Today under Executive Order 13224, State
added Qari Hussain
to the list of specially designated global terrorists.
The designation allows the US to freeze his
assets, prevent him from using financial institutions, and prosecute him for terrorist activities.
The designation of Qari Hussain
refutes multiple rumors over the past several months which claimed that he
was killed in a US Predator airstrike in Pakistan's tribal agency of North Waziristan. [See LWJ report, Conflicting reports mean the death of senior Pakistani Taliban leader unlikely, and Threat Matrix report, Another rumor of Qari Hussain's death in October Predator strike, for background on the reports.]
Jason Blazakis, the chief of the US State Department's Terrorist Designations Unit, described the reports of Qari Hussain's death as "rumors" and said Qari Hussain is still active in the Taliban.
The Department took this action because Hussain remains an active member of the TTP [or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan]," Blazakis told The Long War Journal.
In the past, US intelligence official have repeatedly told The Long War Journal
that there is no indication that Qari Hussain
insist that Qari Hussain
is alive, although neither he
nor Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban
in Pakistan, have been seen or heard from by the media since September 2010.
Both commanders have been reported dead several times in the past, only to surface after months of seclusion.
The State Department
described Qari Hussain
as "the deadliest of all TTP
's commanders" and attributed multiple attacks on civilian, military, police, and intelligence agency targets throughout Pakistan to him.
"Training camps organized by Hussain
are notorious for recruiting and training men of all ages as suicide bombers, and Hussain
has gained particular notoriety for his
heavy recruitment of children," according to the press release from State
Over the past three years, the US has been hunting Qari Hussain
with unmanned Predators and Reapers inside Pakistan for his role in training bombers such as Faisal Shahzad, the operative who came close to detonating a car bomb in Times Square in the heart of New York City on May 1, 2010.
trained Shahzad how to build the bomb.
also appeared on a Taliban propaganda tape claiming credit for the failed attack, and threatened to carry out more attacks. [For more on the Pakistani Taliban's role in the Times Square plot, see LWJ reports, Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing, and US sees Pakistani Taliban involvement in Times Square attack after downplaying links.]
Qari Hussain is the third Pakistani Taliban leader to be designated as a terrorist by the US.
Based out of South Waziristan until the military operations in the Mehsud tribal areas in the fall of 2009, Qari Hussain
has since relocated to the Mir Ali region in North Waziristan.
has long been a close ally of al Qaeda.
has served in the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi
, a radical anti-Shia terror group that serves as muscle for al Qaeda, and in the Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islam, under the command of Ilyas Kashmiri.
Qari Hussain also served as a senior leader in the Fadayeen-i-Islam, a terror outfit that conducted numerous attacks against the Pakistani government.
is known as Ustad-i-Fedayeen, or the teacher of suicide bombers.
Prior to the Pakistani Army offensive in South Waziristan in October 2009, Qari Hussain
ran camps in the tribal agency where children were trained to become suicide bombers.
Children as young as seven years of age were indoctrinated to wage jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a video taken at one of his
camps in Spinkai showed.
Sometime in the spring or summer of 2008, however, Qari Hussain
child training camps in South Waziristan.
The Pakistani government has placed a $600,000 bounty out for information leading to the death or capture of Qari Hussain
is among the top three most wanted leaders of the Movement of the Taliban
in Pakistan, along with Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman Mehsud.
declares Todays designation of Qari Hussain
is in response to the wanton acts of violence he
has perpetrated against the people of Pakistan and United States.