Afghanistan: Islamic Emirate officially announce death of Mullah Mansour in US drone strike and appoint new leaders

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Photo of Mullah Mansour next to image of Mullah Omar (Habibullah Helal)

Islamic Emirate have officially announced the “martyrdom” of Mullah Mansour, leader of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) in a US drone strike in Balochistan near the town of Ahmad Wal on May 22nd 2016. He was killed along with a taxi driver in a vehicle which belonged to a person named Mohammad Azam according to the Guardian. Pakistani journalist, Syed Talat Hussain claimed that Mansour “was killed 65kms inside our territory. He said, drones have to be 4-6 km from target to strike precisely. This shows how deep did the US come into our area.”

Mansour was viewed by the US as “an obstacle to peace” as he refused to enter talks sponsored by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US) whilst US military and allies occupy Afghanistan and fought for the Islamic system of sharia law. His appointment caused some rifts in the Taliban but moves had been made to bring those with concerns back into the fold and some defectors that left to join Islamic State (Wilayat Khorasan) had recently returned.

Tom Bowen, NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon tweeted,

Mansour was killed by two Hellfire missiles fired by drones. Sources tell US tracked him from Iran, knew his SIM card #

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Aftermath of US drone strike which killed Mullah Mansour and a taxi driver (Image AFP)

An account Habibullah Helal from Balkh highlighting news from Islamic Emirate, posted the following announcement of his death to the author of this blog today tweeting,

BREAKING… Islamic Emirate officially announce the martyrdom of Amir Ul Momenin Mullah Akhtar M.Mansoor (رحمه الله)

The council (Ahle Hal wal Ahqd) select Mulawi Haibatullah as Amir and Mulawi Sirajudin & Mulawi Yaqoub as his deputies

Islamic Emirate stated,

“With heavy heart, but full belief in Allah’s will, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announces that the leader of the Islamic Emirate [Commander of the Faithful] Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was martyred in an American invading and evil forces’ drone strike on Saturday”

“Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate after a unanimous agreement from the shura and all the members of shura pledged allegiance to him.”

“All people are required to obey the new Emir-al-Momineen (commander of the faithful).”

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Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, a renowned religious scholar who teaches sharia to students

Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the new Emir, is believed to be in his 50s and was a close friend and assistant of Mullah Omar. He is from Kandahar and belongs to the Noorzai tribe. Akhundzada is considered a Scholar of Hadeeth of High Level. According to the Guardian, “Haibatullah is a former Taliban chief justice and heads their religious Ulema council” and known to have “been responsible for issuing fatwas to justify military and terrorist operations.”

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Sirajuddin Haqqani photo on FBI site 

Sirajuddin Haqqani one of the deputies (part of the Haqqani network) is a “specially designated global terrorist” by US with a $5 million bounty on his head and is said to have close links to Al Qaeda. His father was Jalaluddin Haqqani fought against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The FBI wanted profile on Haqqani reads as follows,

“is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed six people, including an American citizen. He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.”

Mullah Muhammad Yaqoub, the second deputy  is the eldest son of Mullah Omar who was the long time Emir of Islamic Emirate prior to Mullah Mansour. Mullah Omar died in April 2013, though news of his death was withheld. Dawn media reported Yacoub as saying his father “died a natural death…. We made enquiries from the doctors, it seems he was suffering from HCV (hepatitis C).”

Back in April Islamic Emirate announced new appointments for Mullah Yacoub and his uncle as follows,

“Monday 26th Jamadi ul Akhir 1437 Hijri corresponding with 04/04/2016, a special meeting was convened by the Islamic Emirate in which the leader, council members, high ranking officials and military heads participated….. 

According to the released information, the leader of Islamic Emirate and the (Quetta) Shura (council) members appointed the brother and leadership council member of the founder of Islamic Emirate, the late Amir ul Mumineen Mullah Muhammad Umar Mujahid (may Allah have mercy on him), Al-Haj Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund as the head of Dawat wal Irshad (Preaching and Guidance) Commission and his elder son, Mawlawi Muhammad Yaqoub (Mujahid) as a leadership council member as well as the military chief of 15 provinces in the Commission for Military setup.”

Reactions

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi from a break-away Taliban group told the New York Times, “Sheikh Haibatullah is not the right choice for us…….He has been selected quite similarly to Mansour with no consensus of all mujahedeen — it will never be acceptable to us.”

Pakistan Tehreek -e-Taliban Jaamat -ul-Ahrar (TTP JA) posted the following message,

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“It is to be said with great sorrow that the Muslim ummah (brotherhood) has been deprived of a great leader. Molvi Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor sahib bless him has been elevated to the great status of Shaheed. May Allah accept his martyrdom and grant patience to his family and loved ones. Jihad is the path to martyrdom and through this very path the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the great caliphs embraced eternal peace. But by their passing away the work of jihad and obligation of faith did not stop but became more intense. Therefore we give assurance to mujahideen and all muslims that they should not despair nor should they develop lazy (sluggish) ways but should focus on their jihad with more speed and focus. Allah will definately protect His deen Allah Willing and this is the promise of Allah.”

Umar Khalid Khurasani Khadim Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Jamaat ul Ahrar)

Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts’ Network told CNN, “the Taliban understood that they needed a new consensus leader, and quickly, to prevent what was possibly the aim of the U.S. and Afghan governments — to create turmoil around the succession.”

 Shortly after the announcement of a new leader, Islamic Emirate posted of their latest attack as part of the ongoing Operation Omari as follows,

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“Martyrdom attack in PD5 in capital ‪#‎Kabul‬ left dozens of judges killed and wounded details later…” Islamic Emirate

The Taliban targeted the judiciary killing 11 people when a suicide bomber targeted a minibus on the outskirts of Kabul, the Afghan capital. This was the first strong message under the new leadership, the attack was carried out as “revenge for the killing of six innocent prisoners in Kabul.”

See link for more on this story,

“Taliban suicide bomber kills eleven in Kabul during morning rush hour”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/taliban-suicide-bomber-kills-eleven-commuters-in-kabul-during-morning-rush-hour-a7048211.html

Links

“US drone strike in Pakistan kills Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/21/us-airstrike-taliban-leader-mullah-akhtar-mansoor

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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2 Responses to Afghanistan: Islamic Emirate officially announce death of Mullah Mansour in US drone strike and appoint new leaders

  1. jo alexander says:

    hi Carol, nice blog and isn’t it amazing where life takes you? Would like to get hold of a copy of your award winning thesis on the global blood trade. Can you help me out please?

    • Thanks Jo, indeed it is and far easier to get a response from the Taliban than British govt. In fact British policy in Afghanistan rather resembles blood policies, same old lies, corruption and misinformation so its down to research as usual! I have sent you an email re my dissertation which as ever some parties seem to want to block!

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