Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“the commander of the faithful”) of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
The Financial Times shares these highlights about one of the elders US commanders in Arghandab are trying to bring on side as part of their work to bring Afghans on side:
Once locked up in Guantánamo Bay as a suspected Taliban commander, Said Amir Mohammad Agha, a spry 61-year-old, is now high on the list of Afghan elders that US forces want to befriend …. Mr Agha was detained three times by US forces in Afghanistan and spent time in the Guantánamo detention facility in Cuba before being repatriated. US officers believe Mr Agha has retired from active duty as a Taliban commander but maintains contacts with the movement. Sporting a grey beard and turban of the type favoured by Pashtun elders, Mr Agha’s loyalties remain uncertain. Putting aside his prayer beads, he reaches into his robes to produce a certificate from US forces saying he had been deemed not to pose a threat after being detained in Afghanistan from January to June 2004 ….
The interesting tidbit adding some context the Financial Times’ coverage comes from Kandahar-based analyst/writer Alex Strick van Linschoten:
. I was greatly disappointed, however, that (the article’s author) missed out on the key point when it comes to Amir Mohammad Agha – he is Mullah Mohammad Omar’s father-in-law. (And) with that, he also missed the extremely important 1980s context and just how involved Amir Mohamad Agha was involved in the early years of the Taliban movement post-1994.
So, how’s your son-in-law doing these days, Mr. Agha? Believe me when I say we’re very interested.
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