Many of the new layer of leadership of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are in their thirties, with little or no formal education and come from relatively poor socio-economic backgrounds. There are likely to be upwards of 10,000 militants in the organisation, which is riven by factional disputes.
These are some of the findings from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, An attempt to deconstruct the umbrella organization and the reasons for its growth in Pakistan's North-West, published by the Danish Institute for International Studies.
The author of this 74-page report, Qandeel Siddique, is a research assistant at DIIS. She says that bombings, including suicide attacks, appear to be the group's preferred tactic. They promote themselves through illegal FM channels and the circulation of DVs, CDs and pro-TTP newspapers and websites. Child recruitment is common and particular TTP leaders are responsible for training suicide bombers. Money for the organisation comes from criminal activity, protection rackets and donations from sympathisers both within and outside Pakistan.
The organisation's main aims are to enforce sharia law, unite against Coalition forces in Afghanistan and to perform a defensive jihad against the Pakistan Army.
However, the organisation is also tinged with sectarianism, mainly due to the injection of leaders and cadres from other organisations. Its aims have swung in behind those of al-Qaeda.
The factional nature of the organisation, itself based primarily on tribal affiliations, means that groupings such as the Muqami Tehrik-e-Taliban and the Haqqani group are focussed on Afghanistan, while the Hakimullah Mahsud group and Fidayeen Islam claim that the fight against the Pakistani security forces is the 'real' jihad.
14 hours ago