Afghan Biographies

Mazlum, Muhammad Fazil Mullah

Name Mazlum, Muhammad Fazil Mullah
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1967
Function/Grade Deputy Defense Minister
History and Biodata

2. Previous Function:
Taleban’s Chief of Army Staff or Deputy Chief of Army Staff  during their reign in the 1990s
Member of Taliban Negotiation team
Deputy Minister of Defense (20210907)

3. Biodata:
Mullah Muhammad Fazil Mazlum Mazloom was born in 1967, in Sekzi, Caher Cineh District, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, a Kakar by tribe. He was one of the Guantanamo Five and the Taleban’s Chief of Army Staff during their reign in the 1990s, according to a biography in Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn’s book An enemy we created. 

While not one of the original Taleban, he joined early and rose through the ranks because of his fighting ability. He ended up as one of the most important and feared commanders of the Emirate and was head of the Army Corps in 2001. Unlike other Taleban commanders, he never took a civilian post.

In 1999, he was one of the senior field commanders in the Shomali offensive, leading forces along the Old Road to Mirbacha Kot (while Mullah Dadullah – killed while fighting in 2007 – commanded forces further west, on the New Road connecting Kabul with Bagram). The victorious Taleban destroyed civilian infrastructure in Shomali on an industrial scale – burning houses, vineyards, orchards and destroying irrigation systems; they also summarily executed civilians and surrendered Northern Alliance fighters and forcibly displaced civilians, contributing to an exodus of 300,000 people.

Fazl also had  ‘strategic responsibility’ as head of the army corps when the Taleban were trying to subdue resistance in and around Yakowlang (Bamyian province) in 2001, involving a series of massacres of civilians and the burning of villages. Others are also implicated, both those on the ground and in other command positions.

On June 1, 2014, Fazl, and the other four Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, were released in Qatar in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl who had been captured by the Taliban nearly five years previously. After his release from Guantanamo he and the others of the Guantanamo Five group became members of the political office in Doha.


Last Modified 2021-09-08
Established 2020-09-13