April 29th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

Officials: Taliban's Mehsud alive despite death reports

Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is alive and was recently seen in Pakistan's tribal region, officials said Thursday contradicting recent reports he was killed in a drone strike.

A Pakistan intelligence official and a senior military official told CNN that Mehsud survived the aerial strike in January.

He has been spotted in North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border, the military official said.

In February, a U.S. intelligence official and three Taliban sources told CNN that Mehsud had been killed in the January drone strike. But the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Azam Tariq, had always denied reports of Mehsud's death.

The officials asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Taliban leaders have denied leaders' deaths in the past. Tariq always maintained that Mehsud was alive, but never provided any proof. When former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. drone strike last year, cell phone video of his body was aired on Pakistani TV.

However, the militants never changed their stance that Hakimullah Mehsud had survived, though they would not let reporters interview him. TheTaliban never named his successor, fueling rumors that he was still alive.

Hakimullah Mehsud got Washington's attention when he appeared in a video with Humam Al Balawi, the Jordanian doctor turned suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents in eastern Afghanistan in December last year.

–Journalist Nasir Dawar contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Chuckster

    Sidney, just a note, the so called Draft Dodgers were a term used during the 60s during the Vietnam War,thats when we had a draft!!! Everyone today that is in the service is a Patriot and volunteered to fight for their countries interests. To Lennybaby, I am not a criminal and have not ever even been arrested, but I am very passonate about this countries freedoms and rights thats because I personally had to fight for this countries interests in Afganistan. I am a Marine and am proud of what this country is. See I don't bad mouth my great country but, I guess you have a right to because of the freedoms and rights afforded to all. I just think that if you feel that way, why are you here and why don't you go to Afganistan and fight for the terrorist cause since you are so worried about their future. Its amazing how those who don't join and fight have some of the most interesting views about OUR COUNTRY, WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT YOUR KEEN POLITICAL ADVICE??????

    May 5, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chuckster

    I guess this is what happens when you let anybody become an American and you do not protect your borders!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chuckster

    @ sidney and Lennyfool, I was there in Afganistan, I am a Marine. I know the terrorist mind and how it works. I am just surprized by the responses from you so called Americans who know nothing about what the soldier goes through to protect YOU useless whiners!!! Like I said and stand by my words, if you COWARDS like them so much pack your rat butts up and go to the land of the freedom fighter!!!! How long do you wussies think your white butts would last???? I would venture to guess 20 minutes. Lennyfool, the only crime here is you who take your freedoms and run your mouth without ever fighting for them or knowing how much blood was spilled so you can run your stupid face!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. head devil

    hey harry if we are fighting the freedom fighters. What would you call them before we showed up? They were killing their own people there for religous reasons and differences. What were they called then? PUT ON YOUR REALLITY GLASSES AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

    May 5, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. head devil

    Islam has been killing everyone in the most holy spot on the earth. For thousands of years my friend. So they hate everyone and like to kill. The korain says to spread terror to those who do not follow Islam. THAT is a fact my friend. And when they do that they must kill to spread terror. Why do you thiink so many leave their home lands and find refuge some were far away. They are also deathly scared of brothers who are killing in the name of their religon. Oh my I hope I have used good gramer for that gramer guy. He is so silly.

    May 5, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lennybaby

    It's people like Chuckster who are exactly what's wrong with America.It's people like that with their criminal minds is why our national crime rate is so high and our prisons so full,because their regard for the rights of others is too low.As long as we have people like that around,we'll have both crime and war and a Congress full of right-wing fanatics.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sidney

    hey chuckster, its obvious the rest of us are too cowardly to defend america. why don't u go sign up and go to afghanistan and fight and kill all the muslim terrorist. funny how all the draft dodgers are the quickest to call other people cowards and call for war.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sidney

    its funny, its supposed to be the muslims, arabs, islamists, etc that are supposed to be the terrorists, but reading some of the comments in here, its clear that we have bin ladens and terrorists in our own country.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chuckster

    Hey Onesmallbrain, What are you talking about??? We have a country like Pakistan training Terrorists to come to our land and kill us and you are talking trash about one of the most effective programs out there to neutralize the threat. I don't care if Muzlims hate me, its not me who is going to their country and trying to kill them. I can't stand COWARDLY and CHICKEN AMERICANS LIKE YOU. YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO THIS COUNTRY AND IF YOU LIKE THEM SO MUCH, PACK YOUR STUFF AND HIT THE ROAD YOU TOAD!!!!!! YOU ARE THE TYPE OF AMERICAN WE DON"T NEED EITHER YOU ARE WITH US OR OUT!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Onesmallvoice

    @Lori.No wonder the Moslims hate us so much and stop all that right-wing drivel about America's "good intentions".In truth,we're slaughtering innocent people every day with those ungodly drone airplanes which can hardly be construed as good intentions.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chuckster


    May 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lori

    Sohail Khan-

    It is not Americans intention to harm innocent people. Unfortunatley that is a fact of war. Also unfortunatley, your country harbors A LOT of terrorists. I'm not sure if this is just bad reporting or what, but how come you never really hear about your countries people trying to stop them? Someone's got to, so who you gonna call......

    May 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chuckster

    They caught the New York City Bomber, as usual another mid eastern freak. I am sorry but, these folks caznnot be trusted and we should definitely profile all mid eastern people for this type of activity for our protection in this country. So now we have the issue of being polictically correct or just to survive these crazed animals!!!!! This is WAR and its time to profile and hit the issue hard right in its heart and kill it. Hey people when you are treating cancer you don't give a flu shot for the cure right??? Damn right, you kill it and then cut it out. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WITH THESE CRAZY MUZLIMS!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Chuckster


    May 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chuckster

    Dear Sohail Khan, Please clean your poop hole country up and kill all the 10 million terrorists that set up shop and live in your country. Please tell all your muzlim brothers and sisters that the extremeist problem is really yours and we should help the U.S kill these pigs.
    Until that happens, the long arm of justice will go every where to kill Americas Threat. Get used to it, live it!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Aamir Ali

    This is disappointing news. No doubt after lying low for a while this Jamshed Mehsud will return to this deadly trade.

    @Sohail Khan

    You must be blind physically and mentally as the Taliban murder innocents every day.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Chuckster

    Its Predator Time!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Steve Mendez

    Really @ Rob Brander in Canada? 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam is something you make fun of up in Canada? Nice. You all seem to hold yourselves in high opinion for having lots of "class." That's about as petty as you can get, whether you agreed with the war in Vietnam or not. Must have been nice during that whole 50 years of the Cold War to have us protecting your northern border from an actual threat (the Soviets), so you could spend all your money on healtchare and weed. Your smugness is really insulting. People here may be angry at draft dogers who went to Canada, but I've never met someone who made fun of Canada or Canadians themselves. By and large, we like you, as far as I can tell. But you guys have made a cottage industry on hating Americans. Nice neighbors you are. Cool. Really. You'd rather have the Taliban and their enlightened views on women, for instance, for neighbors? That's rhetorical.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  19. Sohail khan

    Dear Americans

    Me Mohsin khan from Pakistan

    I want to say that america is continously attacking innocent people,can i ask why ?

    I want to say to american leadership plz stop killing of innocent muslims in all over

    the world and start peace negotiations with muslim people.This is the only solution

    of current world crisis.Msulim countries have love for america but actually what is

    america doing.They are behaving very badly,they are hitting muslim

    with more than 8 ton bombs,so how can a man say that america want peace ?

    We all muslims are very very sad from american behavior.


    May 3, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  20. smc

    lets wipe these vermin off the face of the earth with all means nessesary

    May 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. moyeah

    Ha, looks like you've hit a nerve Rob Brander!!

    May 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  22. rob brander

    hey,tim l after your done wiping your ass with stars and stripe toilet paper and watching fox news channel. go read[if you can] the story lastweek on cnn about the18service men who are taking their lives each day.9 years later and your countrymen are still coming home,with apparently their minds really messed up,thats what happens when folks aren't quite clear on their goals wouldn't you say tim. your comment " leave us alone and we'll leave you alone" just doesn't cut it.historically you folks[u.s] have stuck your nose into alot regions of this big world. you mentioned vietnam,boy there was a real threat to the world,a bunch of rice farmers were going to take over the world. end result 58000 americans dead,pulled your flag off your embassy and left with your tail between your legs. there's a well known saying up here in draft dodger land"if everyone was either a flower child or buddist monk, you folks[americans] would be squezzing someone's nuts just to piss them off". have fun with this tim l going on your uncle sams rant!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Danny

    In Reply to Daniel-2. If solders from any country tell me to put my weapon down, you follow instructions or be prepared to accept the consequences.

    It's good the majority of Americans don't share your view since we wouldn't be a sovereign country.

    April 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Tim L.

    Also it isnt HATE for ISLAM or MUSLIMS. It's the EXTREMIST THAT PROMOTE HATRED,DEATH. War has a simple solution. You dont like us or our way of life , fine hate us from a distance then. Osama bin laden and his like are the ones that started this. We dont like extremist anymore than they like us. You just stay in your sand pit and we will stay here. you dont bother us we dont bother you. peace and harmony. well as close as you can get to it.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  25. Tim L.

    @Daniel. I am glad you think we are like russia. We invaded after they attacked us. as for my last post why dont you join Hamed and daniel-2 on their walk. I sure hope you are not from the U.S. Daniel. People like you is why the draft needs to be reinstated and we could send you idiots over there. If your not happy with the usa get the hell out. It's the land of the free. Free to pack up your crap and go to CANADA. If you was old enough for vietnam daniel you was probably a draft dodger wasn't you. LOSER.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  26. Tim L.

    @hamed; Your an idiot. Sorry need to say it slower so you will understand. Y. O. U. R. A. N. I. D. I. O. T. Take your nazi\taliban support and hatred and walk out in to oncoming traffic, your a waste of space. Oh and before you do stop and get daniel-2 also you can be like thelma and louis and hold hands and take the plug together.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  27. tribal

    it is better to publish a verified account about any event in order to give authentic news to the public at large.interesting i have had been covering the the afghan conflict since 1978 so when ever any body want confirmation about any news he or she may better contact me .thanx

    April 30, 2010 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  28. Daniel

    So much hate for Islam and cheering on all this bloodshed,no wonder they hate us so much. After all,we invaded them just like thr Russians did 30 years ago.

    April 30, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  29. Iraq Paramedic

    joe your last post here is terrible, the spelling, punctuation & grammar are crazy, put down that dubbie for a minute. Just pocking fun at you young man but, you did get a little sloppy with the typing on that last post.
    As for Hakimullah Mehsud it was a pakistani operative that says he spotted him, thats as credible as Karzi himself, LOL. It is now a wait & see hunting game.
    In responce to joe's comment about religion being behind all wars & human violent tendencies. Man & woman had it made in the garden of edan untill Eve listened to the serpant(Lucifer in disguise) & ate of the tree of knowledage of good & evil. Her & Adam's first sons had the first war,persay, & Cain slew Able & sin has been a part of all mankinds life eversince. Of course to those that don't believe it won't matter. GOD gave everybody the freedom to chose whether to believe or not & there chapters in the Bible, Q'uran & Tora that will tell you that some will not believe.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  30. joe

    they shouldnt impose the slam to anyother country if they dont want to they need to learn to coexist and live in peace and if they still want it to do that i think we need to wipe this people out of the earth permanently .

    April 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Ronnie

    I'm an old hippie, liberal, left leaning type. I feel we should step on Islam before the can do it to us. A good start would be a cruise missile in every mosque at noon.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Joe

    Man has always killed others it in his nature. Religion just makes it easier for people to get around their feelings of it being wrong killing and torturing others. Religion of any form is simply used to allow the masses do great atrocities. They may start out good but human nature always prevails and finds a way to twist religion into a nightmare because after all they are only doing GOD's will.

    We have our religious nuts here that given the chance would form a Christian Taliban. But to be fair we have people here that would be jsut as bad because they can't fathom anyone with differing opinions (we call them neo-cons and they have replaced true conservatives)

    April 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Emile Zola

    Don't tell me this guy has nine lives or are Arabs, Muslims a different type of breed. Didn't we kill Saddam several times before he was hanged? The Pentagon told the story many times that with those bunker buster bombs, it's was impossible for Saddam to survive, yet now we know the rest of the story. That guy in Yemen, the American born Al Qaeda has been killed twice already, unless I missed the other times that he died. Of course, giving credibility to the Army when they are well known for paying for "good" news is to give credibility when none is due.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  34. FT

    @ Hamed,
    Why do you support taliban? I am an afghan I do not support taliban. They kill innocent civilians and they have no respect for their own, their women and humanity. I support NATO in this war. Maybe some of taliban members are not evil and only be miss-leaded but their group is responsible for all the misery in my country. I want them killed or put into justice.

    April 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Harry

    No one in the hsitory killed the human being on God's name. There is no such thing in anybody's religion. It is the evil desires of one nation oppressing on others. The fighting back people are fighting for justice to get rid of the foreigners in their land. They are the freedom fighters of their own country to which they belong.

    April 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Jerry

    Ok they missed him this time, or just badly injured him and he is keeping a low profile.
    I am sure they will get another chance.

    April 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Daniel-2

    I don't mind seeing the right-wing thugs in Washington having their field day spoiled,but a lot of these right-wing fools who blog in here do.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  38. sherri1963

    its sad to think that thru all of human history peoples wars are usualy based on religion.what creator would want to see his creations murder each other?man is ultimately the one who wishes to kill in the name of some god.to think they know the mind of their god is absurd.personaly?i think that if anyone feels strongly enough on an issue to kill over it?let them but only with swords shields and a designated field. winner takes all. oh and the leaders of the countires fighting lead the charge. knock yourselves out. those of us who are sane will watch.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |