On Saturday, assorted jihadist Twitter and YouTube accounts released a video with Pakistani Taliban members pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS). To prove their loyalty, the men beheaded a man they claim was a Pakistani soldier.
The IS released a video of former TTP spokesman announcing pledges to IS from group leaders in Pakistan, Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/cMF1FfILTe
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) January 10, 2015
YouTube deleted the video, but snippets of the video are available online without the beheading. Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, who already swore allegiance to the Islamic State in October, appears in the video with at least fifteen other militants.
“As you know, most of the attendees have pledged allegiance to the Caliphate before, and now we present a collective pledge of allegiance,” said Shahid.
The video appears to be conducted from a mountain range, though the jihadists do not identify their location. The Taliban is known to inhabit the mountains on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. Each terrorist in the video, either from Afghanistan or Pakistan, pledges support to the terrorist group in turn. The group also announces they have chosen Hafiz Saeed Khan to command the Islamic State branches in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The video cuts to Khan “taking a pledge of allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi.” Khan stands in front of the Islamic Flag surrounded by men with Kalashnikov rifles.
“We are gathered here with commanders from 10 units,” Shahid continues. “They all want to pledge their allegiance to the caliph of all believers, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
Pakistan pushed more forces against the Taliban after the terrorist group murdered 132 children at a military school in Peshawar. Militants specifically targeted children with parents in the military. Survivors of the attack later testified that they played dead to throw off the gunmen. Due to the attack, Pakistan reversed its ban on the death penalty. The army killed Saddam Jan, the alleged mastermind behind the attack, on Christmas Day.