- Formed in 2007, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is dedicated to removing the Pakistani government’s influence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province region in Pakistan, implementing strict Sharia law, and expelling US forces from Afghanistan. TTP leadership has expressed its goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Pakistan.
- TTP maintains a close relationship with al-Qa’ida, as both groups share resources and territory. Historically, al-Qa’ida has provided TTP with ideological guidance, while TTP has supplied al-Qa’ida with safe havens in Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan.
Threat to New Jersey: Low
TTP poses a low threat to New Jersey due to territorial losses in Pakistan and internal conflict constraining the group to regional operations, despite prior plots targeting the United States.
- After TTP attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in 2014, Pakistan’s military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb to target the group’s strongholds, which forced TTP to abandon its positions in the FATA. Historically, the United States has targeted extremists in the FATA to limit their ability to function in the region and eliminate their safe haven. Most recently, the US military killed TTP deputy leader Khan Said Mehsud in a drone strike, according to a TTP press release.
- In October 2014, four months after ISIS had declared the formation of its self-proclaimed caliphate, a TTP spokesman and several tribal chiefs pledged allegiance to ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, creating fractures within TTP’s ranks.
- In May 2010, Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in New York City after traveling to Pakistan in July 2009 and receiving explosives training from TTP. Shahzad was later arrested at JFK Airport, and he received a life sentence without the possibility of parole in October 2010. A TTP spokesman claimed responsibility for the plot.
United States Nexus
TTP has never conducted an attack in the United States; however, the group continues to entice Americans to provide monetary and material support.
- In 2017, TTP began releasing a new women’s magazine in English entitled Sunnat E Khaula that targets female Muslims. Its goal is to “provoke women of Islam to come forward and join the ranks of mujahideen e Islam.” The first edition featured an interview with the wife of TTP’s leader and articles calling for Muslim women to embrace Islamic principles and reject the Western perception of women. TTP only published two editions in 2017, initially released on its Telegram channel.
- In August 2013, Hafiz Khan, a Pakistani-American from Miami, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sending approximately $50,000 to Pakistan to support TTP.
- In January 2012, Irfan UI Haq was sentenced to 50 months in prison while his co-defendants received 40 and 36 months for conspiracy to provide material support to TTP.