Mohammed Omar

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Mullah Mohammed Omar (Pashto: ملا محمد عمر; born c. 1959), often simply called Mullah 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". He held the title Commander of the Faithful of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which was officially recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Mullah Omar is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States since October 2001, for sheltering Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda militants in the years prior to the September 11 attacks.[1] He is believed to be in Pakistan directing the Taliban insurgency against NATO forces and the Karzai administration in Afghanistan.[2][3]

Despite his political rank and his high status on the FBI's wanted list,[1] not much is publicly known about him. Few photos exist of him, none of them official, and a picture used in 2002 by many media outlets, has since been established to be another Taliban official. The authenticity of the existing images is debated.[4] Apart from the fact that he is missing one eye, accounts of his physical appearance are contradictory: Omar is described as very tall (some say 2 m).[5][6][4] Mullah Omar has been described as shy and non-talkative with foreigners.[4][7]

During his tenure as Emir of Afghanistan, Omar seldom left Kandahar and rarely met with outsiders,[5] instead relying on Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil for the majority of diplomatic necessities. Many, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, believe that Mullah Omar and his Taliban movement is used as a puppet by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan. Additionally, many U.S. senior military officials such as Robert Gates,[8] Stanley McChrystal,[9] David Petraeus[10] and others believe that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are also involved in helping the Taliban.

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