Leaders of Pakistan’s most deadly terrorist organization issued a recent "fatwa" – an Islamic edict - ordering their followers to kill journalists and those believed to be spies for the West, saying they are enemies of Islam.
The 30-page document titled “FATWA Regarding Dajjali Media, Who is Wrong? Who is Right?” was issued by the Terik-E-Taliban’s (TTP) Central Shura in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt and includes Fox News, the Associated Press, the BBC, Pakistan’s GEO News, Al Jazeera and several other news outlets whose logos are on the cover of the document. That said, the document stipulates the edict is to be directed at any reporter or news organization they deem anti-Islamic.
The document, written in Urdu, has only been released on several Jihadi websites. TheBlaze obtained the document this week and had it translated but chose not to publish it in its entirety out of the concern for journalists and other individuals working overseas.
“Those people who are working against Islam and supporting anti-Islamic powers you can kill them and those who are spying against Muslims if they are a woman or even a child you can kill them,” states the document, which weaves Islamic verses throughout in an effort to support the edict to kill journalists.
“The Islamic war is not only against people with guns but those people who are working for the enemies of Islam and they are promoting their views and their news is also anti-Islamic.”
The terrorist organization states in the document that the “media and most journalists are talking against Islam, religious scholars, seminaries, holy warrior (Mujahadeen) and misinterpreting the Islamic principals.”
In November, 2013 a U.S. drone strike killed the group’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who replaced the group's founder, Baitullah Mehsud, who was also killed in a drone strike by the U.S. in the village of Makeen, in Pakistan's mountainous South Waziristan region. During 2010, this reporter visited the site where Mehsud was killed and the numerous suicide schools he had built to train children bombers and Jihadists.
“The TTP may still be smarting from the death of its amir in November, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the group attempted to avenge him with an attack,” said a U.S. Official directly familiar with the group and operations against the terrorist organization.
"Washington is closely following the TTP's potential threats," added the official, who said that the increase in chatter from the group and open threats are a serious concern.
In a comment that echoes previous statements regarding the group, the official warned that the threat to the homeland could come from someone who supports the TTP and carries a Western passport "someone like Times Square bomber Faisal Shazhad – were to offer to offer his services, TTP probably wouldn’t turn the person away.”
[sharequote align="left"]“The Islamic war is not only against people with guns..."[/sharequote]
The TTP leaders, who also have close ties with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, addressed the issue of Muslim journalists and threatened that it is “their duty to work for Islam and support those people who are fighting for Islam or we will have no other choice” but to kill them, the document states.
“There is no doubt that my life is being threatened and many times journalists in our region refuse to do certain stories because of this,” said a reporter who works in Pakistan. The reporter spoke to TheBlaze on condition of anonymity out of fear for his life and that of his family.
“All we can do is pray. But this is a very important document – this document is saying everyone who is a journalist in the region is potentially in danger and so are American’s working overseas and their families.”
Although Syria is now considered to be the most dangerous place for journalists, Pakistan still remains among the top five, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group working to draw attention to the plight of foreign correspondents and protect them.
"Five journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2013, the lowest number since eight died for their work in 2010," stated the group. "While about half of the victims in Pakistan over the years have been singled out for murder, according to CPJ research, four of this year’s five deaths came in bomb blasts. The fifth was murder: Ayub Khattak of Karak Times was shot to death outside his home in October after reporting on the local criminal drug trade."
This new edict "threatens any gains made by Pakistan," said another U.S. Official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the nature of their work.
"Certainly western families living in the region need to be extremely careful," the U.S. Official added. "Journalists have to use their smarts and not put themselves in a situation they won't be able to get out of but they also have to realize that they are targets. This requires taking every precaution."
In December TheBlaze was the first to report on the TTP’s threat to send suicide fighters to attack civilian facilities in New York and Washington D.C.
The group claimed responsibility – in a one-hour video first obtained by TheBlaze - for the most deadly attack in CIA history inside Camp Chapman in Khost, eastern Afghanistan that left seven CIA officers dead in 2009.
The TTP leaders also admitted that they were responsible for the failed bombing of New York’s Times Square and paid tribute to their slain commander, Qari Hussain Ahmed -- also known as Qari Hussain Mehsud — known for his suicide squads.
He was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2010.
“Very soon, our jihad…is reaching New York and Washington; our fidayees will very soon enter NATO countries,” the video quotes Hussain Ahmed as saying.