Mohammed Omar

Mohammed Omar

Overview
Mullah
Mullah
Mullah is generally used to refer to a Muslim man, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. The title, given to some Islamic clergy, is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā , meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian"...

 Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader
Leader
A leader is one who influences or leads others.Leader may also refer to:- Newspapers :* Leading article, a piece of writing intended to promote an opinion, also called an editorial* The Leader , published 1909–1967...

 of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. He was Afghanistan's de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council". He held the title Commander of the Faithful of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

, which was officially recognized by Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

.

Mullah Omar has been wanted by the US State Department's Rewards for Justice program since October 2001, for sheltering Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 militants in the years prior to the 11 September attacks.
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Encyclopedia
Mullah
Mullah
Mullah is generally used to refer to a Muslim man, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. The title, given to some Islamic clergy, is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā , meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian"...

 Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader
Leader
A leader is one who influences or leads others.Leader may also refer to:- Newspapers :* Leading article, a piece of writing intended to promote an opinion, also called an editorial* The Leader , published 1909–1967...

 of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. He was Afghanistan's de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council". He held the title Commander of the Faithful of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

, which was officially recognized by Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

.

Mullah Omar has been wanted by the US State Department's Rewards for Justice program since October 2001, for sheltering Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 militants in the years prior to the 11 September attacks. He is believed to be directing the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 against NATO forces and the Karzai administration
Karzai administration
The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

 in Afghanistan.

Despite his political rank and his high status on the Rewards for Justice most wanted list, not much is publicly known about him. Few photos exist of him, none of them official, and a picture used in 2002 by many media outlets has since been established to be another Taliban official. The authenticity of the existing images is debated. Apart from the fact that he is missing one eye, accounts of his physical appearance are contradictory: Omar is described as very tall (some say 2 m). Mullah Omar has been described as shy and non-talkative with foreigners.

During his tenure as Emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 of Afghanistan, Omar seldom left Kandahar and rarely met with outsiders, instead relying on Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil
Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil
Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil was the last Foreign Minister in the Taliban government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.Prior to this he served as spokesman and secretary to Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban. After the Northern Alliance accompanied by U.S...

 for the majority of diplomatic necessities. Many, including Afghan President
President of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has only been a republic between 1973 and 1992 and from 2001 onwards. Before 1973, it was a monarchy that was governed by a variety of kings, emirs or shahs...

 Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

, believe that Mullah Omar and his Taliban movement is used as a puppet
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 by the Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) in Pakistan. Additionally, many current and former U.S. senior military officials
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 such as Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

, Stanley McChrystal
Stanley A. McChrystal
Stanley Allen McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the United States Army. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan...

, David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

 and others believe that Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are also involved in helping the Taliban.

Personal life


Omar is thought to have been born around 1959 in Nodeh, near the city of Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 to a Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 family of poor, landless peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s. He grew up in mud huts in the village in the Maiwand
Maiwand
Maiwand is a village in Afghanistan and the district center of Maiwand District of Kandahar Province. It is located 50 miles northwest of Kandahar....

 area of Kandahar Province
Kandahar Province
Kandahar or Qandahar is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helmand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, which is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly...

 in the south of the country. He is an ethnic Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 from the Hotak tribe
Hotaki
The Hotaki were an Afghan tribe and dynasty that ruled over Afghanistan, most of Iran, and northwestern parts of Pakistan from 1722 to 1729, after defeating the Persian Safavid dynasty. The Hotaki dynasty was founded in 1709 by Mirwais Hotak, chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns of Kandahar who led a...

, which is part of the larger Ghilzai
Ghilzai
Ghilzai are the largest Pashtun tribal confederacy found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are also known historically as Ghilji, Khilji, Ghalji, Ghilzye, and possibly Gharzai...

 branch.

His father is said to have died before he was born and the responsibility of fending for his family fell to him as he grew older. He is believed to have attended the Darul Uloom Haqqania
Darul Uloom Haqqania
Darul Uloom Haqqania is an Islamic religious seminary located in Akora Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. The seminary propagates the Deobandi trend of Sunni Islam and was founded along the lines of Darul Uloom Deoband....

 madrassa.

Soviet invasion and radicalization


Omar fought as a guerrilla with the Harakat-i Inqilab-i Islami faction of the anti-Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 under the command of Nek Mohammad, and fought against the Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah
Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai , originally merely Najibullah, was the fourth and last President of the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also considered the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.-Early years:Najibullah was born in August 1947 to the Ahmadzai...

 regime between 1989 and 1992. It was reported that he was thin, but tall and strongly built, and "a crack marksman who had destroyed many Soviet tanks during the Afghan War."

Omar was wounded four times. Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef
Abdul Salam Zaeef
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef was the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan before the US invasion of Afghanistan.He was detained in Pakistan in the fall of 2001 as an and held until 2005 in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp...

 claims to have been present when shrapnel destroyed one of his eyes during a battle in Sangsar, Panjwaye District
Panjwaye District
Panjwai is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is known as the birthplace of the Taliban. It is located about west of Kandahar city...

 shortly before the 1987 Battle of Arghandab
Battle of Arghandab (1987)
The Battle of Arghandab was an offensive launched by Afghan government forces, supported by Soviet troops against Mujahideen strongholds in the Arghandab District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan...

. Other sources place this event in 1986 or in the 1989 Battle of Jalalabad
Battle of Jalalabad
Battle of Jalalabad may refer to:*Battle of Jalalabad, a conflict in the 1989-1992 Afghan civil war*Battle of Jalalabad , a conflict in the Mughal-Sikh Wars...

.

After he was disabled, Omar may have studied and taught in a madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

, or Islamic seminary, in the Pakistani border city of Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

. He was reportedly a mullah
Mullah
Mullah is generally used to refer to a Muslim man, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. The title, given to some Islamic clergy, is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā , meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian"...

 at a village madrasah near the Afghan city of Kandahar.

Unlike many Afghan mujahideen, Omar speaks Arabic. He was devoted to the lectures of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, and took a job teaching in a madrassa in Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

. He later moved to Binoori Mosque in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, where he led prayers, and later met with Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 for the first time.

Forming the Taliban



Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the collapse of Najibullah's Soviet-backed regime in 1992, the country fell into chaos as various mujahideen factions fought for control. Omar returned to Singesar
Singesar
Singesar is a village near Kandahar, Afghanistan. It is the birthplace of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.- References :*Luke Harding, . Accessed December 26, 2007....

 and founded a madrassah. According to one legend, in 1994 he had a dream in which a woman told him: "We need your help; you must rise. You must end the chaos. God will help you." Mullah Omar started his movement with less than 50 armed madrassah students, known simply as the Taliban (Students). His recruits came from madrassahs in Afghanistan and from the Afghan refugee camps across the border in Pakistan. They fought against the rampant corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 that had emerged in the civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 period and were initially welcomed by Afghans weary of warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

 rule.
Reportedly, in early 1994, Omar led 30 men armed with 16 rifles to free youths who had been kidnapped and raped by a warlord, hanging the local commander from a tank gun barrel. The youths have been inconsistently identified as two young girls, a single boy, or two boys. His movement gained momentum through the year, and he quickly gathered recruits from Islamic schools. By November 1994, Omar's movement managed to capture the whole of Kandahar Province
Kandahar Province
Kandahar or Qandahar is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helmand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, which is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly...

 and then captured Herat
Herat Province
Herat is one the 34 provinces of Afghanistan; together with Badghis, Farah, and Ghor provinces, it makes up the South-western region of the country...

 in September 1995.

Leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan



In April 1996, supporters of Mullah Omar bestowed on him the title Amir al-Mu'minin (أمير المؤمنين, "Commander of the Faithful"), after he donned a cloak alleged to be that of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 which was locked in a series of chests, held inside the Mosque of the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed
Mosque of the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed
The Shrine of the Cloak is located adjacent to the Friday Mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It contains a cloak that was once worn by Islam's Prophet Muhammad, which is widely considered as one of the holiest Islamic sites in Afghanistan, and even considered by some as the "heart of Afghanistan".The...

 in the city of Kandahar. Legend decreed that whoever could retrieve the cloak from the chest would be the great Leader of the Muslims, or "Amir al-Mu'minin".

In September 1996, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 fell to Mullah Omar and his followers. The civil war continued in the northeast corner of the country, near Tajikistan. The nation was named the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

 in October 1997 and was recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A "reclusive, pious and frugal" leader, Omar visited Kabul twice between 1996 to 2001. Omar stated: "All Taliban are moderate. There are two things: extremism ["ifraat", or doing something to excess] and conservatism ["tafreet", or doing something insufficiently]. So in that sense, we are all moderates – taking the middle path.

Some believe that Mulla Omar fits the description of the one-eye-blind Masih ad-Dajjal (Antichrist
Antichrist
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...

). In a BBC's Pashto
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

 interview after the September 11 attacks in 2001, he told that "You (the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

) and American puppet radios have created concern. But the current situation in Afghanistan is related to a bigger cause - that is the destruction of America...This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it [America] will fall to the ground... We will not accept a government of wrong-doers. We prefer death than to be a part of an evil government..."

In hiding


After the US led Operation Enduring Freedom began in early October 2001, Omar went into hiding and is still at large. He is thought to be in the Pashtun tribal region
Pashtunistan
Pakhtunistan or Pashtunistan, meaning the "land of Pakhtuns" or "land of Pashtuns", is a modern term used for the historical region inhabited by the native Afghans or Pashtun since at least the 1st millennium BC...

 of Afghanistan or Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. At first, the United States offered a reward of US$10 million for information leading to his capture but eventually the reward was raised to US$25 million.

Claiming that the Americans had circulated 'propaganda' that Mullah Omar had gone into hiding, Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil
Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil
Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil was the last Foreign Minister in the Taliban government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.Prior to this he served as spokesman and secretary to Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban. After the Northern Alliance accompanied by U.S...

 stated that he would like to "propose that prime minister Blair and president Bush take Kalashnikovs and come to a specified place where Omar will also appear to see who will run and who not." He stated that Omar was merely changing locations due to security reasons.

In the opening weeks of October 2001, Omar's house in Kandahar was bombed, killing his stepfather and his 10-year old son.

Mullah Omar continues to have the allegiance of prominent pro-Taliban military leaders in the region, including Jalaluddin Haqqani
Jalaluddin Haqqani
Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. He also fought in the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, including in the Operation Magistral...

. Former foe Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

's faction has also reportedly allied with Omar and the Taliban. In April 2004, Omar was interviewed via phone by Pakistani journalist Mohammad Shehzad. During the interview, Omar claimed that Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 was alive and well, and that his last contact with Bin Laden was months before the interview. Omar declared that the Taliban were "hunting Americans like pigs".

A captured Taliban spokesman, Muhammad Hanif
Muhammad Hanif
Muhammad Hanif was an Afghan who served as a spokesman for Taliban, particularly in eastern Afghanistan, prior to his capture in Nangarhar Province on 17 January 2007. The BBC reported the following information at the time. Hanif and Qari Mohammad Yousuf were appointed in October 2005 after the...

, told Afghan authorities in January 2007, that Omar was being protected by the Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) in Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

, Pakistan. This matches an allegation made in 2006 by the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

, though it is denied by officials in Pakistan.

Numerous statements have been released identified as coming from Omar. In June 2006 a statement regarding the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

 in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 was released hailing al-Zarqawi as a martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

 and claimed that the resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s in Afghanistan and Iraq "will not be weakened". Then in December 2006 Omar reportedly issued a statement expressing confidence that foreign forces will be driven out of Afghanistan.

In January 2007, it was reported that Omar made his 'first exchange with a journalist since going into hiding' in 2001, with Muhammad Hanif
Muhammad Hanif
Muhammad Hanif was an Afghan who served as a spokesman for Taliban, particularly in eastern Afghanistan, prior to his capture in Nangarhar Province on 17 January 2007. The BBC reported the following information at the time. Hanif and Qari Mohammad Yousuf were appointed in October 2005 after the...

 via email and courier. In it he promised 'more Afghan War', and said the 100+ suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan in the last year had been carried out by bombers acting on religious orders from the Taliban – “the mujahedeen do not take any action without a fatwa.” In April 2007, Omar issued another statement through an intermediary encouraging more suicide attacks.

In November 2009, the Washington Times claimed that Omar, assisted by the ISI, had moved to Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 in October. In January 2010, Brigadier
Brigadier
Brigadier is a senior military rank, the meaning of which is somewhat different in different military services. The brigadier rank is generally superior to the rank of colonel, and subordinate to major general....

 Amir Sultan Tarar, a retired officer with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) agency who previously trained Omar, said that he was ready to break with his al-Qaida allies in order to make peace in Afghanistan: "The moment he gets control the first target will be the al-Qaida people".

In January 2011, the Washington Post, citing a report from the Eclipse Group
Eclipse Group
Eclipse Group is a private intelligence agency run by former CIA officer Duane "Dewy" Clarridge, who was also the founding director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center. Until May 2010, Eclipse Group received funding from the US Government; it currently relies on private donors. Its current...

, a privately-operated intelligence network that may be contracted by the CIA, stated that Omar had suffered a heart attack on 7 January 2011. According to the report, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency rushed Omar to a hospital near Karachi where he was operated-on and treated, then was released several days later. Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani or Hussain Haqqani is the former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, appointed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in April 2008 and was resigned on November 22, 2011...

, stated that the report, "had no basis whatsoever."

On 23 May 2011, TOLO News in Afghanistan quoted unnamed sources saying Omar had been killed by ISI two days earlier. These reports remain unconfirmed. A spokesman for the militant group said shortly after the news came out. "Reports regarding the killing of Amir-ul-Moemineen (Omar) are false. He is safe and sound and is not in Pakistan but Afghanistan". On 20 July 2011 phone text messages from accounts used by Taliban spokesmen Zabihullah Mujahid and Qari Mohammad Yousuf
Qari Mohammad Yousuf
Qari Mohammad Yousef Ahmadi is one of the two Taliban spokesmen, the other being Zabiullah Mujahid. In 2006, Ahmadi contacted Reuters, the Associated Press, Canadian Press and Afghan Islamic Press by satellite phone to offer Taliban messages regarding southern Afghanistan.In August 2008, his name...

 announced Omar's death. Mujahid and Yousuf, however, quickly denied sending the messages, claimed that their mobile phones, websites, and email accounts had been hacked, and swore revenge on the telephone network providers.

External links


  • Mullah Mohammed Omar collected news and commentary at Newsweek
    Newsweek
    Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...


Interviews
  • Mullah Omar - in his own words, The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , 26 September 2001
  • Interview with Mullah Omar - transcript, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 15 November 2001

Articles