For most people, one time being killed by the United States is plenty. Even the most hardened insurgent can rarely claim to have been killed more than a couple of times before it takes on an air of permanence. But Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has them all beat with the apparent confirmation of his latest survival, his seventh overall.
According to a senior member of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency Hakimullah, who was “confirmed” killed in January and then assumed to be gravely wounded, and who was “confirmed” the have died of his injuries in February, is alive and “basically ok.”
Hakimullah has not been seen publicly since a late February video was released, though with the Pakistani military attacking the TTP in several agencies across the tribal areas and with so many threats against his life it is perhaps unsurprising that he is keeping a low profile.
Hakimullah took power of the TTP in August after the US successfully assassinated his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in an air strike. Baitullah’s death was initially thought to be a serious blow to the group but the aggressive and charismatic Hakimullah has made the group arguably far more dangerous, launching several major attacks and orchestrating the bombing of a CIA base in neighboring Afghanistan.