Skip to main content

Taliban claim responsibility for bomb plot against Pakistan TV anchor

By Shaan Khan, CNN
November 27, 2012 -- Updated 1050 GMT (1850 HKT)
Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir talks with media outside his home in Islamabad on November 26, 2012.
Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir talks with media outside his home in Islamabad on November 26, 2012.
  • NEW: The Pakistani Taliban say they planted the bomb
  • A bag containing explosives is found attached to Hamid Mir's car
  • He is an anchor on the television station Geo TV's prime time broadcast
  • "I will not stop telling the truth," Mir says following the attempt

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to assassinate a high-profile television journalist by planting a bomb on his car.

Hamid Mir, a senior anchor on Geo TV's prime time programming, escaped the attempt on his life Monday when the bomb was found attached to the back of his car and disabled before it could cause any harm.

Read more: Who are the Pakistani Taliban?

"We will continue targeting journalists who propagate a secular agenda and side with the government," Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said by telephone Tuesday.

Mir said he had gone to a busy market place in the heart of Islamabad "to run some errands" on Monday when the bomb was detected.

A police officer in Mir's security team saw a plastic bag containing half a kilo (about a pound) of explosives attached to the car and called the bomb disposal squad, which successfully defused the device, said Bin Yamin, the Islamabad police chief.

Read more: Girl's courage, Taliban's cowardice

The history of the Pakistani Taliban
Ex-British PM shows support for Malala
Pakistanis outraged by Taliban attack
(File photo) Hamid Mir during an interview with Osama bin Laden in 2001 in Karachi.  (File photo) Hamid Mir during an interview with Osama bin Laden in 2001 in Karachi.
(File photo) Hamid Mir during an interview with Osama bin Laden in 2001 in Karachi.(File photo) Hamid Mir during an interview with Osama bin Laden in 2001 in Karachi.

Despite the brush with danger, Mir remained defiant following the incident in a country that is fraught with risk for journalists.

"I want to give those responsible a message," he said in an interview with Geo TV. "I want to say that as long as I have life in my body and blood in my veins I will not stop telling the truth."

He said the assassination attempt "is a message not just to me but to Geo TV and the entire journalist community."

Pakistan is frequently cited by press freedom advocacy groups as being among the most deadly countries in the world from which to report.

Danger can come from militant organizations -- like the Taliban, who threatened journalists for their coverage of the attack on the teenage education activist Malala Yousufzai -- and also from government agencies, the advocacy groups say.

"We have a lot of respect for journalists, however all those who are spreading negative news against us and Islam will be targeted," Ihsan, the Taliban spokesman, said Tuesday.

The Pakistani Taliban, who are closely linked with their namesake in Afghanistan and with al Qaeda, operate in the ungoverned area that sits on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Police say they are investigating the assassination attempt.

The Islamabad bureau chief of Geo TV, Rana Jawed, said that he thought the bomb plot had been carried out by group with expertise in such attacks.

"Somebody must have followed Mir's car, and when he got a chance he must have attached the bomb," Jawed said.

He said the bomb had not gone off because it was "faulty."

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.