Exclusive: Mullah Omar confidante reveals insights on late Taliban leader
Muttawakil told Al Arabiya that the news of Mullah Omar’s was kept secret so the Taliban movement does not split from within
Al Arabiya’s correspondent Mohammed al-Warwari recently managed an exclusive interview with Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, former foreign minister in the Taliban government in Afghanistan and former director of late Taliban leader Mullah Mohmmed Omar's office, who revealed insight to the latter's life.
Muttawakil told Al Arabiya that Mullah Omar died two years ago, adding that the news was kept secret so the Taliban movement does not split from within.
Muttawakil also provided Al-Arabiya with a photo of Mullah Omar and said that the photo which previously circulated of the late leader, in which he's lost his right eye, was not real and was allegedly a disguise by Taliban for security reasons in order to hide Mullah Omar's facial features.
When Al-Arabiya showed Muttawakil a video in which Mullah Omar reportedly appears in as he carries an RPG on his shoulder, Muttawakil refused to confirm whether it's Mullah Omar or not and just smiled.
Mullah Omar had governed the country with an iron fist from 1996 until his government was overthrown by the U.S. military invasion of Oct. 2001 following his refusal to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to face justice over the 9/11 attacks.
He was so elusive during his last few years he had not been seen in public since fleeing when the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 after s U.S.-led invasion.
Adding to the mystery surrounding Omar and his whereabouts was the Taliban’s failure to broadcast his messages for propaganda purposes, despite predictably and consistently claiming responsibility for nearly every terrorist attack on NATO troops or Afghan government institutions.