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Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Revival of the Pakistani Taliban

A string of organizational mergers and intensified operational activity since the summer of 2020, including a claimed suicide bombing targeting a luxury hotel in Quetta in April 2021, suggests the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could soon again pose a major threat in Pakistan. TTP’s leadership appears at least for now to have consolidated its control of the primary networks that comprise, and form the basis of, the group. In so doing, it appears to have overcome the existential challenge posed by internal fragmentation and the Islamic State in Khorasan, the Islamic State’s wing in the region (ISK). In 2015, ISK was primarily formed by disgruntled TTP members and leaders dissatisfied with the leadership of their own group and the large number of defections in the years that followed put the TTP’s future in peril.

This article draws on open-source materials and interviews to examine the recent resurgence in TTP operations. The first section provides a historical overview of the rise, fall, and revival of the TTP. The second section examines how the group was able to eventually overcome the existential challenge posed by internal fragmentation and the Islamic State and how it has reduced its targeting of civilians to try to win back supporters who had been turned off by its indiscriminate violence. The third section outlines how TTP has reunified its ranks, which has allowed the group to again expand its operations, as documented in the fourth section of the article. The final section makes some observations about the threat outlook.

Read more at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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