Afghan Taliban publish biography of Mullah Omar, claim he is alive
Kabul: The Afghan Taliban has published a surprise biography of the reclusive militant Mullah Mohammad Omar on Sunday to mark his 19th year as their supreme leader.
The 5000-word biography has been elucidated in 11 pages on their main website and it clarifies several disputed facts about the birth and upbringing of Mullah Omar.
The bio also lists that RPG-7 (Rocket Propelled Grenade) is the favorite weapon of the militant and that he leads a simple life and has a “special” sense of humor.
The biography further says that Mullah Omar, whose whereabouts are unknown, “remains in touch” with day-to-day Afghan and world events.
The US state department has a $10 million bounty on Mullah Omar, who has not been seen since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
It is speculated that the publishing of biography on the 19th anniversary is an attempt to counter the growing influence of Islamic State in Afghanistan. There have been several disputes on the birth and heritage of Mullah Omar.
According to the biography, he was born in 1960 in the village of Chah-i-Himmat, in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province, in the south of the country.
It refers to the supreme leader as Mullah Mohammad Umar "Mujahid" and says he is from the Tomzi clan of the Hotak tribe.
It says his father was Moulavi Ghulam Nabi, a "respected erudite and social figure" who died five years after Mohammed Omar's birth. The family moved to Uruzgan province.
The biography further states that Mullah Omar abandoned his studies in a madrassa after the Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and became a jihadist “to discharge his religious obligation”.
It further talks about his various military feats.
In 1996, he was conferred the title “ameer-ul-momineen” (head of the pious believers) declaring him the supreme leader of Afghanistan's Taliban.
Soon after seizing Kabul and establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the bio tells about the “arrogant infidel powers of the world” who “could not tolerate Sharia law” and launched a joint military invasion.
There is a section on his “charismatic personality” also where it is told that the militant leader is tranquil and does not lose either temper or courage. It is also claimed that he does not own a home and has no foreign account. It also says that he is an “affable” leader and has a special sense of humor and he never considers himself superior to his colleagues.
In yet another section titled “his daily activities in the present circumstances” it is stated that “In the present crucial conditions and regularly being tracked by the enemy, no major change and disruption has been observed in the routine works of [Mullah Omar]".
It says he "keenly follows and inspects the jihadi activities against the brutal infidel foreign invaders" adding: "He remains in touch with the day-to-day happenings of his country as well as the outside world."
Some analysts even believe Mullah Omar may be operating along or across the border in Pakistan.