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 Council".

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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