Mastermind of the Peshawar school attack: Umar Mansoor

Published: December 19, 2014


DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The most hated man in the country is a 36-year-old father of three and volleyball enthusiast nicknamed “Slim”. His real name is Umar Mansoor and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan say he masterminded this week’s massacre of 132 children and nine staff at a school in Peshawar – the deadliest militant attack in Pakistan’s history.

A video posted on Thursday on a website used by the Taliban shows a man with a luxuriant chest-length beard, holding an admonishing finger aloft as he seeks to justify the December 16 attack.

The caption identified him as Umar Mansoor.

“If our women and children die as martyrs, your children will not escape,” he said. “We will fight against you in such a style that you attack us and we will take revenge on innocents.”

The Taliban say the attack, in which gunmen wearing suicide-bomb vests executed children, was retaliation for a military offensive carried out by the army.

The school attack shocked a nation where traditionally, women and children are protected, even in war.

Six TTP members interviewed by Reuters confirmed the mastermind was Mansoor. Four of them said he is close to Mullah Fazlullah, the embattled leader of the fractious group who ordered assassins to kill Malala Yousafzai.

“He strictly follows the principles of jihad,” one said. “He is strict in principles, but very kind to his juniors. He is popular among the juniors because of his bravery and boldness.”

Mansoor got a high school education in the capital, Islamabad, two Taliban members said, and later studied in a madrassah. “Umar Mansoor had a tough mind from a very young age, he was always in fights with other boys,” said one Taliban member.

Mansoor has two brothers and spent some time working in the city of Karachi as a labourer before joining the Taliban soon after it was formed, in late 2007, said one commander.

His nickname is “nary,” a word in the Pashto language meaning “slim”, and he is the father of two daughters and a son,  said another commanders.

“(Mansoor) likes to play volleyball,” said one of the Taliban members. “He is a good volleyball player. Wherever he shifts his office, he puts a volleyball net up.”

The Taliban video describes him as the “amir”, or leader, of Peshawar and nearby Darra Adam Khel.

Mansoor deeply opposes talks with the government, the commanders said.

“He was very strict from the start when he joined,” a commander said. “He left many commanders behind if they had a soft corner (of their heart) for the government.”

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Reader Comments (49)

  • Ila
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:23PM

    “He is popular among the juniors because of his bravery and boldness.”
    what an irony!!! the massacre of 132 innocent children is “bravery and boldness”. i don’t wish him death yet. not untill he sees his 3 children slaughtered just as he slaughtered these innocent angels.


  • Haroon
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:43PM

    Dear journalist, please tell me the address of these 6 taliban you interviewed. I want to send them my regards in form of a ghauri missile.


  • Awais Rana
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:48PM

    Time to put a bullet in his head.!!


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:49PM

    I hope the Armed Forces don’t just shoot him dead. I hope they capture him alive, and kill him in the most slowest and most painful way possible.


  • Ahmed
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:45PM

    I want to be honored by removing this satan…monster…savage from this world. ET/Rueters, please disclose where you got this information from??


  • Peace
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:48PM

    If this fanatic is hanged alive. I swear I will vote for NS the next election.


  • Naumair
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:53PM

    @lla, His children are as much innocent as those of any other person. Punish him, not his children for “his” crimes.


  • Reddy
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:00PM

    The terrorist group has taken responsibility. The master mind has been identified.
    Is India still being blamed for this TRAGIC ATTACK ?????


  • Ila
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:03PM

    tell that to those parents who lost thier only sons, or those mothers who weep on their son’s empty cold bed every night, or those who had to see their son’s beheaded bodies, or those whose children were torn with sharp knives from the abdomen upwards. When you get the answer then come and deliver a sermon as much as you want.


  • Pakistani
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:14PM

    You are feeling left out. It’s not about India at the moment. No one talking to you.


  • akboi
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:16PM


    You sir are a disgusting creature. With that logic you are no different than taliban.


  • Benam
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:29PM

    You want to kill his innocent children? How are you any better than him?


  • MB
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:36PM

    I simply cannot believe that majority of the people expressing opinion here are in the favor of killing children of this “Umar Mansoor” as a tit for tat measure!! May God have mercy on us. We surely are a misguided lot.


  • Ali Raza
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:50PM

    What a heroic description – he doesn’t deserve even a full line on how he looks and what he wants. He just needs one word to describe him ‘Dead’ (very soon InshAllah)


  • Khan Jr
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:02PM

    So it was a Pakistani educated in Islamabad and who worked in Karachi who planned the murderous attack that outraged us all. Could someone pass this on to some of our more moronic TV anchors who are still insisting it was a ‘foreign hand’ and not the TTP?


  • Noor Fatima
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:11PM

    Well unfortunately I recommended his comment after reading the first three lines when I was reading the last sentence I had already clicked the recommend box, I feel sorry for my recommendation. May be same goes for others too.


  • Pakistani
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:11PM

    No one is supporting killing the children. Ila is only one on this board. We are better than them.


  • taemoor
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:29PM

    My good faith in mankind forced me into the state of disbelief when I first heard this news. Time, it turns out is not the greatest healer after all. With every passing moment pain crept into my heart as I tried to trace the reasons behind the attacks. 140 beautiful, brilliant and promising lives were crushed in an instant, with many more hanging by a thread between life and death. The root of these barbaric attacks stems from the fact that almost every religious school in Pakistan teaches and advocates one kind of hatred or another. Minorities are often declared “heretics” and “infidels”, and their death is even advocated by the religious clergy. As an Ahmadi Muslim, our community has been the epicenter of these attacks for over a hundred years. The Pakistani government continues to remain passive as brutal onslaughts are executed by various militant groups, which has consequently set the tone for further violence. Islam – the backbone of the Pakistani society – needs to be practiced in its truest form for there to be any chance of reformation, or else the country will continue in its downward spiral.


  • Kanwal
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:47PM

    I wish him dead as soon as death canet him. Ad i dont want any of his children to be raised by him ever. So hope that he dies soon and by a missile so his family knows there was none of his body left.


  • Arsalan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 11:33PM

    @Ila:Killing of any childern in prohibited in Islam Childerns are innocent even if they are of your worst enemy


  • riz
    Dec 19, 2014 - 11:52PM

    spare his children..capture the leech….gather all the parents…let THEM tear him apart !


  • A Thought
    Dec 20, 2014 - 12:49AM

    Are They MAD??? cant believe how can one thinking of killing children. One would not even think of killing or hurting any children of animals, let alone human.

    However, i am impressed by TTP that they are giving the names of ppl behind the attack to the whole world. I thought this is very valuable intelligence info which they are giving for free! Cool!

    And how can this journalist be in contact with hald a dozen taliban commanders or soldiers and our agencies dont know about it and havent taken them to task? or how can they be so careless to talk to journalists? Mind Boggling!!!


  • Parvez
    Dec 20, 2014 - 1:25AM

    This man deserves to dieRecommend

  • Khan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 1:51AM

    Insha Allah soon he and his accomplices will dieRecommend

  • shafeeq
    Dec 20, 2014 - 2:31AM

    Ila is right. His children need to be killed execution style in front on him just like the ones in the school massacre so he knows how it feels. Not only that all these suicide bombers kill people because they are promised money to their families. When their families are identified, they should all be slaughtered, mothers, fathers sisters brothers children all of them, so that the suicide bombers who are in line see this and stop. Anybody who disagrees with this in a closet Taliban sympathizer. We need to get rid of this cancer that had destroyed our country


  • A Hasan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:05AM

    Responding to IIa what makes you or other humans any different to these Taliban murderers if you wish Umars children to also be slaughtered?… What have they done to deserve that punishment?
    Are you the judge jury and executioner now!
    Leave that to Allah.
    Let Umar preferably be tried and hanged if wrong


  • Jai
    Dec 20, 2014 - 4:27AM

    Your mentality reflects the same mentality of those that justified attacking innocent children as revenge. You are no different from the Taliban. What have his children done? They’re as innocent as those that died in the school. There will be no end to taking revenge on innocents for the death of innocents. In the end all you will have left in society are murderous guilty with all the innocents dead and gone.


  • Jai
    Dec 20, 2014 - 4:32AM

    Believe me, we’d like nothing better than to be left out of the mess you’ve created in your country. If only there was some technology to move the Indian landmass as far away from Pakistan as possible. Unfortunately for us we cannot change our neighbourhood so we like to keep tabs on what’s happening around.


  • wisdom
    Dec 20, 2014 - 5:32AM

    Reuters interviewed TTP…
    does anybody find this strange??
    Why would these masked ignorant creatures be talking to reuters telling them about their so called volleyball enthusiast brave leader


  • a&a
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:06AM

    Product of Lal Masjid……..!!!Recommend

  • Bloodycool-ass
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:12AM

    I don’t find any surprise in similarity of names of terrorist. Nine out of ten times these terrorists has same names.


  • Dec 20, 2014 - 9:29AM

    very informative website…. for cricket live streaming visit


  • hasan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:13AM

    because all the ammunition & weapon used by these monsters is indian made.


  • Ali
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:37AM

    All these problems for Pakistan stem from Pakistani establishment’s policy of nurturing and supporting radical Islamist groups to fight in Afghanistan and India. For years, these monsters have killed innocent people in Afghanistan and continue to do so. It is about time Pakistanis get a taste of their own medicine.


  • Tariq
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:40AM

    The Reuters’ representative in Pakistan should be warned for filing such stories that glorify psychopaths and criminals and our media should refrain from carrying such insensitive foreign stories


  • Hassan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:30AM

    @Ila: He should be tried and even hanged but not his children. Also i guess his children should be taken away from him and make them students in APS. This is the revenge we can take from Jahil is Educate.


  • Siju
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:47AM

    Guys…please dont blame India on this…..we are so sorry for the loss of those innocent children…….Hearty condolences……
    It is easy to blame India for everything and run away from the actual problem…The real enemy of Pakistan is not India, it is the taliban extremists and radicals.

    We Pray for the innocent children who died this atrocious act….
    A true indianRecommend

  • Jamila Aslam
    Dec 20, 2014 - 12:43PM

    I would not want to kill anybody’s children. they don’t ask to be born. Parents will be questioned about their children on Judgment Day. Why punish the innocent for the acts of the guilty? This monster does not even deserve to be hanged. It would be too easy a way out for him. He should be tortured slowly and surely. Let him also feel the pain those innocent children did. let him beg for death every second but please do not talk of killing his children. they are as innocent as the children massacred. we can only pray that his children grow up educated and decent human beings and they spit of his grave. that would be the ultimate punishment for him. no peace even in the grave for him.


  • MB
    Dec 20, 2014 - 4:51PM

    “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster” – Nietzsche


  • John F
    Dec 20, 2014 - 7:45PM

    @Siju: Errr…Hearty condolences?? I hope you meant heartfelt condolences.


    Dec 20, 2014 - 8:17PM

    Taliban are dogs who gone rabid I mean mad . In this situation we should euthanized them or shoot them away from residential area and bodies should be burnt .


  • shamail
    Dec 20, 2014 - 8:32PM

    It is a moment of truth for Pakistan . You can’t breed snakes in your backyard and expect them not to bite you . Please all Pakistanis fight for the closure of all madrasas and pls stop funding the jihadis


  • Mehmood Ahmed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:27AM

    Taliban are biggest enemies of Islam and they belongs to a particular sect and this sect is there man power and support the best solution is to ban this sect gradually first of all ban the Mullas of this sect to be Imam of any Army area and Aoqaf of Pakistan and ban the Mdaris of this particular sect and there Tablegi jmat because all of them are nursery for the these cruel Taliban,


  • MN
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:52AM

    @MB: I agree. Let not the enmity of one group lead you to transgression and injustice.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 21, 2014 - 10:34AM

    First identify the epicenters of these terrorists actvities operating in your neighbourhood and clear the all , it is only then one can hope peace in Pakistan .Distorted Islam and its traditions being propagated by Maderssas and mosques are avtually respoRecommend

  • Maham
    Dec 21, 2014 - 10:44AM

    Umar Mansoor, the designer from London? ….How people are getting brain washed to take arms..


  • Anonymous
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:02PM

    Feel like putting that volleyball in this animal’s mouth and shooting him with 1000 bullets.


  • Hiteshi
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:51PM

    @John F: you know what you should rather understand the real meaning what @Siju wanted to say and not the mistake he made… I hope he understood this time…?? :-/


  • Hiteshi
    Dec 22, 2014 - 1:06PM

    I feel like telling you people that whatever had to happen has happened… And now that we cannot do anything about it… I just wanted to pray for the 132 innocent martyrs to RIP and injured children to get well soon…!!!


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