Al-Jazeera journalist Tayseer Alouni said in his interview with the Huffington Post website in its Arabic version about his memories with the leader of the Afghan Taliban movement, Mullah Omar, who the Afghan authorities announced on Wednesday that he died two years ago in mysterious circumstances,


I felt in his presence that I was in front of a real ruler and a statesman, despite his appearance He is distinguished by his extreme simplicity, and perhaps he was the least elegant of those present, but his presence completely overshadowed the session.

Speaking about the security measures that preceded the interview, Allouni confirmed that they were not complicated or out of the ordinary, pointing out that he was not subjected to even a simple search because he was accompanied at the time by a group of statesmen.

 What do you remember from this interview?

And on what background?

My meeting with Mullah Omar took place in April 2001, and in the same month I had accompanied a delegation from the Taliban government on a visit to Doha to cover the delegation’s activities for Al-Jazeera. The visit, so I asked a member of the delegation to try to arrange a meeting for me with the mullah, and he promised good.

At that time, Mullah Omar did not meet with journalists at all because of his annoyance at their attempts to portray him in twisted ways, although his office was stressing journalists and taking pledges from them not to attempt to photograph him, but some Arab journalists tried to circumvent the pledge he made and draw an approximate picture of Mullah Omar, When the latter learned of the matter, he issued an order not to give any appointments to the journalists and completely refrained from meeting with them.

In this difficult circumstance, my request came for an interview, and I told them, of course, that I was not going to conduct a press interview with him, but rather a meeting to get to know him personally as long as I am a journalist residing in Afghanistan and represent a well-known channel.

The answer was not delayed, and I was called in the afternoon of the next day to accompany the delegation to the "Office of the Commander of the Faithful", and it was a new office that he moved to after an attempt to assassinate him took place about two years ago and his house was targeted with a truck bomb with several tons of explosives, which led to the killing of two of his brothers, Mullah Abdul Salam and Mullah Abdul Khaliq, and some of his relatives, and Mullah Omar miraculously survived, and I saw for myself the crater left by the explosion and it was a huge crater, and his house at that time was in the middle of Kandahar in a crowded area where everyone was allowed to pass, and the house was not distinguished from the rest of the surrounding houses except with regard to guarding At the door, his assistants suggested that he build a new complex in the west of the city in order to take it as a residence and an office.

We drove a small convoy of official cars to the compound, and the entry procedures were easy, and some assistants led us into a fairly spacious, rectangular hall, furnished with Afghan carpets, and modestly furnished on its sides.

We took our assembly waiting for Mullah Omar to come, and I noticed that there was one pillow in the right corner in the chest of the hall, and there was no other furniture in the hall, such as chairs, tables, or vases, which we used to see in the offices of officials outside Afghanistan, and its walls were bare of any paintings or means. decoration.

After a few minutes, Mullah Muhammad Omar, accompanied by two armed young men, came. Everyone got up and lined up to greet him. It was my third or fourth turn to greet him and shake hands with him, after some elderly members of the delegation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wakeel Ahmed Mutawakil, took over the task of introducing me to the Mullah.

He was tall, tended to be thin, with a thick black beard interspersed with white hairs and a fringed mustache, with a sallow complexion. He was wearing a traditional Afghan dress with a dark gray foot on it. I think I saw a patch or repair in some of its sides. .

The prestige of the man prevented me from looking closely at his appearance and features except when he sat in the right corner of the hall, and my seat was on his left, so I did not see his right eye that he lost during the jihad against the communist regime.

I remember that the delegation included Foreign Minister Wakeel Ahmed Mutawakkil, the Minister of Planning, the Chief Justice (one of the most senior positions in the country), and other officials, in addition to Maulvi Ali Kandahari, an old man, and I do not remember the rest of the delegation, which consisted of About 12 people.

Mullah Omar began the conversation by welcoming the delegation, then the oldest member took over the speech, and the rest followed, each of them recounting a summary of his meetings in Doha. Speaking in Pashto, one of the attendees took the translation whispering in my ear, and Mullah Muhammad Omar greeted me kindly, then he rose to mark the end of the meeting, and some members of the delegation came out, and they were busy with side conversations, heading to the entrance to the hall, which leads to a large square in which some armed guards were deployed. Some children are skinheaded.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wakeel Ahmed Mutawakil, called them, and introduced them to me, saying that they were the sons of Mullah Omar, and I noticed that their clothes were modest and that of what the common Afghan children wore.

 What was your personal impression of the man?

The first thing I noticed was the prestige of the man among his followers, through their way of speaking and dealing with him. I felt in his presence that I was in front of a real ruler and a statesman, although his appearance was characterized by his extreme simplicity, and perhaps he was the least elegant of those present, but his presence completely overshadowed the session.

 Were the security procedures used to meet him easy or complicated?

Do you think that it is easy to penetrate the security measures surrounding it?

Alouni says that Mullah Omar was not aware in advance of bin Laden's intentions to carry out the September 11 operations.

There were no procedures out of the ordinary, and in my case I was accompanying a group of statesmen, so we did not undergo even a simple inspection, but what the Afghans told me was that his door was open for private meetings with scholars and officials in the state, and there are meetings with ordinary citizens who attend his council At certain hours maybe just peace be upon him.

And Mullah Omar was not absent from public occasions, such as Friday prayers and the two Eid prayers, and he went out for tours in the city and its surroundings in a car that he drove himself, and perhaps some officials accompanied him with another car or two cars, and if the time of prayer ruled, he performed it in any mosque he came across on the road, and sometimes he was He prays the afternoon prayer and goes out with his companions from the mosque, extends his robe and sits in the open on the ground, exchanging conversations with his companions (no one mentioned to me that he ever sat on a chair).

In general, Mullah Muhammad Omar did not need a heavy guard, as he lives under his popular incubator that supported him and brought him to power, and he originally does not want guards, official processions, or armored cars, and he has no enemies among his people except his opponents in the north.

It must be recalled that the greatest achievement achieved by the Taliban movement was to restore security to Afghanistan, and through my experience of the situation there for about two years, and if we compare the level of crimes that occur in global cities with their level in Afghan cities, it turns out to me that the level of security and safety in Afghan cities He was superior to what is found in world capitals such as London, Washington, Paris and others. As for the orphaned assassination attempt, the Taliban investigations indicated that it was an external measure, as I was told at the time.

 Do you think that in the event of his death or death, the Taliban movement could be negatively affected?

If the news that says that he died two years ago is true, we can conclude that the movement was running its affairs, the affairs of the liberated areas, and the affairs of war without him, and the steadfastness of the Taliban movement and its resistance to the American occupation throughout this period needed a coherent leadership and a tight organization, and this will not execute men and great leaders who will be able to lead it if They maintained the same approach, especially with regard to the unity of the inner class, in addition to the fact that these achievements indicate the existence of certain mechanisms of action, and I am surprised if they are devoid of a mechanism for choosing the appropriate leader, and if there are fears of the negative impact of the absence of Mullah Muhammad Omar, it stems from external conspiracies For example, the Pakistani attempts to drag the movement into negotiation and agreement with the current government on terms that do not meet the aspirations of the Afghans, these attempts will only succeed by splitting the movement’s ranks, and these conspiracies will not kill those who serve it, but I believe that the movement will be able to unite its ranks under a new leadership.

What do you see: leader?

man of religion?


Normal Person?

From my follow-up to his career since he took over the affairs in Afghanistan until his death, I saw that his personality combines many things. The meaning of the word, of course, he did not study politics in the curricula of religious schools, but he learned it quickly and benefited from his mistakes, and through my follow-up, I saw that the Taliban movement in 1994 changed in recent years, and witnessed a remarkable development in its dealings with internally and externally, and I can say that he became a brilliant politician He was able to employ the achievements of the Afghan resistance in a unique way that made the Americans beg and beg to negotiate with him in any way, and open an office for political liaison for him in Qatar, with the aim of keeping in touch with him in order to reach the withdrawal of their forces from Afghanistan in a way that would save their faces in front of the American people.

America tried to tell the world and its people that it left Afghanistan and left a stable system in the country, while the facts on the ground say that the Americans turned the country into a failed state par excellence on the political, economic and social levels, and that they established a system that hit record numbers in corruption, and that they failed to achieve Which of the goals that they announced when they invaded Afghanistan, and the simplest example of that is the cultivation of drugs, they were claiming that they would eliminate it, and the Taliban had previously stopped this cultivation by a single decision issued by Mullah Muhammad Omar in the late 2000s, and the competent international organizations recognized in the spring of the year 2001 that Afghanistan has become a country free of opium, as reported by The News of Pakistan in February of the same year, and I remember that the title was Afganistan poppy-free, but after the entry of the Americans, Afghanistan's production of opium multiplied several times.

This is one example that we will present as a brevity about the American failure in Afghanistan, and the first American failure was represented by the inability to know the whereabouts of Mullah Muhammad Omar or bin Laden for years. It already exists, not to mention the security, military and administrative failure.

I do not know if the description of the cleric applies to Mullah Muhammad Omar, because he was originally a student of knowledge that the circumstances of jihad and continuous wars did not allow him to complete his studies, and in the end I see that the personality of Mullah Omar gathered the best of the characteristics of the authentic Afghan in addition to being a man of principles, and it is known that he It is very difficult to combine principles with the practice of politics in today's world, and the clearest example of this is his refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden and those with him from the Arabs to their governments, even though he knows perfectly well that this refusal will cost him dearly, and it happened, and yet the man did not care, is this a person Normal?

 Does his character have a specific trait?

The hadith would be better if we dealt with the most prominent characteristic of his personality, because his positive qualities are many, and through my experience, I can say that his personality represented masculinity in its highest sense. About his courage in fighting, this is the subject of consensus among all those who knew him, but I am talking about his ability to control his anger, for he was angered by the Afghan Arabs who were in his hospitality, led by Osama bin Laden, the leader and founder of the late Al-Qaeda, and he had repeatedly ordered them not to take Afghanistan as a starting point for implementing any Military actions outside the country, however, they violated his orders and struck the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, so he warned them to abide by his orders, and they hit the American destroyer “USS Cole.”In Aden in 2000, he re-warned them, and ordered them not to make statements to the media, so they violated his orders, yet he was patient with them and pardoned them the penalty of their previous jihad with the Afghans against the Soviets and the communist rule, and let's imagine that these things happened with another ruler, so was he controlling his anger?

Finally, I would like to point out a very important matter. Through my professional investigations, which included many personalities close to Mullah Muhammad Omar and some of the most close associates of Osama bin Laden, I can confirm that Mullah Muhammad Omar was not aware in advance of bin Laden's intentions in carrying out the eleventh operations. From September 2001.

I can also confirm that after bin Laden's statements about his intention to strike the Americans spread, a sluggishness occurred between the two men during the months leading up to September 11, and after those operations took place, and after the American war became imminent, it was decided that the two men would meet at Mullah Omar's headquarters in the evening On the seventh of October 2001, and in fact, bin Laden went to the headquarters, and a short distance before his arrival, the American bombing of the headquarters began, the first American air raid in the context of the war on Afghanistan. Bin Laden changed his destination, and Mullah Muhammad Omar was at the headquarters, but he miraculously survived the bombing Some of the guards of the headquarters were killed.

 Can you describe it in a word or two?

With everything I wrote above about the man, I feel that I did not fulfill his right, and I do not find myself capable of that, but if it is necessary to describe him in a few words, he is a rare man.