Profile: Mullah Mohamed Omar

Mullah Omar founded Taliban in 1994 to combat post-war lawlessness in his country.

    Few photographs exist of Mullah Mohamed Omar [GALLO/GETTY]

    Mullah Mohamed Omar came to the fore during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    He became a commander of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen fighters, and lost his right eye while fighting.

    In 1994 Mullah Omar founded the Taliban movement, made up mainly of students from Islamic religious schools and Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The idea was to combat post-war lawlessness in his country.

    He captured Kabul two years later without a fight, which many Afghans welcomed, believing it would mark an end to the civil war.

    Under Mullah Omar's rule, the Taliban enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law, including denying women education and work, persecuting homosexuals, and amputating the hands of thieves.

    Following the September 2001 attacks on the US, Washington led a campaign to oust the Taliban regime for sheltering Osama bin Laden, chief of Al Qaeda, and has since announced a $10m bounty on Mullah Omar's head.

    The campaign led to the fall of the Taliban from power and the flight of Mullah Omar into hiding.

    Mullah Omar, who is in late 40s, remains a reclusive figure, and is believed to be hiding in the mountainous areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?