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I am ready to sacrifice everything in completing the unfinished agenda of our noble jihad...until there is no bloodshed in Afghanistan and Islam becomes a way of life for our people.
~ Mullah Omar

Mullah Mohammed Omar (Pashto: ملا محمد عمر‎, Mullā Muḥammad 'Umar; c. 1960– 23 April 2013), widely known as Mullah Omar, was an Afghan mujahideen commander who founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996. The Taliban recognized him as the Commander of the Faithful or the Supreme Leader of the Muslims until being succeeded by Mullah Akhtar Mansour in 2015. Some sources described Mullah Omar as "Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan". The Supreme Council was initially established at Kandahar in 1994.

Background

Born into a poor family with no political connections, Omar joined the Afghan mujahideen in their war against the Soviet Union and the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan during the 1980s. He founded the Taliban in 1994 and by 1995 had captured much of southern Afghanistan; in September 1996, the Taliban took Kabul, the country's capital. During his tenure as Emir of Afghanistan, Omar seldom left the city of Kandahar and rarely met with outsiders. He was known for speaking little and living in austere conditions.

On 4 April 1996, supporters of Mullah Omar bestowed on him the title Amir al-Mu'minin (أمير المؤمنين, "Commander of the Faithful"), after he donned a cloak alleged to be that of Muhammad that was locked in a series of chests, held inside the Shrine of the Cloak in the city of Kandahar. Legend decreed that whoever could retrieve the cloak from the chest would be the great Leader of the Muslims, or "Amir al-Mu'minin".

In September 1996, Kabul fell to Mullah Omar and his followers and they killed former president Mohammad Najibullah. The civil war continued in the northeast corner of the country, near Tajikistan. The nation was named the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in October 1997 and was recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Described as a "reclusive, pious and frugal" leader, Omar very seldom left his residence in the city of Kandahar, and visited Kabul only twice between 1996 and 2001 during his tenure as ruler of Afghanistan. In November 2001, during a radio interview with the BBC, Omar stated: "All Taliban are moderate. There are two things: extremism ['ifraat', or doing something to excess] and conservatism ['tafreet', or doing something insufficiently]. So in that sense, we are all moderates – taking the middle path."

According to Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, Mullah Omar stated in the late 1990s, "We have told Osama [Bin Laden] not to use Afghan soil to carry out political activities as it creates unnecessary confusion about Taliban objectives."

In 1998, despite receiving a personal invitation from Saudi Arabia's ruler, King Fahd, Omar refused to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and wouldn't do one in his lifetime.

Mullah Omar was also "Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan"

He became wanted by the U.S. Government after being accused of harbouring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda militants after the September 11 attacks. He fled the American invasion of Afghanistan and then directed the Taliban insurgency against NATO-led forces and the new government of Afghanistan.

Omar died in April 2013 of tuberculosis. His death was kept secret by the Taliban for two years until it was revealed in July 2015 by Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security.

Despite his political rank and his high status on the Rewards for Justice most wanted list, not much was publicly known about him. Before his death, only one known photo existed of him. After his death, the Taliban released a newer and clearer photo showing Omar in his youth in 1978. Apart from the fact that he had a missing eye, accounts of his physical appearance state that Omar was thin, strongly built and very tall, at around 2 m (6 ft 6 in). Mullah Omar was described as shy and non-talkative.

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