TTP Leader: Lahore Was Retaliation for Drone Strikes, Eyes US Targets

Mehsud Promises to "Take Revenge" in Washington

by Jason Ditz, March 31, 2009

Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud today claimed credit for yesterday’s Lahore attack, saying the attack was retaliation for the repeated US drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Mehsud added that “over the next few days, more such attacks will come… two or three suicide attacks will take place. As long as the drone attacks continue, we will not stop.”

Perhaps even more ominously, Mehsud vowed to “take revenge from America,” adding that it would not be in Afghanistan, but in Washington. The TTP leader said “soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world… The maximum they can do is martyr me.”

The Obama Administration has launched an ever growing number of attacks in the FATA, generally aimed at Mehsud’s training facilities in North and South Waziristan. In September, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden said the attacks were an attempt to “provoke a reaction” from the militant groups led by Mehsud. It appears that now, six months later, they have finally done so.

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