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Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan video attribute

THE Internet video attributed to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and that came to public attention recently is disturbing for several reasons. Constituting a macabre `advertisement` for the banned group, it shows the planning of the suicide bombing that brought down the Crime Investigation Department building in Karachi a year ago. The three suicide attackers are shown receiving training, filming their target and recording their motives for carrying out the attack. The ghoulish aspect of this `advertisement` for a group that deals in death aside, the video`s contents call for a rethink on the TTP. It shows that, far from being an assortment of malcontents, the TTP comprises highly organised and sophisticated elements adept at using the tools of modern technology. Carrying out a reconnaissance mission — one that is independently being filmed to use for the purposes of a video later — and imparting specialised training for the mission are not the distinct hallmarks of opportunists bent on unleashing havoc. These are the characteristics of a group that not only advocates an extremist religious ideology but that is well-versed in guerrilla tactics and has the ability to plan smooth execution.

Then, there are the unpalatable lessons betrayed by the video`s execution. Raw footage has been edited together with voiceovers and subtitles. This again indicates that the TTP has access to and command over the sort of video-editing technology that is simply not available in areas where its members are presumably restricted to: Fata and the rugged north-western parts of the country, where most areas are not covered by the electric grid. Such a video would most likely have been created in an urban setting. This raises the chilling possibility that members of the youth wing of political parties of the hard-line religious right, who tend to be educated and technologically proficient young men, may sympathise with the TTP`s cause. This is not the first time that militants have turned video technology and the Internet to their advantage, constituting compelling evidence that militant terrorism does not entirely arise from poverty and the lack of opportunity leading to discontentment against the state. It needs to be understood and dealt with as such.

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