Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“the commander of the faithful”) of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
According to The Washington Times, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has helped Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“the commander of the faithful”) for both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, relocate to the southern port city of Karachi:
Two senior U.S. intelligence officials and one former senior CIA officer told The Washington Times that Mullah Omar traveled to Karachi last month 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, the officials said.
The officials, two of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic, 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.
The development reinforces suspicions that the ISI, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s to expand Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, is working against U.S. interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more U.S. troops to fight there.
Bruce Riedel, a CIA veteran and analyst on al Qaeda and the Taliban, confirmed that Mullah Omar had been spotted in Karachi recently.
“Some sources claim the ISI decided to move him further from the battlefield to keep him safe” from U.S. drone attacks, said Mr. Riedel, who headed the Obama administration’s review of policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan last spring. “There are huge madrassas in Karachi where Mullah Omar could easily be kept.”
For those paying attention, this should come as little surprise. In late September, The Sunday Times reported that the ISI had begun moving Omar’s Quetta Shura to Karachi. It was only a matter of time before Omar followed. And given what we know about the ISI’s complicity with the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and a host of terror groups, your shock meter should be pegged to zero.
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