The Pakistani Taliban called on Donald Trump to “abandon the anti-Islam policy in the name of terrorism” and release “all the Muslim prisoners” especially a U.S.-educated Pakistani neuroscientist dubbed “Lady al-Qaeda.”
The attacks of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have included the failed Times Square car bomb attempt in 2010, the attempted assassination of student activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012, and the 2014 Peshawar school attack in which 132 children and nine staff were murdered. They have also sent fighters to Syria.
In their English-language message to Trump, posted on their website, the TTP demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth, Texas. She was wanted for financier ties to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad when she shot at U.S. agents in Afghanistan in 2008 and they returned fire. The Islamic State had previously demanded that Siddiqui be traded for journalists James Foley or Steven Sotloff, both beheaded on video by ISIS. The Pakistani government has also called for the U.S. to release her.
“Our war is not against Pakistan or people of Pakistan but against its government and army who has forsaken us from our religious right that is Islamic law,” said TPP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani in the message to Trump. “They are killing us massively and destroying our properties in return for this demand. We are not terrorists but we are fighting our religious war.”
The TTP was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2010, after the Times Square bombing attempt was foiled by street vendors who noticed the smoke.
“Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam therefore we want Islamic law in it, which is our very right from every dimension,” Khurasani continued. “America should stop military assistance of Pakistan against us in the name of terrorism.”
“Pakistani rulers and its slave army are only up to money, they can fight against America if they get more from somewhere. These are double cross, whose creed and faith is money only, for which they can go to any extent. No matter if they have to fight against Islam or their own countrymen,” he added. “Their past and present is enough to understand them.”