Tariq Ali, from army to Taliban (image, This is London)
A Muslim locum surgeon who was recently struck off by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) after a hearing in Manchester, England, has surfaced in Pakistan as part of recently formed splinter group, Tehreek -e-Taliban, Jamaat -ul- Ahrar (TTP JA).
“Dr” Tariq Ali (39) who is thought to have left the UK in April is seen in a newly released Taliban video alongside TTP JA spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan making a strong stand against the Pakistan military. Ali is known in jihadi circles under the name of Abu Obaidah Al-Islamabadi.
The former Captain is highly critical of the army for their role allying with the US in their much maligned War on Terror following 9/11. He also slates the armed services for their actions in North Waziristan where they launched military operation Zarb -e- Asb against insurgent groups in June 2014.
The case heard against Ali in his absence was said to be the first-ever successful prosecution for Islamic sectarian violence in Britain. The Mail reported that Ali,
“helped to organise a rally against the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad for members of the banned Sunni Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun in Edgware Road, Central London.
Some of the protesters at the rally assaulted a number of Shia bystanders, and Ali was seen hitting one of the victims repeatedly with a flag post, the tribunal heard.
Scotland Yard said an arrest warrant for Ali is outstanding”
Ali, a spokesperson for “Shariah4Pakistan” which has a Twitter account, is seen being physically embraced by the Taliban and says he is “very happy”. He features on TTP JA promotional photo for the video. The caption states the production “is the story of a Mujahid who joined Tehreek-e-Taliban Jamaat -ul-Ahrar after abandoning officership of Pakistan Army and a luxurious life in Britain.” The new addition to the Taliban appears wearing traditional clothes, white salwar kameez, waistcoat, black turban and is seen in one clip displaying his skill with a firearm.
TTP JA media posted the following message along with the video, Ahlul Azaem 4
Video message of a Pakistan Army officer who left apostate army and joined Mujahideen of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.
“Today the world has been polarized into two distinct groups. One group is the ally of Rahman who is fighting to implement Allah’s Shariah on the earth while the other group is ally of Shaitan and fighting to implement laws of other than Allah SWT. In this conflict, Kuffar have not only attacked the Muslims with latest weapons but they are also targeting the creed and ideology of Muslims. As a result of propaganda, many Muslims have ended up allying with Kuffar and they are actively fighting against the Mujahideen.
Here a video message is being presented in which a Pakistan Army officer is telling his story how he found out the reality of apostate Pakistan Army and disobeyed the orders to fight against the Mujahideen. Today he has actively joined the Mujahideen in the battlefield and he is also inviting other soldiers to leave Pakistan Army and join the real Jihad”
The film shared by Ihyae Khilafat commences with verses from the Quran, the first being,
“indeed Allah will not change the condition of a people, until they change what is in themselves” AL Ra’ad (13:11)
Ali gives his Pakistan army number as 103907, confirming he had passed out with the 18th Course of Army Medical College. After 7 years in the army he emigrated to work as a doctor in London and also spent time calling non-Muslims to Islam through Sharia 4 Pakistan. Ali had intended to go to Iraq and join the Islamic State but was arrested, sent to prison in Croatia and later deported to Pakistan.
On the video he is seen praising the Taliban stating, “I am very impressed with the hospitality, sincerity and sacrifices of the Mujahideen here and found them very different from the brutal image that is being attributed to them by Pakistan media.” In comparison he alleges the army are corrupt, have arrested thousands since 9/11, sold citizens such as Aafia Siddiqui to the US for dollars and killed fellow Muslims.
Ali also draws attention to the assault on Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), bombing of civilians, the killing of Osama bin Laden and US drone strikes.
The 16 minute video is an all out attack on the military establishment and he hails his postings to Waziristan as his reason for leaving the army. He also considers who is worthy of being called a “shaheed” (martyr) and the need to establish Shara’ah in Pakistan. He advises those serving to leave the military or to disobey orders and not fight fellow Muslims.
This is not the first time Ali has appeared on video, his journey to fully embracing Islam can also be seen in an interview posted by “Convert 2 Islam UK” from June 6th, 2013. He claims that the motto of Pakistani army, Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah (“Faith, Piety and Fight in the path of Allah”) is deceiving to the public and alleges the military are not serving Islam. Ali also asserts that those within the army are not following Shari’ah and giving submission to Allah but instead to senior army officers which has implications in practice. He is interviewed on the following link,
“Soldier and Surgeon gives it all up for Islam”
A further video posting of July 2013 on Siasat Pakistan Forum emerged under a thread of “Terrorism Watch” where the following comment appears,
“ex-captain of Pakistan Army, Dr Tariq Ali (who has studied from prestigious universities in the UK like Cambridge and Imperial College London) has uploaded a new message for Pakistan Army.
Dr Tariq Ali participated in Pak Army’s military operations (May b Wana under Musharraf) & detest Army’s barbarity in South Waziristan. He refused 2 take Army’s orders to go to Miranshah for military operations (3rd time). In the video, he beseeches fellow Armymen 2 refuse orders.
According to him, Taliban are true Muslims and he is ashamed of Army’s conduct in Military operations”
The video with its fierce rhetoric must be raising alarm bells for the government of Nawaz Sharif and the security establishment. There is a history of dissent in the armed services including an attack on President Musharraf from Pakistan Air Force personnel, an insider attacks on Mehran Navy Base and the recent Navy dockyard incident, Karachi. There are also rumblings of threats from the inside to “blow the whistle” over the Pakistan Air Force alleged connections to US drone strikes in the Tribal Areas which have claimed many civilians lives since they began in 2004.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.