Peshawar Suicide Bombing Kills 100, TTP Members Praise Attack

(New York, N.Y.) — On Monday, a suicide bombing at a Peshawar mosque killed 100 and wounded over 225 others. Initially claimed by al-Qaeda affiliate group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, the attack is now being credited to a powerful TTP faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA). Many TTP members, however, have been praising the attack on social media without consequence.

“It is shocking that members from the U.S., EU, and U.N. sanctioned terrorist group, the TTP, have been able to openly praise Monday’s attack on mainstream social media platforms,” said Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and former coordinator of the U.N. Security Council’s ISIL (Da’esh), al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team. “The language strongly glorifies violence and the accounts are clearly marked as members of the TTP leadership. Terrorists should not be given any type of platform to push their harmful rhetoric and social media platforms should move swiftly to block this content. Given the open way these accounts operate, monitoring and restricting them is not a compliance challenge. Incitement towards violence and hatred is wrong and harmful, including when it is not posted in English or directed against Western societies. However, as in the past, social media companies have spotty moderation of its content in English and even fewer protections for content in other languages. While earning money globally, apparently, companies only feel some responsibility for some content in some regions.”

Since the TTP ended its ceasefire with Islamabad in November 2022, Pakistan has seen a surge in attacks, especially in Peshawar where the TTP has a strong presence. The group claimed it was increasingly targeted by the Pakistani military, particularly in the Lakki Marwat district of Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In December 2022—after calling off the ceasefire that had been facilitated the Taliban Haqqani network, once again highlighting the near symbiotic relationship between the Taliban and international terror networks—the TTP seized control of a counterterrorism center in northwestern Pakistan. The terror group held hostages and demanded safe passage into neighboring Afghanistan. Following failed negotiations, Pakistani armed forces forcibly regained control of the counterterrorism center two days later, killing 25 of the 35 attackers. According to the Pakistani army, one hostage and two commandos were also killed.

To read CEP’s resource Pakistan: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.

To read CEP’s resource Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), please click here.

To read CEP’s resource Haqqani Network, please click here.

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On September 26, 2018, an improvised explosive device planted at the foot of a bridge exploded, killing eight soldiers in the lead vehicle of a Burkinabe military convoy traveling in northern Burkina Faso. 

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