Propaganda stunt: Taliban say Mullah Omar not dead

Published: July 21, 2011
They insist the rumour was result of Americans hacking their cell phones.

They insist the rumour was result of Americans hacking their cell phones.


The Taliban on Wednesday said Mullah Omar was alive, accusing the Americans of hacking their phones after a text message sent to media from a spokesperson’s phone said the leader was dead.

In the message, Zabihullah Mujahid said: “Leadership council of IEA (Islamic emirate of Afghanistan) announces that Ameer-ul-Mumineen (Mullah Omar) has passed away. May mighty God bless him.”

He later denied sending the message, speaking by telephone.

“We strongly reject this claim. We are not aware of (any) such news. Americans have hacked our cell phones…and sent the message to the media,” said Mujahid.

A second spokesman, Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, also said phones had been hacked.

“This is a false message. The Westerners hacked into our cell phones and sent the message from our numbers to everyone. They want to deceive the Afghan people. The information is wrong. He is not dead,” said Ahmadi.

The deputy chief of intelligence for the southern city of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and an ongoing hotspot of insurgent activity, said the National Directorate for Security (NDS) had no reports of Omar’s death.

“Our intelligence sources as well as the government have not received any official confirmation of his death,” said Abdul Wahab Salih.

The reclusive Omar has not appeared in public since 2001.

In May, shortly after US special forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, the NDS said he had disappeared from his suspected hideout in Quetta.

An Afghan intelligence source had initially called a handful of reporters to tell them on condition of anonymity that Omar had been killed in Pakistan by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Journalist Ahmed Rashid said there could be tactical incentives for Western forces fighting in Afghanistan to spread rumours of Mullah Omar’s death. “It could be the Americans or the CIA behind it to sow unrest and division and confusion, which it clearly has done,” he told Reuters.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) declined to comment.

Anand Gopal, an analyst and reporter said even if Omar had died it was unlikely their spokesmen would confirm his death so quickly. “Since so few people have access to Omar, there seems to be little incentive for the Taliban to publicise the death of their leader unless it was absolutely necessary,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st,  2011.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • akram
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:16AM

    When u relate to the spokesmen, you give a reference of Reuters. But when u say that Mullah Umar is in Pakistan, Quetta, and about the Quetta Shura, how can u say it so surely on your ownself??Recommend

  • muhammad zeeshan jamal
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:39AM

    o why is it false !!!!!!

    this islamic fascist has brought nothing but misery and death to afghanistan.all these islamic terrorists want to take us back to the times of the is important that our own army or the americans kill these religious savages soon,we’ve already had too many years of islamic fascism in our country.these people and their funders,supporters need to be eliminated so we can have a civilised society where women and gays are treated as equal human beings.


  • wasim younis
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:53AM

    As far as Mullah Omar is concerned he is our prime target and America should share information with Pakistan so that they can catch the supreme leader. Its time we finish these militants for once and for all.


  • Imran
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:21PM

    @muhammad zeeshan jamal:
    Haven’t they been trying to finish this unending mission for the last 10 Years. And Now they themselves are at the verge of collapse … You know what, that much reliance on America will not save from the wrath of God in the face of Taliban …

    They don’t forget, they don’t forgive .. Expect Them


  • Truth Prevails
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:24PM

    @wasim younis:
    Every wish doesn’t come true … specially when the person is on extreme unjust position.
    Justice will be done will all enemies of Taliban … soon


  • Frank
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:26PM

    wasim younis

    As far as Mullah Omar is concerned he
    is our prime target and America should
    share information with Pakistan so
    that they can catch the supreme
    leader. Its time we finish these
    militants for once and for all.

    Why should Mullah Omar be our prime target? What has he done to harm Pakistan?


  • Maheen Lilac
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:06PM

    The militants have choked Pakistan and it is imperative to deafeat them for once and for all with the help of allies in the war against terrorism.


  • Hiran
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @ ET, i will appreciate that you keep your reporting unbiased and i trust that the security apparatus of Pakistan will surely take you to account on this biased reporting that you have made by asserting that Mullah Omer is in Pakistan and is operating the Quetta shura. I had no doubts before and todays report has confirmed that you are indeed operating on the funds of India and Israel. No media report, excluding the special purpose ones, would report with such authenticity on status of someone teh world is looking for for more than a decade now and your reporters come out with such smiplicity, not quoting anyone, making it look like your own finding, and saying such without any proofs. Now i understand the presence of so many indians on this blog, Recommend

  • Naz Ebr
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:39PM

    “This is the work of American intelligence, and we will take revenge on the telephone network providers,”

    Now come on, why don’t you take revenge on the “American intelligence” instead. Private businesses, NGOs and local construction companies have always been the prime targets for the Taliban, while the NATO soldiers conveniently roam around the streets of the villages in Helmand. Recommend

  • kazi jawed akhter
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:52PM

    May be we have action replay of May 2nd 2011 and one sad(or Fine ?)morning the news identical to one already heard on 2nd May 2011comes to our ears.Afterall his followers are playing havoc with Pakistan.Ahsaan faramosh..The stretigic depth has becomea stretigicdeath for many innicent Pakistanis.


  • Khan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:59PM

    “The enemies have sophisticated technology so they can easily manipulate our website and our phone numbers. ”
    So why not give up this nonessential stupidness of killing innocent people and invest your resources in education instead and develop you own technology and work towards development and betterment of people’s lives.
    If you believe that Afghanistan belongs to you then take part in election and lets see how many of your own people want you. But these rats hide in our country and call them selves brave men.


  • Jul 20, 2011 - 3:41PM

    Fake or not, it doesn’t matter. Until it ends, there will still be searches for members of the group, which will eventually lead to him if he’s alive even if it isn’t the primary intention of that search. It’s not like the threat of attack is something to be viewed as a new development, either. That mindset was there before, this incident just gave them a chance to be heard by a wider audience and they took advantage of it to remind us of intentions we were already aware of. The opposition’s communication networks are always a high priority target if those involved in creating strategy aren’t a bit on the dumb side. If it’s not, the chance of them being targeted will be included in most defense contingency plans. That isn’t anything special that requires a change in view, either. They’re just doing what they do best. Talk and threats that more often than not amount to an attempt of demoralizing propaganda.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:10PM

    If the Americans know the phone number….is it difficult to pin-point the area from where signals is being transmitted…?? & then BANG….possible no…?? then why are these goongs left to do what they are not supposed to do…..?? because the Americans want them….for their own agenda….if they kill ALL of them…which they cud hv done long time ago with all the technology they posseses….it wud hv made their exit from Afghanistan much earlier….but then how cud they justify the expenses occurred $ 1 trillion so far just to catch OBL…?? ALL made money in this war…..why American cud not STOP poppy cultivation in Afghanistan….?? because ALL made money… they hv pushed poppy cultivation into FATA district…..who will suffer ??….many will make money & many will suffer….because this will finance ” terrorism “….Pakistan ka khuda hi hafiz…..Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:14PM

    Phone hacked..???.. so that was News of the world’s last assignment


  • Jul 20, 2011 - 4:24PM

    He is in quetta! Wow then why not spot and arrest him?. Tribune please, be authentic, as you always are. His location is unknown. Please!


  • commonsense
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:35PM

    commonsense tells us that the news is authentic mulla omar is dead and taleban is trying to hide it. Days ahead will bring the truth out.Recommend

  • MAD
    Jul 20, 2011 - 7:32PM

    @Fahad Raza:

    LOL. thats exactly what I was about to state. You got their first :-)


  • TTP
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:01PM

    @Maheen Lilac:
    You can only wish that …


  • Bangash
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:51PM


    Not only wishes, but action is being undertaken to exterminate TTP virus.


  • Jul 20, 2011 - 11:37PM

    I wonder why our muslims are against Mullah Umer.
    Just because Dajjali(evil) media of US and other portrayed him as a Villain!
    ZIONISTS rule is not opposed by jews..
    VISHU HINDU PARISHAD and other EXTREME GROUPS are not opposed by Hindus..etc
    But some muslims opposed Mulla Umer and Taliban Rule in Afghanistan.
    Pakistan was the first to recognise Taliban that time.why???
    B/c they were not against Pakistan.
    Pakistan was having friendly westren border and was enjoying peaceful time.That peace was not disturbed by USA and its Allies.They can’t let us live with peace at least on westren border.
    So Pakistan was given a push in a ditch.,and in media and through propaganda,our friends(TALIBANS) were portrayed as terrorists.Why we should call them terrorists?
    They are fighting for their own country agaist foreign forces by all means they find.
    What will Pakistani people do,if USA attacks on Pakistan(khak ba dahan)??
    Answer=FIGHT to make Pakistan free from enemy occupation.
    But again Dajjali media will portray pakistanis as terrorists.
    Now think again,and again.
    Is Mulla Umer a terrorist ??????
    Its the USA,which is Terrorist.
    Long live PakistanRecommend

  • South African
    Jul 21, 2011 - 1:56AM

    What’s wrong with you Pakistanis ? You allow USA to kill your own people daily using drones and you do nothing about it. As a South African its sad to see Pakistan in this mess. You allow USA to transport arms through Pakistan to kill your own Afghan brothers, sisters and children. No western country would allow their soil to be used to kill their own people. Your politicians are corrupt for dollars and have no human emotions to see your own people attacked by drones.You fight each other all year long. You allow USA/CIA to use your bases/country to kill your own people. Mullah Omar is a good Muslim.Taliban are true fighters for Islam.Taliban are uncomprimising in their stance against USA..I admire them. It is the USA that is causing the hatred and division by planting bombs in mosques and your markets. Remember, before USA invaded Afghanistan there was less killings. Taliban are not terrorist, they are fighting the invaders and occupiers of their land. USA IS THE PROBLEM. USA wants to control your Nuclear Weapons, do not allow this.Get rid of this cancer USA from your country and unite with Iran and Afghanistan.Come on Pakistan, wake up !


  • woohoo
    Jul 21, 2011 - 10:51AM


    Why should Mullah Omar be our prime
    target? What has he done to harm

    That’s exactly what British thought about Hitler in 1930’s


  • Jul 21, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @South African:
    well said .
    Totally agree with you.
    Hat off to ya sir.


  • observer
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:43PM

    @Dr S.A.Khan

    VISHU HINDU PARISHAD and other EXTREME GROUPS are not opposed by Hindus..etc

    Then why are these groups not ruling India and Nepal?

    Pakistan was the first to recognise Taliban that time.why???

    Because Taliban is a creation of Pakistan and Pakistan hoped to rule Afghanistan through them.

    They are fighting for their own country agaist foreign forces by all means they find.

    You need to revisit history. Taliban in fact are a creation of foreign powers, including Pakistan and they fought and deposed the national government headed by Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was elected President by all the Mujahiddin who fought against the Russians. The Taliban did not fight a single Russian soldier.

    Is Mulla Umer a terrorist ??????

    Yes!!!!! Read UN Resolutions endorsed by Pakistan.


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