Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“commander of the faithful”) of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
The Taliban are denying reports from Afghanistan which have claimed that Mullah Omar, the “Amir ul Mumineen” or commander of the faithful, has been killed while being moved from his hideout in Quetta to the Taliban safe haven of North Waziristan. First, a portion of the official statement from Zabihullah Mujahid, an official spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which was published at Voice of Jihad:
We strongly reject these false claims of the enemy and we confidently encourage our fellow countrymen, Mujahideen and the rest of the Muslims not to believe these intelligence lies and false reports. All praise is due to Allah, the esteemed Amir ul Mumineen is alive and well and is leading the Mujahideen in all aspects while living safely with reliance on Allah and with the strong backing and support of his believing nation. The enemy, with these kinds of rumors is trying to halt the devastating waves of ‘Badar’ operation and is trying to create confusion amongst Mujahideen, countrymen and faithful Muslims.
Second, Mujahid contacted Reuters to deny the report. Mujahid claimed that Omar is in Afghanistan, and not Pakistan (the Taliban have always kept up the fiction that Omar is in Pakistan):
“He is in Afghanistan safe and sound,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. “We strongly reject these baseless allegations that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been killed.”
“This is the propaganda by the enemy to weaken the morale of fighters,” Mujahid said.
The reports appear to stem from an anonymous source in Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security. The unnamed source contacted TOLONews and claimed Omar is dead:
Taliban Leader Mullah Mohmmad Omar has been found and killed in Pakistan, a source in the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) told TOLOnews on the condition of anonymity.
Mullah Omar was shot dead as he was being moved from Quetta to North Waziristan by former ISI chief Gen. Hamid Gul, the source said.
According to the source, Mullah Omar has been killed two days ago. Foreign sources have not yet confirmed the death.
Officially, the NDS is saying that Omar has indeed disappeared from Quetta and has moved to North Waziristan, but would not confirm he was killed. From Dawn:
“We can confirm that he has been disappeared from his hideout in Quetta, Balochistan,” said Nutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security.
“He has been disappeared from his location during the last four to five days,” he added, speaking in English.
“So far we cannot confirm the killing of Mullah Omar officially.”
While it is certainly possible Omar has been moved to North Waziristan, the likelihood of this is low. North Waziristan is one of the few free-fire zones for US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft, and Omar would be a top priority (the US struck again in North Waziristan today, for the sixth time this month). It is unlikely that Pakistan’s military and the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate would expose its top asset to US fire in North Waziristan.
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