"I accept responsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to U.S. drone attacks," Baituallah Mehsud told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location on Saturday.
While nothing is impossible, it seems highly unlikely that Mehsud nor the Taliban has any connection to the actual shooter, now dead, who police report was a Vietnamese immigrant.
Mehsud's claim comes as a suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at an alleged militant hide-out Saturday in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 people.
The U.S. is suspected of carrying out more than three dozen such strikes over the past year in Pakistan near the Afghan border, where militants often launch attacks against U.S. and NATO troops. The drone attacks have caused tension with the Pakistani government, which frequently complains about the U.S. carrying out strikes on its territory.
President Barack Obama has said he will step up the pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militants in its territory by making aid to the country conditional on the government's anti-terrorism efforts. Pakistan has said it is committed to the fight, but many Western officials suspect the country's military intelligence agency of maintaining links with militant groups.
Obama said last month the U.S. would insist that action be taken "one way or another" when the country has intelligence about high-level terrorist targets in Pakistan, a likely reference to the drone strikes.
It is believed by some that Mehsud is responsible for the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto at the end of 2007, so his claims are generally looked into, but that does not mean all his "claims" and based in fact.
Earlier this week, Mehsud claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a police academy in the eastern city of Lahore that left at least 12 people dead, including seven policeman. He warned that his group would carry out more attacks in the country unless the U.S. stopped drone attacks against militants on the Afghan border.
The militant leader also threatened to attack the White House, although the FBI said he had made similar threats previously and there was no indication of anything imminent. The U.S. has offered a reward of up to $5 million for Mehsud.
U.S. officials are saying this is some sort of publicity stunt on the part of Mehsud, which makes much more sense than thinking the Taliban or Meshud had anything to do with a Vietnamese immigrant with two guns.