Afghan Biographies

Omar, Mohammed Mullah

Name Omar, Mohammed Mullah
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1959
Function/Grade Taliban Head
History and Biodata

3. Biodata:
mullah_omarMullah Mohammed Omar Mullah Umar  was born 1959, to a family of "poor, landless peasants," growing up in mud huts in the village in the Maiwand area of Kandahar province. Some reports state he was born in the village of Nodeh, near Kandahar City. Other sources say he was born in Chah-i-Himmat, in the Kharkez district of Kandahar Province, and says he is from the Tomzi clan of the Hotak tribe. However, he is an ethnic Pashtun from the Hotak tribe, which is part of the larger Ghilzai branch. His father, Moulavi Ghulam Nabi, is said to have died before he was born and the responsibility of fending for his family fell to him as he grew older. After Omar's father died the family moved to Uruzgan Province.

Mullah Omar received most of his education from Sufi teachers, like Haji Baba whose grave Mullah Omar – when he was the Taleban leader – would visit almost every week. Omar fought as a guerilla with the Harakat-i Inqilab-i Islami faction of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen under the command of Nek Mohammad, and fought against the Najibullah regime between 1989 and 1992. After he was disabled, Omar may have studied and taught in a madrasah, or Islamic seminary, in the Pakistani border city of Quetta. He was reportedly a mullah 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. He later moved to Binoori Mosque in Karachi, where he led prayers, and later met with Osama bin Laden for the first time. Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the collapse of the Communist regime in Kabul in 1992, the country fell into chaos as various mujahideen factions fought for control.

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 Pakistan and from the Afghan refugee camps across the border in Pakistan. They fought against the rampant corruption that had emerged in the civil war period and were initially welcomed by Afghans weary of warlord rule. Reportedly, in early 1994, Omar led 30 men armed with 16 rifles to free two girls who had been kidnapped and raped by local commanders.

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 province of Kandahar and then captured Herat in September 1995. Another, possibly apocryphal, story suggests that he rose to power in 1994 after two local warlords waged a full-scale tank battle in Kandahar's central bazaar, after a fall-out over the affections of a young boy and he led religious students to take control of the city. n April 1996, supporters of Mullah Omar bestowed on him the title Amir al-Mu'minin "Commander of the Faithful"), after he donned a cloak alleged to be that of Muhammad out of a series of chests it was locked in, held in a shrine in Kandahar. Legend decreed that whoever could retrieve the cloak from the chests would be the great Leader of the Muslims, or "Amir al-Mu'minin".

In September that year, Kabul fell to Mullah Omar and his followers. Under Omar's rule, Sharia was enforced causing crime to diminish. The civil war continued. His Afghanistan was named Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in October 1997. A "reclusive, pious and frugal" leader, Omar visited Kabul twice between 1996 to 2001. He was the leader of the Taliban of Afghanistan and was Afghanistan's de facto head of state, and was recognized by three states, from 1996 to 2001, under the official title of Head of the Supreme Council. He held the title Commander of the Faithful from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

After the NATO invasion of Afghanistan began in 2001, Omar went into hiding and is still at large. He is thought to be in the Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The United States offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to his capture. He is believed to be directing the Taliban in their war against Hamid Karzai's Government and foreign NATO troops in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

Mullah Omar traveled from Quetta  to Karachi Oct 2009 after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped U.S. and Pakistani counterterrorism campaigns. It is said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the ISI, helped the Taliban leaders move from Quetta, where they were exposed to attacks by unmanned U.S. drones.

Eclipse Group, which is run by former CIA, State Department and military officers, said the one-eyed leader of Afghan Taliban suffered a heart attack on January 7, 2011 following which he was treated in a Karachi hospital with the help of Inter Services Intelligence. The Eclipse Group said that its source of information is a physicians in the said Karachi hospital.

The Afghan Taliban has denied that its leader Mullah Omar has died, saying a text message announcing his death was a fake. A Taliban spokesman said 20110720 the message was sent after the group's phones and website were hacked, and blamed U.S. intelligence agencies. Omar has been reported dead before, including in March 2011 when an Afghan news channel said he had been killed by members of Pakistan's spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). (20110720)

The Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in November 2014 that Mullah Omar has possibly passed away amid reports that the group has divided into three different parts. In the meantime, recent reports suggest that Mullah Omar has given his old friend and deputy Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor the authority to make decisions on his behalf regarding the peace process. The remarks by the informed Taliban sources confirming the authorization of Mansoor comes as the NDS officials said the Taliban leaders have major differences among them due to the possible death of Mullah Omar. NDS spokesman Hasib Sediqi told reporters during a press conference on 19th November 2014 that senior Taliban figures have divided into three groups due to the major differences they have.

1. The first group is led by Mullah Qayum Zakir and Tayeb Agha is a member along with Hafiz Majeed, Amir Khan Haqqani, Mullah Mohammad Esa, Khadim Abdul RAuf, Zia Agha and Torak Agha.

2. The second group is led by Mullah Agha and Mullah Samad Sani, Mawlavi Nani, Sadar Ibrahim, Sheikh Mawlavi Abdul Hakimand Mawlavi Mohibulalh are members.

3. The third group is comprised of neutral Taliban leaders.

The Afghan government's confirmation that Mullah Omar died in April 2013 in Pakistan comes amid deepening divisions within the Taliban and the growing influence of rival militant groups like the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan. Even before news broke of Mullah Omar's death, 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. According to reports, the 26-year-old Yuqub is said to be ready to take over the reins. Yuqub is said to have the backing of field commanders and the Taliban's rank-and-file. Standing in his way is the powerful Mansur, who is said to have considerable clout among the political wing of the militant group.(20150730)

On the other hand, officials in ARG presidential palace said Mullah Omar was in custody of the Pakistani security forces in Karachi city of Pakistan.(20150406)

Sources close to Taliban are saying Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, 26, who is the eldest son of Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and a graduate of a well-known Karachi Madrasa (Seminary) is being discussed by the Taliban Shura to take over the command of the Taliban if Omar’s death is confirmed. Although questions have been raised about Mullah Omar’s fate for years but most recently it became hot when a break-away group of the Taliban known as Fidayee Mahaz issued a statement stating that Mullah Omar died 24 months before. Fidayee Mahaz claimed that there are strong evidences to proof the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the supreme leader of Taliban.

Rahimullah Yousufzai, a renowned Pakistani journalist  who has been reporting on Afghanistan for more than 20 years and on Taliban since its establishment, further states that Mullah Mansoor desire to lead the Taliban but he is facing criticism from several other Taliban leaders. According to him, those who oppose Mullah Mansoor back the selection of Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub and consider him as a legitimate and worthy successor to his father, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Sources quoted that a conclave was organized among senior Taliban leaders in which Mullah Omar’s younger brother Abdul Manan also took part. It reports that the meeting decided to give the leadership of Taliban to Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub if his father’s death is confirmed. Sources stated that such meetings are taking place in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan and more are planned to build a strong coalition against Mullah Mansoor and promote the cause of Mullah Yaqoub as the future leader of Afghan Taliban.

This comes as second round of peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban is scheduled to take place in Pakistan in days. A seize fire is expected to be discussed before reaching an agreement to end the 13-year-long war in the country. In the first round of peace talks that took place close to Islamabad, both sides exchanged list of their demands and agreed to continue the discussions.(20150727)

Last Modified 2016-05-25
Established 2009-11-07