Taliban deny Mullah Omar is dead, say website, phones were hacked

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen (“commander of the faithful”) of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

News outlets were abuzz with reports late Tuesday night that Taliban supremo Mullah Mohammed Omar had died of natural causes. A statement was released on the Taliban’s website, Voice of Jihad, that announced his death, while texts were sent out from the phones of Taliban spokesmen Zabihullah Mujahid and Mohammad Qari Yousuf. But hopes were quickly dashed when Mujahid and Yousuf contacted the press to deny the reports, and claimed their cell phones and the Voice of Jiahd were hacked. From Reuters:

“This is the work of American intelligence, and we will take revenge on the telephone network providers,” said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters to confirm the veracity of one text message.

The messages came from phone numbers used in the past by both Mujahid and a second spokesman Mohammad Qari Yousuf and said “spiritual Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid has died” and “May Allah bless his soul.”

Yousuf said the hacking was an attempt at psychological warfare by NATO-led forces.

“The enemies have sophisticated technology so they can easily manipulate our website and our phone numbers. The enemies are spreading rumors because they are facing a decisive defeat and their morale is weakened,” he told Reuters.

The Taliban denied reports that Omar was killed one other time this year. In late May, rumors surfaced that Omar was killed while being moved from a safe house in Quetta to North Waziristan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Rookie says:

    “The enemies have sophisticated technology”
    Note to taliban: Frankly all the technology you use is invented by your enemies. The best invention you came up with is burning camel dung to cook your meal… oh, and stealing numbers from Indians…

  • Neonmeat says:

    Another nice story, I am surprised this doesn’t happen more often, an electronic battlefront should be opened up and prosecuted against these propaganda websites, lets fill them with false info so the Jihadi idiots who follow them don’t know what to believe.
    We now have groups such as Anonymous & lulz security who have even recently attacked certain Western Corporations for what seems like merely laughs and giggles. If only they would turn their attention to sites such as Voice of jihad think of the fun they could have! Let free thinking and intellectual citizens fight this imbecilic islamist propaganda.
    Is Mullah Omar even relevant anymore? Does he have any Military or Operational command or is he merely a figurehead? If he was killed would anyone in the Taliban even be bothered?

  • Charles says:

    I like this story.
    Now the taliban are bragging about the power of western technology.
    They’re saying the west in general and the US in particular is so good they can now not just listen to private Taliban conversations but actually make the Taliban say things they don’t mean.
    So whenever Taliban are talking to each other with any kind of device: radio, telephone, internet–they can’t be sure that what they have said to their friend — and what their friend heard–are the same thing.
    One Taliban could say to another “I’m going to kill an american.” And the other Taliban could hear: “I’m going to kill you.”
    Taliban will need to do more walking. Even better, they’ll need to ride in vehicles. But this is necessary because the only trusted means of communication is face to face.

  • Mr T says:

    This just in. All jihadists are requested for immediate duty. Please go to your nearest police station. Let the officer in charge know you are there for the jihad. They are with us so they will be able to direct you to your jihad location. If you wish to be a martyr, please let the officer know you would like to commit suicide while killing infidels. They will be able to register you as a member of the faithful and direct you to your next destination.
    Also, if you have any weapons or explosives, or ability to get them, please let them know that too so they can collect all the weapons together for the brothers.

  • GB says:

    That is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Civilians could be organized into groups to do such tasks under military leadership. China is already doing this. The U.S doesn’t want to militarize the internet but I think its an inevitability. The e-voice of jihad could be effectively silenced through non-military means. It is definately something that should be considered.

  • michael says:

    ”and we will take revenge on the telephone network providers” i wonder if these people will ever realize how much of a joke they are and how much people laugh at them

  • My2Cents says:

    The Press should demand some form of proof from the Taliban that Mullah Omar is alive. Providing that proof should give the Coalition intelligence services some unique chances to identify, and possibly attack, his location. 😉

  • Soccer says:

    Oh come on Neonmeat. Nobody in the west really cares about jihadist propaganda. I have spent hours of my life flagging and reporting blogs, videos and websites of propaganda, and even though I have had great success, the success is still limited.
    Every day I dedicated just 30 minutes of my time to taking down videos of that caliber. It seems nobody knows or cares about what jihadist propaganda really is, and what harm it can do to society if it is allowed to fester. I often ask for help but nobody could be bothered to remove such material, they’d rather whine about some “right wing” or “conservative” “hate site” instead.
    We seriously need to get our priorities in order. The jihadists in this long war certainly have THEIR priorities in order. If we had ours in order, and if we were dedicated to the fight, we would have completely annihilated them many years ago, without a trace of them to ever pop up again. I truly believe that.

  • sports says:

    This story makes me smile and chuckle.


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