Afghan Biographies

Akhundzada, Mohammad Omar Jan

Name Akhundzada, Mohammad Omar Jan
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth
Function/Grade Adviser to Hibatullah Akhundzada
History and Biodata

2. Previous Function:
Former bodyguard of Mullah Mansoor
Special advisor to Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada (20220300)

3. Biodata:
Akhundzada hailed from Zabul province and held the position of chief at a seminary in Kandahar. Mohammad Omar Jan Akhundzada was leading evening prayers at a mosque in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Thursday Apr 18, 2024 when gunmen stormed the building and fatally shot him before fleeing, according to local police. For 15 years, Akhundzada served as the imam of a mosque in Quetta's Kali area, according to police records.The deceased was reportedly on Eid holidays and was visiting family in the area . The ISKP, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State and a fierce rival of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a significant number of these attacks.

Two days after the assassination of Mohammad Omarjan Akhundzada, sources reported, citing Quetta police, that he held a Pakistani identity card. Quetta police confirmed that Akhundzada was a long-serving Imam at a local mosque and resided at his own house in the city, highlighting that non-citizens typically cannot own property in Pakistan. He had been a senior member of the Quetta Shura and was involved in establishing religious schools in Pakistan.

Akhundzada was part of a Afghan government oversight committee of top Islamic scholars and taught at the central “jihadi” madrasa, or Isla mic seminary, in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Multiple Afghan sources reported that the slain scholar was a senior adviser to the reclusive Taliban supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who is based in Kandahar and governs Afghanistan from there through religious decrees stemming from his strict interpretation of Islam. Sources noted that Hibatullah Akhundzada typically started his meetings with recitations from the Quran by Akhundzada, underscoring his significant role within the group.

A senior Taliban official explained that the oversight committee comprises leading religious scholars and is responsible for reviewing all regulations before they are implemented to ensure that they conform to Islamic principles.

Akhundzada was appointed as special advisor to Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in March 2022. He wielded influence among religious scholars in Kandahar and was part of the Taliban leader’s inner circle. Mullah Hibatullah consults trusted individuals in Kandahar on key matters, often bypassing the Kabul cabinet and Taliban ministries in decision-making.

Last Modified 2024-04-20
Established 2024-04-20