As the Pakistani army chases the Taliban out of the South Waziristan, the former Taliban stronghold, the group is spreading to nearby districts, regrouping, and becoming a significant threat elsewhere. In Kurram amd Orakzai, beyond the battle zone, the Islamic militants have created a large presence, defying the U.S.-backed Pakistani government. Armed with AK-47s and rocket launchers, the militants are patrolling these regions, refilling their coffers through security checkpoints, kidnappings, and robberies. "They come to our houses and terrorize us," said one student in Kurram. "They are kidnapping our elders and stealing our cars. We have no way of rising up against them, and there's no government here to help us… Kurram is in trouble because of them."