This blog aims to highlight issues and information that don't always make it into the mainstream media. Recognising that comment is cheap, wherever possible it will link you directly to documents and sources that are mentioned in the text.
I realised some time ago that it was impossible to write about Afghanistan without writing about Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. With that in mind, the reader will come across articles that, while not specifically about Afghanistan, in some way shed light on the conflict.
The US government decided yesterday to designate Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Qari Hussain Mahsud as a terrorist, saying that the action will "help stem the flow of finances to Hussain by blocking all property subject to US jurisdiction in which Hussain has an interest and prohibiting all transactions by US persons with Hussain."
Hussain himself is one of the TTP's senior leaders and has said in the past that he is the trainer of the group's suicide bombers, many of whom are young boys.
The official terrorist designation says that Hussain has taken responsibility for numerous bombings including a car bomb in Peshawar in November 2009, two attacks on Pakistan government offices in Lahore, a September 2010 attack on a rally in Quetta that killed 54 and one in Lakki Marwat the same month that killed 17. He is also thought to have trained the Jordanian bomber who blew himself up in a CIA base in Eastern Afghanistan a year ago.
The odd thing about this announcement is the timing. Hussain was widely reported to have been killed in a drone missile strike in October 2010 and nothing has been heard of him since. It is unlikely that he has any interests in US property, having been brought up in the tribal areas of Pakistan and educated at madrassahs. Either the State Department knows something we don't know, or this is another example of pointless bureaucratic paper-shuffling.