Pakistan’s New Most Wanted: A Short Sketch of Adnan Rasheed

Publication: Volume: 3 Issue: 5

May 31, 2012 06:17 PM Age: 24 min By: Syed Adnan Ali Shah Bukhari

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In a pre-dawn attack on April 15, militants belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stormed the Bannu Central Jail in the district of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP). In what is considered the largest prison break in Pakistan’s history, the Taliban successfully freed Adnan Rasheed along with 384 other inmates. According to the TTP’s spokesman, Ihsanullah Ihsan, “Our prime target was Adnan Rasheed, and we are so happy to secure his release” (The News, April 21). Another Taliban commander claimed that they spent 20 million rupees (roughly $220,000) on the Bannu prison break mission (The Express Tribune, April 16). A 34-minute video, released by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on May 15, further shows the meticulous planning undertaken by the TTP to free Rasheed from the death cell (Dawn, May 16).

Before the prison break, Adnan Rasheed was an obscure militant. He is an ethnic Pushtun belonging to the Chota Lahor area of Swabi district of KP (Roznama Jang, April 23). Since Swabi district is predominantly inhabited by the Yousafzai tribe, it is therefore safe to surmise that Rasheed belongs to the Yousafzai tribe. He is reportedly fluent in Pushto, Urdu and English. He joined the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in 1997 as a junior technician.

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