An Afghani citizen,Mullah Mohammed Omar Mujahid, or Mullah Omar for whort, was a tall man with black hair and blind in one eye from a shrapnel wound. During the resistance to the Soviets in the 1980s, even commanders who were showered with foreign aid from Peshawar nonetheless developed deep involvement in the drug trade. Omar was considered the founder and supreme leader of the Taliban movement. He was awarded the religious/political title of Amir-ul-Momineen "the ruler of the faithful" by a congress of religious leaders in Kandahar in spring 1996.
Married for the first time at the age of 31, he was reported to have four wives, one of whom was the daughter of Usama bin Laden. One of his sons was reportedly killed during the US October 2001 air strikes. The reclusive Omar met only a handful of non-Muslims. In his free time, Mullah Omar reportedly enjoyed launching rockets and driving automobiles.
Omar was known to be a simple mujahed who fought passionately for the faith. He was a modest person with an average religious education. he was not considered an impressive orator. Those who met him described him as a quiet and withdrawn person which belied his ability to persuade his fellow mullahs and talibs (students). His low profile and lack of eloquence led to perceptions (among some) suggesting that he was merely a figurehead while the real leadership was exercised by a number of prominent figures that surround him (as well as foreign supporters).
Mullah Mohammad Umar ‘Mujahid’, son of Moulavi Ghulam Nabi, grandson of Moulavi Mohammad Rasool and the great grandson of Moulavi Baaz Mohammad, was born around 1339 AH (solar) i.e. 1960 AD in a religious and learned family of Chah-i-Himmat village of Khakrez district in Kandahar province of Afghanistan. He was an only son. His father, Moulavi Ghulam Nabi (late) was also born in Khakrez district and had received his early education in the traditional religious institutions and circles of this area. At the age of eight, Mullah Mohammad Umar ‘Mujahid’ joined the primary madrassa of Shar-i-Kohna area in Deh-Rawud district to get religious education. This madrassa was supervised by his uncle, Moulavi Mohammad Jumma.
Mullah Mohammad Umar ‘Mujahid’ was in his early twenties when the communists usurped control of Afghanistan through a bloody military coup d'état. It was a time when it became nearly impossible for Mullah Mohammad Umar ‘Mujahid’ like all other heedful students to continue their studies as the starting encounter of atheist communists was against the scholars. He started his Jihadi struggle under a well-known Jihadi organization of ‘Harkat-i-Inqilaab-i-Islami’ (Islamic Revolutionary Movement) in Deh-Rawud district of Uruzgan province.
Yunis Khalis worked systematically to gain power in poppy-rich eastern Nangarhar province, where he skirmished with other mujahideen for control over poppy fields and the roads leading to heroin labs and hashish shops he ran along the border. His deputy, Jalaluddin Haqqani, operated along the Pakistan border. The next generation of Afghanistan’s leaders would rise from the ranks of these fundamentalist commanders and were well versed in this method of fund-raising. A young Mullah Omar at times fought under Yunis Khalis.
After the Soviet withdrawal, mullah omar returned to a peaceful life in his home town. However, soon after, he initiated a new struggle to fight the pervasive political and social corruption that followed the mujahedin's takeover in 1992. In 1994, when Mullah Omar, then a teacher in a small madrassa outside Kandahar, emerged as a local Robin Hood, protecting villagers from the excesses of violent and greedy mujahideen. The war-weary public embraced the Taliban, which swept across Afghanistan, capturing many towns without firing a shot.
In 1994, the Taliban, led by Mullah Omar, captured Kandahar. In 1996 the ragtag group of religious students (“taliban” means “students” in Pashto), led by a one-eyed former anti-Soviet fighter named Mullah Mohammad Omar, swept to power. Mullah Omar led the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
“(Mullah Omar) was a very strong mujahid, very strong fighter against the Russians,” said one tribal elder from Kandahar’s Taliban-heavy Maiwand district who fought alongside Omar against the Soviets. “He was a very good friend, very honest and a very good Muslim,” the elder said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals.
The good feelings did not last, though. In their five years in power and with Omar at the helm, the Taliban instituted harsh Islamic laws, banning most semblances of modernity as well as most girls’ education and meting out harsh justice to anyone who fell afoul of their rules.
Mullah Omar’s Taliban regime in Afghanistan sheltered Usama Bin Ladin and his Al-Qa‘ida network in the years prior to the September 11 attacks. Although Operation Enduring Freedom removed the Taliban regime from power, Mullah Omar remainws at large and represented a continuing threat to the United States and its allies.
While the Taliban regime had been removed from power, Mullah Omar remained at large and represented a continuing threat to peace in the region. Mullah Omar used sanctuaries provided by the Government of Pakistan to launch attacks which wounded and killed thousands of United States, Coalition, and Afghan soldiers as well as a large number of Afghan noncombatants.
The Rewards for Justice program offered a reward of up to ten million dollars for information leading to Mullah Omar's arrest or prosecution. The U.S. guarantees that all reports will be investigated and the identity of all informants will be kept confidential. If appropriate, the U.S. was prepared to protect informants by relocating them.
In December 2011 some Afghan and international media reports erroneously alleged that Mullah Omar was removed from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists List. Mullah Omar has never been listed on the Most Wanted Terrorists List. Mullah Omar remained on the US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice List.
Richard Holbrooke, the former Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in February 2011, "I think Mullah Omar is incredibly important, the more I look at this thing, the more I think he is a driving, inspirational force whose capture or elimination would have a material effect . . . I don't think we can negotiate with Mullah Omar . . . That's why I think eliminating Mullah Omar is so critical . . . With Mullah Omar, the Pakistanis are in a better position to control the Taliban . . . He's such a pivot person. If you have him, if you hold him, you control the whole organization".
In the twilight of a US-led combat mission that claimed the lives of more than 3,300 foreign troops and tens of thousands of Afghans, the Taliban’s military position was as strong as ever. Though the Taliban lacked the popular support that swept them into power in the early 1990s, by 2014 levels of violence in Afghanistan were higher than at any time in the war. The Taliban were inflicting staggering casualties on the Afghan security forces, who had taken over most of the fighting.
While the Quetta Shura — the Pakistan-based leadership under Mullah Omar — was considered the Taliban’s central decision-making body, the group was so splintered that it was unclear how much command and control any one faction had.
There was mounting speculation of a power struggle within the Taliban, which has had only one leader since its formation in the early 1990s. The leadership struggle centers on two competing commanders: Taliban deputy leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur and Mullah Omar's eldest son, Mullah Mohammad Yuqub. The 26-year-old Yuqub was said to have the backing of field commanders and the Taliban's rank-and-file. The powerful Mansur, who was said to have considerable clout among the political wing of the militant group.
Years without any video or audio recordings had led to growing speculation that the shadowy militant leader might be seriously ill, if not dead. the absence of proof that Omar was alive apparently led several senior Taliban commanders to defect to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), an extremist group based in northern Afghanistan that in early 2015 pledged allegiance to the IS group. There had been many reports in the past about Mullah Omar's death. In July 2015, Fidai Mahaz, one of the extremist Taliban splinter groups, announced that Mullah Omar was dead and had been replaced by his deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur. On 29 July 2015 the Afghan government confirmed that Mullah Omar died in April 2013 in Pakistan. The deepening divisions within the Taliban came with the growing influence of rival militant groups like the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan. Without its reclusive, one-eyed leader, the Taliban will find it difficult to prevent potential recruits from joining IS and other militant groups.
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