Pakistani Taliban's New Boss: Guy Who Targeted Malala

Council appoints Mullah Fazlullah
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2013 1:43 PM CST
People watch a news report on TV about newly selected leader of Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah at a coffee shop in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

(Newser) – The Pakistani Taliban needed a new leader after its last chief was killed in a drone strike, and it has chosen the hardline commander who targeted Malala Yousafzai. Mullah Fazlullah's men tried to assassinate the education activist last year, and he will be the "new ameer," a Taliban spokesperson tells Reuters today. The spokesperson also declared there will be "no more" peace talks with the government, as the new leader "is already against negotiations." (Pakistan had expressed concerns that would be the case.)

Fazlullah's nickname is "Mullah Radio" because of his passionate and fiercely Islamist radio broadcasts, offered up on an underground radio station he set up in 2004, and even his fellow Taliban members consider him hardline. He particularly fights against girls' education. His appointment by the leadership council was unanimous, the AP reports. (Read more Taliban stories.)

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