Mullah Omar never figured in most wanted list: FBI

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 11:55

Washington/Islamabad: Afghan-Taliban`s
secretive head Mullah Omar`s name has been "quietly removed"
from the FBI`s list of most wanted terrorists, Pakistani media
has claimed, prompting the US investigative agency to clarify
that he had never figured in its list.

Mullah Omar, who ruled Afghanistan during the Taliban
regime in mid-90s, was never on the FBI`s most wanted list
but continued to be on a list of the State Department, which
has declared "up to USD 10 million" on his head.

"So there is no question of him being removed from our
list," said a spokesman for FBI, which maintains a list of
most wanted terrorists responsible for attacks inside the US.

His remarks came when asked about news reports appearing
in Pakistani media that one-eyed Mullah Omar`s name has been
quietly removed from the most wanted terrorist list of the US.

Amid claims and counter-claims about Mullah Omar`s name
in the FBI list, The Express Tribune newspaper, which
originally reported about the removal of his name from the FBI
list, has pulled the story from its website.

According to `The Atlantic` magazine, "the story
originated in the Pakistani media with reports like the one
from Pakistan-based (and The New York Times-owned) The Express
Tribune, where we first heard the news."

It also noted that The Express Tribune has
"unceremoniously" pulled its story from its website.
Speculation was earlier rife about Mullah Omar`s removal
from the list given that the US was reportedly holding talks
with the Taliban.

While FBI clarified that he never figured in its list,
Mullah Omar continued to be on the State department`s Reward
for Justice (RFJ) programme list.

Under the RFJ programme, the State Department has
declared an award of USD 10 million to anyone who provides
information leading to the capture or death of Mullah Omar,
believed to be in his early 50s.

"Mullah Omar`s status in the RFJ (Reward for Justice)
Programme remains unchanged," a State Department official told
PTI when asked about news reports.

According to latest information posted on the Rewards For
Justice website, Mullah Omar`s Taliban regime in Afghanistan
sheltered Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network in the
years prior to the September 11 attacks.

"Although Operation Enduring Freedom removed the Taliban
regime from power, Mullah Omar remains at large and
represents a continuing threat to America and her allies," it
said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 11:49

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