• Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Has Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Lost His Mind?

Discussion in 'Afghanistan Defence Forum' started by Sher Malang, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Sher Malang

    Sher Malang SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,800
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Ratings:
    +4 / 7,880 / -7
    Country:
    Afghanistan
    Location:
    Afghanistan
    The insurgent chief has gone radio silent. Is he dead, in prison—or has he had a mental breakdown?

    Afghan insurgent leaders keep trying not to think about it. “At the moment, questions of Mullah Omar’s health and whereabouts are not so important,” a member of the Taliban’s ruling council, the Quetta Shura, tells Newsweek. “The focus should be on jihad and resistance.” But the fighters can’t help wondering and worrying—especially around this time of year. They’re fast approaching yet another anniversary of the day their supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, vanished into the mountains outside the city of Kandahar. He was perched on the back of a motorcycle driven by his brother-in-law and right-hand man, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, getting away as the U.S.-led invasion force and its Northern Alliance partners closed in. Senior and former Taliban officials say there has not been one confirmed sighting of their Amir-ul-Momineen—“commander of the faithful”—in the 11 years since.

    [​IMG]
    The mosque Mullah Omar built in Kandahar under Taliban rule, as seen in 2001. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images)

    Many past and present Taliban officials privately fear the worst. Omar could be dead or otherwise incapacitated, they suspect, or secretly imprisoned by Pakistan’s all-powerful Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence. Something must be preventing him from contacting them. Otherwise he could at least send them a recording of his voice—perhaps offering his condolences for the thousands of Afghans who have died fighting the Americans, suggests a former senior official who has left the Taliban. A former aide to Omar echoes the thought: “If Mullah Omar were in good condition he would send proof that he’s alive.” After all, the former aide argues, there’s a $25 million bounty on al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri, and he still issues regular messages. “Why not Mullah Omar?”

    It’s true that once or twice a year, written holiday greetings are sent out in Omar’s name. People who knew him just shake their heads over the messages, which they dismiss as blatant forgeries. Mullah Omar never wrote such fancy language, they say—he was a simple country preacher, without the education even to read or recite the words attributed to him, never mind actually compose them. The former senior official recalls the way Omar used to stumble over his native tongue in the interviews he occasionally gave the BBC Pashto service when the Taliban were in power. As the shura member remarks, the Taliban’s propaganda chief liked to have Mullah Omar’s name on every communiqu闓to make it more authentic and reliable.” (No one was willing to be quoted by name for this story.)

    Omar’s long silence continues to sow confusion in the Taliban ranks. “I have not met Mullah Omar since 2001, and I would not insist on seeing him,” says the shura member. “But as a human being, I have questions about orders and actions that have been issued in his name.” He says he knows for a fact that the Taliban have been fooled at least once by messages falsely credited to their leader. “For a while a videotape was circulated as coming from Mullah Omar, but we finally realized that it was a fake, using the voice of a local mullah from Baluchistan :lol:

    Some even suggest that Mullah Omar suffered a mental breakdown in the wake of the invasion. People who once were close to him say he had been suffering from severe depression since August 1999, when a massive truck bomb detonated directly outside his home in Kandahar City. At the time of the explosion, Omar was in his bedroom, toward the back of the compound. He emerged physically unscathed. But two of his brothers were not so lucky: they had been in rooms that fronted the street and both of them were killed, together with five bodyguards.

    When the brothers’ bodies were dug out of the rubble, the former aide says, Omar cried out: “O Allah! You gave me brothers, and now you have got them back! How many more widows will I keep?” Omar had always suffered from a tendency toward diffidence. “His mates couldn’t believe it when he led the uprising in 1994,” says a former Taliban military commander. “He had always been so lacking in confidence.” In fact, he seemed to have a positive dread of strange places and unfamiliar faces. During his time as leader of Afghanistan he generally avoided meeting with foreign delegations, and despite a personal invitation from Saudi Arabia’s ruler at the time, King Fahd, Omar did not make the pilgrimage to Mecca that is required of all able-bodied Muslims. The aide recalls hearing Omar’s mother speak of how the attack had affected her son. He became silent and withdrawn, she said. “That blast brought a change in Mullah Omar’s mental state,” says another former Taliban official. “He grew quiet and lost interest in many things.”

    [​IMG]
    A joint U.S.-Afghan National Army patrol outside Omar’s mosque in Kandahar. (Romeo Gacad / AFP-Getty Images)


    For what it’s worth, past associates say there’s a history of mental instability in Omar’s family. One of his half-brothers was said to need psychiatric medication for an undisclosed ailment. And relatives found it necessary to keep Omar’s uncle Noor Mohammed shackled in the years before the old man finally died in 2007. Noor Mohammed had developed a penchant for tearing off his clothes and wandering outside naked into the streets of Quetta. Even more problematic, he wouldn’t stop bragging about Omar to anyone who would listen. The family couldn’t let the old man go out in public for fear he might give away Omar’s location. No one but Noor Mohammed was forgetting the $10 million price the Americans had put on the Taliban leader’s head.

    Despite all the gloom and doubt, Omar’s 11-year absence has in some ways made his influence larger than ever. Even before his disappearance he had risen at least halfway to mythic stature. Now the true believers can take his legend the rest of the way there, unencumbered by any inevitable human missteps on his part. From the very beginning, Omar’s biography was essentially the tale of a Pashtun folk hero. Longtime family friends say he was born under the open sky, on a roadside somewhere between Uruzgan province and Kandahar, where his impoverished parents-to-be were migrating in search of better lives.

    A longtime family friend recalls hearing the story as told by Noor Mohammed at Omar’s home in Kandahar, when the Taliban were still in power. The day of Omar’s birth was dusty and cold, the old man told his listeners, and Omar’s mother was riding on a donkey when she went into labor. She climbed down, gave birth, and quickly resumed the journey, carrying her newborn son. The child was ill, and no one expected him to survive, especially because his mother had already endured the loss of two newborns. “And today he is the Amir-ul-Momineen!” the old man declared. “This is a miracle of almighty Allah!” Noor Mohammed took immense pride in his nephew, having raised the boy as his own from the age of 3, when Omar’s father died.

    The 1979 Soviet invasion was a big step in the creation of Omar’s legend. He was enrolled at a madrassa at the time, but he quickly abandoned his books to join the mujahedin, and he turned out to have far more natural ability as a fighter than he had ever displayed as a student. Nevertheless, some of the most provocative stories from those years took place a long way from the battlefield. Longtime associates tell of a Mullah Omar as splendidly impractical as any folk hero.

    The most vivid example of his unworldliness may have been when he lost his right eye in combat and was sent to a hospital in Quetta for treatment. During his stay he met Maulvi Mohammad Yunus Khalis, the commander of one of the seven major mujahedin factions in the war against the Soviets. According to a childhood friend of Omar’s who lives in Kabul now, Khalis was impressed by the young fighter’s courage and asked Omar to name any reward he wanted. Omar was penniless, but he asked only for an AK-47. And then, having received the weapon, he promptly sold it and took the money to the father of a woman he wanted to marry. The couple had waited two years for Omar to come up with the bride price, and they would remain poor. The widely reproduced black-and-white head shot of the one-eyed, bearded fighter was an ID photo to accompany Omar’s application for disability assistance from a relief agency.

    [​IMG]
    Graffiti in a Pakistani border town praising Omar as “commander of the faithful.” (Banaras Khan / AFP-Getty Images)

    The story of how Omar married his second wife is no less odd. It happened in 1996, after the Taliban had driven the warlords out of Kabul. A group of local dignitaries went to pay their respects to Omar at his home in the city of Kandahar. (It was typical of Omar that he visited Kabul only once during his years in power.) Before the delegation left, a district elder delivered a speech, praising Omar for his leadership and offering his own 18-year-old daughter in marriage to the Taliban leader. Omar had never set eyes on the girl, but he didn’t know how to say no. So he married her.

    In contrast to Omar, his fighters tend to keep their heads out of the clouds. Midlevel commanders have even been known to question whether orders delivered by the Quetta Shura are truly the word of Omar himself—when they dared. One of the first to demand proof was Mansoor Dadullah, the brother of the notorious Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah. Mansoor tried to take charge of Mullah Dadullah’s fighters after his brother was killed in 2007, but he was soon dismissed by Mullah Baradar, who claimed to have a spoken message from Mullah Omar stripping Mansoor of his command. Mansoor challenged Baradar’s authority: “If you play me a recording of Mullah Omar’s voice or show me his signature, I will obey the order. Otherwise you are using Mullah Omar’s name to enforce your personal whims.” Pakistani troops promptly captured Mansoor as he traveled from Waziristan to Quetta, hoping to clear his issues with Baradar.

    The former Taliban official says he currently knows of only one man who might have an open line to the supreme leader: an old war buddy of Omar’s named Mullah Gul Agha Akhund—and not even he can claim to be in direct contact. Any messages between the two old friends must be relayed back and forth. Taliban leaders who previously seemed to be in touch with Omar have since admitted to Newsweek that their only contact was via go-betweens. A Taliban subcommander who was a friend of Mullah Dadullah’s says he’s convinced that the real Mullah Omar no longer exists. “There is only his ghost,” he says.

    Meanwhile, theories continue to accumulate among Omar’s followers for why they haven’t heard from him in more than a decade. One of the most creative versions says that Omar regarded the U.S. invasion as divine punishment of the Taliban for persisting in their sinful ways. Infuriated by their repeated failure to heed his warnings, Omar decided to abandon them to the fate they had brought on themselves, and he headed off for parts unknown. It’s a good story, even if it doesn’t explain how he could stay hidden from so many devoted followers.

    But no matter. At this point, the shura member says, the insurgents don’t feel particularly threatened by the uncertainty of Omar’s fate. The real danger, he says, is that the uncertainty might somehow be dispelled. “It would be a disaster if we got bad news about him now.” What then would hold the Taliban together?

    Source: Afghanistan: Has Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Lost His Mind? - Newsweek and The Daily Beast
     
  2. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

    Messages:
    38,228
    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Ratings:
    +370 / 89,528 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Australia
    Mullah Omar is known for not making fuss isn't he. Again the blame goes on the sp0o0oky ISI :rolleyes:
     
  3. Abu Zolfiqar

    Abu Zolfiqar Rest in Peace

    Messages:
    22,559
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ratings:
    +22 / 24,098 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    naturally....and we can see that the bad habits of the indians have been learned by even some Afghan guests in this forum


    at any rate, I believe he's still alive and in Kandahar (his base). This is also a view expressed by former DG-ISI (Lt. Gen. retd. Hamid Gul) who had extensive experience dealing with the Afghan operations. Omar never really was vocal or outspoken since the US invasion, he seems to have maintained a low profile. His presence is more symbolic I would imagine; I'm not sure if he's in charge of day to day activities of the Afghan taleban movement but perhaps others would no more than I do.

    He's become more of a mythical or legendary type of person than one who is wholly in charge of that resistance movement --given his age and given his battle-hardened experience stemming back to the anti-soviet/****** days.

    obviously if he's dead, it represents more of a 'symbolic' blow but I'm not sure what impact it would have regarding the taleb insurgency in Afghanistan
     
  4. Abu Zolfiqar

    Abu Zolfiqar Rest in Peace

    Messages:
    22,559
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ratings:
    +22 / 24,098 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    The myth of Mullah Omar - Features - Al Jazeera English

     
  5. Solomon2

    Solomon2 ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    18,705
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Ratings:
    +12 / 9,483 / -30
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    Has anyone looked in Abbottabbad? I understand one sometimes has good luck finding "mythical or legendary" figures there.
     
  6. FaujHistorian

    FaujHistorian ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,290
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Ratings:
    +46 / 13,471 / -2
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan

    Good question. However the world should have asked this question when he started the whole darn Taliban movement.


    Like! Hey Omer! Are you out of your frikkin mind? :lol:
     
  7. Abu Zolfiqar

    Abu Zolfiqar Rest in Peace

    Messages:
    22,559
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ratings:
    +22 / 24,098 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    mostly just retired folks who play golf and sleep most of the day.....

    I guess it's a lot like Venice, Florida....where other "mythical or legendary" figures once were as well
     
  8. xyxmt

    xyxmt ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    17,372
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Ratings:
    +5 / 14,216 / -10
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Canada
    he is busy building a compound in Abbotabad
     
  9. third eye

    third eye ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    17,796
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Ratings:
    +25 / 23,847 / -8
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    A silly question.

    He must have already lost his mind to do all what he did all these years.
     
  10. clmeta

    clmeta FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,337
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Ratings:
    +0 / 526 / -0
    After Bin Laden and Mullah Barader Pakistanis still believe Omar would be in Afghanistan.

     
  11. Supply&Demand

    Supply&Demand FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,354
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Ratings:
    +0 / 2,201 / -10
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    He is a psycopath...offcourse he has lost his mind!!

    No sane person will do things like what he has done for years in the name religion!
     
  12. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    45,933
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Ratings:
    +81 / 45,781 / -13
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Good form of Propaganda from those cowards who are afraid of Lion Mullah Omar and his soldiers who are on verge of defeating the biggest super power ever and soon establish Islamic State in Afghanistan soon they tired this against Osama after killing him which his own soldier busted them
     
  13. humanfirst

    humanfirst SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,019
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Ratings:
    +1 / 1,636 / -0
    Do you prefer mullah umers islamic rule in pakistan instead of this democrtic system with british laws..?
     
  14. mymeaningislion

    mymeaningislion FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Ratings:
    +0 / 126 / -0
    Bro...there is no mullah islam....islam is to going according to quran and sunnah.....so don't use such thing ....this islam and that islam.....moreover....what american and british have provided to the world that you are taking their side......WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Hiroshema, Nagasaki, and more importantly took large gold reserves from this continent....so i will say we Asians have to sort out a way to become independent.....otherwise....we will going round and round in the same vicious circle.....so i will suggest all members that don't use mullah islam....as misinterpretting islam is kuffar....not any way of islam......
     
  15. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    45,933
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Ratings:
    +81 / 45,781 / -13
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Muslims only prefers Islam and Islam we Muslims have to follow Islam and make rules according to that other wise Quran has clearly called kafirs who don't decide according to Quran and Sunnah