine, Gambhir (2014) summarizes that, as the authority of iSiS continued to expand, tribes themselves started seeking to allege a “Bayaa” to it. in doing so, contribution (zakat) (Gambhir, 2014). in this manner, iSiS has ensured it reaps authority over them. its ideology. its leaders seem to understand the core of the theory of Keister and Slantchev (2014), which suggests that, while they may not be able to articulate it, civilians do have ideological preferences – over their relationship with the state, religion, land reform, etc. the ideological distance between those governing and the preferences of these citizens, rather than the ideology itself, is key in governability. it makes civilians sceptical about the intentions of those governing, and thus less cooperative with them. this is despite the effectiveness of those governing in the provision of services and security.

Sid Harth

agree to its ideology and extremism, started using its court and police services, as these ensured their security. Additionally, the mere control of iSiS to a certain area is seen as a security measure from the random barrels of the regime. For instance, since the beginning of iSiS control of it, Al-Raqqa has rarely been targeted by the regime. on the other end, due to its use of violence against the locals themselves, iSiS continues to be seen by many locals as personal security threat. on a small scale, it continues to be faced by non-violent and violent local resistance. civil society actors have been fostering civil disobedience against it. others have been targeting and killing its jihadi members at night, when entering neighbourhoods heavily populated by locals. Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics Introduction: Caliphates and Islamic Global Politics 77 iSiS is not blind to the fact that its brutality has ensured it is affecting the acceptance of locals to it (Khalaf, 2014). to solve this issue, it has focused on its capacity to gain legitimacy. iSiS has been promoting a more palatable form of citizenship than that of by its rules, locals are promised security – physical, economic, social, and religious immediate physical security. Unlike other rebel groups, it has at least provided the Legitimacy: Beyond its capacity-related legitimacy, iSiS understands that its brutal processes and procedures against the locals continue to limit its legitimacy. this is especially the case as its extremist beliefs and values are far from the average Sunni local in Syria. Even so, iSiS does not intend to change its ways or its strict ideology. Rather, it seeks to increase its legitimacy by either co-opting the locals by building relationships with them, or by changing their ideology towards it.

Sid Harth

For instance, as the only currency iSiS deals with is US dollars, currency exchange traders have mushroomed in the city center. Additionally, locals speak of food products in local shops like dates and honey that they have never seen before under the regime control. thus, if civilians could ever choose between iSiS and an alternative, the weight of these services is a main factor they would consider. meanwhile, iSiS coercion renders supporting alternatives to it more risky and costly. Security: more than any other armed group, iSiS takes security on the ground seriously. in adhering to strict ideological rules, the group does not hesitate to use area it controls. in Al-Raqqa, it has managed to abolish all other local armed groups provider of security on the ground with its islamic Police as its implementing arm and eradicating groups behind looting. it then uses a mix of coercion and soft power to take full control of territory. this was the case in rural dair Ezzor before iSiS expanded its control to take over dair Ezzor city. it was also the case in Aleppo before iSiS was expelled from it by the more powerful and legitimate Jaish Al mujahideen group. meanwhile, as it continues to lack legitimacy on the ground due to its brutality and nonlocal identity, iSiS and its institutions are perceived as a protection from the chaos

Sid Harth

Effectiveness: Effectiveness in the provision of services generates more loyalty and compliance to those governing. this makes the rule of the governor more palatable. it causes less resentment for a slight increase in coercion. it may even generate voluntary support to them (Keister & l. Slantchev, 2014). iSiS is a typical example provision of key social services to the locals. this is attributed to its well-structured institutions that are governed by a rigid set of rules and supported by massive resources. With its sharia court, iSiS covers a wide array of state executive work in Al-Raqqa. this ranges from the provision of public goods and humanitarian aid, to the enforcement of its own form of law and justice system, and to the control of other aspects of the citizen’s life. the latter includes housing policies, commercial laws, civil affairs, etc. preempt any regional efforts from organising tribes against it (hassan, 2014b). serves to ensure its policies and laws are effective and implemented. in support of this police is its strong state-like military, which is mainly composed of muhajireen or meanwhile, as the provision of these services is costly, as a shadow state, iSiS has managed to expand its resources beyond its cross-border funding. the group depends on a well-planned war economy. it feeds off resources it has looted, and controls oil (as Zakat), who, in their turn have complied. many of them – especially the poor – have to job placement, to food and shelter provision. in fact, locals in Al-Raqqa recount that, with the presence of iSiS, a form of a new economic cycle has been created in the city.

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