Washington Eyes Shadowy Terror Leader

Pakistan, US experts say jihadist likely killed Bhutto
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2008 5:00 PM CST
In this image taken from APTN, the aftermath of a suicide bombing is seen Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto died Thursday from her injuries sustained in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Washington is zoning in on a new jihadist leader after recent reports blamed him for killing former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto, Newsweek reports. Named Baitullah Mehsud, he travels with tight security in a safe haven of Pakistan, has never been photographed, and avoids sleeping in the same place twice. Yet this shadowy figure is a magnet for accusations of suicide bombings and future attacks.

"He is the only one who had the capacity" to kill Bhutto, a Taliban insider claimed. Pakistani and US officials fear that Baitullah is planning future strikes to thwart Pakistan's Feb. 18 election. So far Baitullah has only humiliated the nation, swindling Musharraf out of $540,000 in a broken peace deal, and recently seizing 250 national troops. He threatens strikes against US forces, too, vowing to drive "the infidel" troops out of neighboring Afghanistan.