ملا محمد عمر
|Former Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan|
27 September 1996 – 13 November 2001
|Prime Minister||Mohammad Rabbani
Abdul Kabir (Acting)
|Preceded by||Burhanuddin Rabbani (President of Afghanistan)|
|Succeeded by||Burhanuddin Rabbani (President of Afghanistan)|
|Died||23 April 2013
|Political party||Islamic and National Revolution Movement of Afghanistan
Civil war in Afghanistan
War in North-West Pakistan
Mullah Mohammed Omar (1959 - 23 April 2013) was the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was usually called 'Mullah Omar'. Between 1996 and 2001, he was Afghanistan's de facto head of state. Three states officially recognised him under the title of 'Head of the Supreme Council'. He was born around the year 1959 in Nodeh, near Kandahar. He held the title Commander of the Faithful from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The United States put him on their most wanted list. They believe he sheltered Osama bin Laden, and some of his al-Quaeda group, directly before and after they committed the September 11 attacks. He was believed to be directing the Taliban in their war against Hamid Karzai's Government and foreign NATO troops in Afghanistan from Pakistan. Many people considered him to be a major terrorist.
Despite his political rank, and his high status on the FBI's wanted list, not much is publicly known about Omar. There are very few photos of him. None of these photos are official. A picture that was used by the media in 2002, shows another Taliban official, but not Omar. It is also debated how authoritative the images that exist really are.
Omar seemed to be missing one eye. Other than this, people described him in different ways: Some who have met him say he is tall, others describe him as small and frail. He was described as shy and untalkative with foreigners.
When he was Emir of Afghanistan, Omar stayed in Kandahar most of the time and rarely met outsiders. He sent his Foreign Minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, to represent him, on most occasions.
News media have claimed that he was killed by a drone strike in 2008.
On 29 July 2015, the Afghan government and state intelligence sources said that Omar had died in April 2013 two years previously in Karachi, Pakistan of tuberculosis. Some Taliban sources denied that he had died; other sources considered the report to be speculative, designed to destabilise peace negotiations in Pakistan between the Afghan government and the Taliban. A Taliban spokesman said that they would issue a statement. Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, the spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, claimed: "We confirm officially that he is dead".
Images for kids
A still from a 1996 video taken secretly by BBC Newsnight. It purports to show Omar (left) presenting the cloak of Muhammad to his troops in Kandahar, before their victorious assault on Kabul.
Mullah Omar ordered the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan (pictured in 1976) in March 2001, receiving international condemnation
Mohammed Omar Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.