Hakimullah Mehsud was among Pakistan’s most-wanted men. He gained a reputation as a ruthless planner of deadly suicide attacks while serving as the Pakistani Taliban’s military chief. In August 2009, he assumed leadership of the Pakistani Taliban after a drone attack killed the previous leader, his mentor.
Mehsud is believed to have been behind a deadly suicide attack at a CIA base in Afghanistan, a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square and other brazen assaults in Pakistan that killed thousands of civilians and security forces. He was on U.S. most-wanted terrorist lists with a $5 million bounty.
The ruthless, 34-year-old commander who was closely allied with al-Qaida was widely reported to have been killed in 2010 – only to resurface later.