Omar Khalid

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Omar Khalid عمر خالد
Years of service 2007
Battles/wars War in North-West Pakistan
External image
Omar Khalid Khorasani

Omar Khalid Khorasani (Urdu:عمر خالد), also known as Abdul Wali Raghib, is a militant Islamist who had served as the leader of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar after splitting ways with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. He had been considered one of TTP's most effective and powerful leaders in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.[1] He was ousted by Maulana Fazlullah for forming "dubious" organizations such as Junad-i-Hafza, Ahrar-ul-Hind and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.[2]

It was reported in October 2017 that he had died in a drone strike carried out by United States in Paktia Province of Afghanistan.[3] However, reports later emerged disputing his death.[4][5]

Personal life

Omar Khalid was born in Qandaro, a village in Mohmand Agency. He was a journalist and a poet. Most of his poetry was religious or devotional as he mostly composed naats (poetry in praise of prophet Muhammad). He adopted the nom de guerre of Omar Khalid Khorasani in 2007. Khorasani studied at a local school and then at a madrassah in Karachi.

Militant activity

Omar was radicalised at an early age and joined Harkat ul-Ansar, one of the militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. When the U.S invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Khorasani set up an office of Harkat in Mohmand Agency, where he recruited fighters for ‘jihad’ against the American forces. Omar gained prominence, after vowing to avenge the Lal Masjid operation, and seized the shrine of a famous anti-colonialist fighter in the village of Ghazi Abad during the summer of 2007 and renaming it Lal Masjid (Red Mosque)[6]

Joining TTP

In December 2007 when TTP was formed, Omar was named ameer of the groups franchise in Mohmand agency. Within the organisation he was given charge of Khyber agency where he orchestrated a campaign against government-backed lashkars (militias).

Reported death

It was reported that a JuA spokesman Asad Mansoor had told AFP news agency that Khorasani on 18 October 2017 had succumbed to his injuries received in a United States drone strike in Paktia Province of Afghanistan.[3] Pajhwok Afghan News however stated that a source close to the group had denied his death.[4] Long War Journal reported that a statement on Telegram issued under Khorasani's name denied his death, while confirming the death of Khalifa Umar Mansour. The outlet noted that the spokesman operating the group’s Telegram account did not announce his death.[5] His death also was not confirmed by United States.[4][5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Roggio, Bill (19 June 2011). "Pakistan claims 25 Taliban fighters killed in Mohmand airstrikes". Long War Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.dawn.com/news/1130446
  3. ^ a b "Pakistan militant leader 'killed by drone' in Afghanistan". BBC. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jamaatul Ahrar denies Khurasani's death in drone strike". Pajhwok Afghan News. 
  5. ^ a b c "Leader of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar emerges after reports of his death". Long War Journal. 
  6. ^ Peter Bergen & Katherine Tiedemann (2013). Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion. Oxford University Press. p. 371. ISBN 9780199893096. 
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