Elusive Mullah Omar still sways Taliban fighters

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 16:01

Washington: Afghanistan`s elusive Taliban
leader Mullah Muhammad Omar still has a "very powerful" effect on his followers, who are ready to fight on his orders.

Omar recently exhorted his men in an audio tape to
keep fighting, an unnamed Taliban commander said.

"His words have a very powerful effect on us," the
Taliban commander was quoted as saying by The New York Times.

"We obey his orders, every Talib does, and we believe
in him," the Taliban commander said about the one-eyed Omar,
who is believed to be 52.
Omar, is the spiritual leader of the Taliban movement
that operates in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was Afghanistan`s de facto head of state from 1996
to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme

Omar is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) since October 2001, for sheltering Osama bin Laden and
al-Qaeda militants in the years prior to the 9/11 attacks.
He is believed to be in Pakistan directing the Taliban
insurgency against NATO forces and the Hamid Karzai
administration in Afghanistan.

According to the NYT report, the top leadership of the
Taliban, tightly controlled by Pakistan`s military and
intelligence agencies, are based in the western Pakistani city
of Quetta.


First Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 16:01

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