The chief of terrorist organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mullah Fazlullah or ‘Mullah Radio’, the man who shot Pakistani activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and was behind the heinous 2014 APS attack, has been reportedly killed by an US airstrike in the province of Kunar, Afghanistan.
Voice of America confirms the news of Fazlullah’s death
A high ranking official confirmed to the government-funded media outlet Voice of America (VOA) that Mullah Fazlullah was targeted and killed by an US airstrike in Kunar province.
“US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike June 13 in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization,” a spokesman for US Forces-Afghanistan, Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, also told VOA Thursday, without specifying that Fazlullah was the target.
Who was Mullah Fazlullah?
It should be noted that this is not the first time news of Mullah Fazlullah being killed has surfaced. Since 2010, the terrorist has been reported killed at least four times. As Michael Kugelman, a senior associate at Washington DC think tank The Wilson Centre tweeted: “Keep in mind that TTP leaders have been sometimes been wrongly been confirmed dead, even by TTP itself.”
Keep in mind that TTP leaders have sometimes been wrongly been confirmed dead, even by TTP itself. https://t.co/H83MTULMKv
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) June 15, 2018
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Fazlullah is also known as ‘Mullah Radio’, or ‘Radio Mullah, or ‘Maulana Radio’ because of his long and fiery sermons – starting 2006 – on a pirate radio station in Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley, the area once called ‘Pakistan’s Switzerland’, which is where Malala lived. UK newspaper The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Fazlullah’s radio sermons won him a large audience of female admirers, who donated jewellery and urged their husbands to join his jihad.
Mullah Radio, believed to be 44 now, ordered the killing of then 15-year-old Malala, a fierce advocate for the rights of women in Swat Valley. The terrorist is believed to have stopped Malala’s school bus, boarded it and asked, ‘Who is Malala’, after which he shot her in the head. Malala survived.
Pakistani media outlet The Express Tribune said that Fazlullah was born Fazal Hayat in Swat. He studied at an Islamic religious school and worked as a chairlift operator and sold firewood, before joining his father-in-law’s Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), or Movement for the Enforcement of the Sharia of Mohammad.