Ibne Amin – described as ‘dreaded and most wanted’ – was a Taliban commander with a multimillion-rupee price on his head. He was famed for his savage executions of those who opposed the Taliban’s authority. He was a senior lieutenant of Maulana Fazlullah, then leader of TTP Swat Chapter, and led the Taliban’s invasion of Swat in 2007, which ultimately failed. By the time of his death he was also linked to al Qaeda’s paramilitary wing, the Shadow Army.
Ibne Amin was reportedly from Kuz Shawar village in Swat. He was the son-in-law of Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the pro-Taliban armed group Tehriq Nifaz Shariat Mohammadi. He became the deputy commander of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) in Swat.
Fazlullah and Amin led the TTP takeover of Swat in 2007 and held off the Pakistan army in 2008 and 2009, forcing Islamabad to cede swathes of northern Pakistan to the TTP. In 2009 the TTP overreached however and advanced into Buner, 60 miles from Islamabad, led by Amin, according to the Long War Journal. The Pakistan army counterattacked and drove the TTP from the region.
Fazlullah later became head of the entire TTP, after the death of previous Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike.
Early in 2009 Amin reportedly tried to disrupt a fragile truce in Swat between the government and the Taliban, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported. He led one of two factions within the TTP that tried to break down the accord and refused to surrender their weapons. Amin’s faction rejected a legal system that did not have capital and corporal punishments for murderers, thieves and adulterers.
In May 2009 the Pakistan government offered a bounty of 15m Pakistani rupees on Amin’s head.
Amin rose to prominence in the Taliban thanks to a reputation for torturing and executing those who opposed Taliban rule in Swat, Geo TV reported. He was a ‘mastermind in making explosives’ and brutally executed policemen, soldiers and government officials. He was also reportedly involved in the beheading an anti-Taliban tribal elder named Pir Samiullah. He desecrated the elder’s corpse, exhuming it and hanging it upside down, according to the Long War Journal, which obtained video of the event.
After the Pakistan army drove the Taliban out of Swat Amin moved to fight in Afghanistan, according to Geo TV. He also established training camps in Khyber Agency’s Tirah valley. But he did not stay in Khyber, instead sheltering in Mohmand Agency, the Long War Journal reported.
At the time of his death he was described as a commander of the Tora Bora Brigade of al Qaeda’s paramilitary group the Shadow Army, according to the Long War Journal. Amin was reportedly negotiating to try and repair a rift between two Lashkar e Islam (LeI) commanders when a drone strike killed him. US intelligence officials confirmed to the Long War Journal that he was the target of the strike.
He first held ‘fruitful talks’ in Chora, Jamrud tehsil, with one commander, an LeI commander told Geo TV. He moved on to the Tirah valley to speak with the second commander. However he was refused an audience. He reportedly waited for the militant leader to speak with him when the drone attacked. He was in a vehicle when the drone struck; six of his guards were also killed.
Sources and Citations
Reports (GeoTV); Senior commander of the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam (The News)