A senior leader of the Pakistani Taliban has been captured by American military forces, a U.S. official said on Friday.
Latif Mehsud was described by the State Department as a senior commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
“I can confirm that U.S. forces did capture... terrorist leader Latif Mehsud in a military operation,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
“Mehsud is a senior commander in TTP and served as a trusted confidante of the group’s leader Hakimullah Mehsud,” Harf said.
She told reporters that the TTP had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of New York's Times Square in 2010 and attacks on U.S. diplomats in Pakistan, as well as incidents that killed Pakistani civilians..
The group “had also vowed to attack the U.S. homeland again,” Harf said.
She gave no details of the operation and did not say where and when it took place, according to Agence France-Presse.
Pentagon officials, however, said Mehsud was still inside Afghanistan, without specifying where.
“As part of the armed conflict against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces, authorized by Congress in the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Mehsud was captured and is being lawfully held by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith, according to AFP.