Lahore, Apr 6 (ANI): Tehreek-I-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud has been able to escape several attempts to kill and capture him because he has friends in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
An "increasingly-emboldened" Mehsud has claimed credit for the several attacks in Pakistan and also for threatening to attack the US.
"Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," he said last week.
An unnamed Pakistani official told Newsweek that senior US officials had even shared with their counterparts in Islamabad "some intelligence indicating that renegade ISI elements helped Mehsud's group train for the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto."
But despite that and Pakistan's purported knowledge of his whereabouts, "it's a puzzle why they're ignoring and avoiding any strike against him," one tribal elder living in the Waziristan region said.
"On several occasions over the past couple of years, security forces in Pakistan have launched operations to kill or capture him, and each time he has vanished without incident," the magazine writes citing unnamed officials in Islamabad and Washington.
"Mehsud's contacts, the theory goes, are tipping him off before Pakistani troops can pounce."
"Baitullah is very much mixed up in Afghanistan and with al Qaeda," said one Afghan Taliban commander, adding that Mehsud was capable of shipping foreign fighters into Afghanistan "and even further west," the magazine wrote.
Washington does not take the threats seriously, but also does not rule out Mehsud could be cooperating with al Qaeda. (ANI)