Baitullah Mehsud, the 34-year-old pro-Taleban militant commander, fits the part of the Pakistani tribal guerrilla leader to the hilt.
But there is something extra about him as well.
The few journalists who have met him speak of his earnest desire to support his actions by his interpretation of Islamic ideals.
The emphasis here is on jihad (holy war) against foreign occupying forces in Afghanistan and the establishment of an Islamic state.
These include the use of suicide bombers and cross-border attacks on international forces based there.
There is also his aversion to publicity in general, and to photography in particular.
“He does not allow his picture to be taken,” says a journalist who has met the commander.
It is an aversion he shares with Taleban supreme commander Mullah Omar, with whom he is said to have a “good relationship”.
Baitullah Mehsud, as his name suggests, belongs to the Mehsud tribe in Pakistan’s troubled South Waziristan region.
The area is now said to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
In this regard, Baitullah Mehsud is said to have played a major role, especially in providing a sanctuary for fighters to operate in Afghanistan.
Commander Mehsud makes no bones about this, and says it is in fact the duty of every Muslim to wage jihad against “the infidel forces of America and Britain”.
Talking to the BBC in an exclusive interview earlier in 2007, he said the militants were dead set on their goal of freeing Afghanistan through jihad.
“Only jihad can bring peace to the world,” he said.
The militant leader on several occasions has openly admitted to crossing the border to fight foreign troops.
When another BBC team visited his area in October 2007, his spokesman Zulfiqar told us he was away fighting in Afghanistan.
Bin Laden link
Since 9/11 he has grown in strength and stature, making him the most important pro-Taleban militant commander in the Waziristan region.
He is said to operate under a legendary Afghan Taleban commander, Jalaluddin Haqqani.
Jalaluddin Haqqani is believed to have helped Osama Bin Laden escape US bombing in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains in early 2002.
Baitullah Mehsud himself is said to command about 20,000 pro-Taleban militants.
A majority of these belong to the Mehsud tribe.
Intelligence reports claim that a large number of foreigners are also present in the number.
However, when this reporter in October visited the Mehsuds, no foreign fighters were visible in the area.
Driving out the army
Pakistan’s military has launched several operations to take control of the Waziristan tribal region.
These were largely unsuccessful and led to the signing of two highly controversial peace accords with the militants.
The second of these was signed by Commander Mehsud in February 2005 and effectively signified his status as the premier militant commander in South Waziristan.
Initially Baitullah Mehsud says he was reluctant to fight the army, which he considered a “national institution”.
His militants have since waged a guerrilla war that has virtually pushed the army out of South Waziristan.
When the BBC visited the area in October, the militants were holding nearly 300 soldiers hostage.
The soldiers were later handed over in exchange for imprisoned militants, some of them convicted of being involved in suicide bombings.
The militant commander is said to be the man who has masterminded most of the recent suicide attacks in the country.
While he has admitted to targeting military personnel in reprisal attacks, he denied attacking any political figures.
In particular, he denied he had anything to do with the attack on Benazir Bhutto on 18 October.
But there was a strong anti-Benazir feeling among the militants when this BBC reporter spoke to them in October, days before the first attack.
Most regarded her as an “American pawn” and some condemned her for belonging to the minority Muslim Shia sect.
As we took our leave, Zulfiqar said Benazir Bhutto would get what she deserved, sooner or later.
Some investigators maintain that extremists from radical groups such as the sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi could have been responsible for the October attack.
For the moment, however, the reclusive pro-Taleban commander could well have grabbed first spot as Pakistan’s public enemy number one.