Quetta Cleric Warns of Jihad if US Attacks

Influential Religious Leader Says US Strikes Would Lead to Jihad

Cleric Maulvi Noor Muhammad, the influential Quetta cleric and supporter of the opposition Muttahida Mujils-e Amal (MMA) party, warned today that the expansion of the US air campaign into the Balochistan Province would justify a jihad (holy war) against them.

America is trying to scare us but it won’t work. Rather it will be a justification,” warns Muhammad. Attacks in Quetta would be “foolish,” according to the cleric, “because it will only force more people here to stand up against” the United States.

President Obama has been launching an enormous number of attacks in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and has been under pressure to expand the strikes into Balochistan. Officials say that a growing number of militants are taking refuge in and around the capital city of Quetta.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.