Who Is the New Taliban Leader?

May 25, 2016

By Krishnadev Calamur

The Taliban’s new leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is being described as a “hardline religious scholar” who issues most of the group’s fatwas, as well as “well-educated and respected,” with at least one regional expert saying his appointment “will not fully appease all factions within the Taliban.”

The Taliban announced Tuesday that Akhundzada was replacing Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed Saturday in a U.S. drone strike inside Pakistan. It is the first time the Taliban has acknowledged Mansour’s death. The organization also announced that  Sirajuddin Haqqani and Muhammad Yaqoub would serve as Akhundzada’s deputies. Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, is viewed as a hard-line member of the group who is opposed to peace talks with the Afghan government. Yaqoub is the son of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the late Taliban leader who Mansour officially replaced last year. Both were tipped to replace Mansour.

Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander, tells CNN Akhundzada is from Panjwai district in Kandahar province, the heartland of the Taliban.


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7 comments on “Who Is the New Taliban Leader?

  • Meet the new leader of the Afghan resistance movement, resisting foreign invaders of his ancestral lands (assuming the so-called Taliban are authentic and unlike the Islamic State and its offshoots, pseudo-Muslim paramilitary groups sponsored by, if not themselves in actual fact, the military-intelligence apparatus of certain Western powers).

    Love them or loath them, everyone has a right to resist by violent means aggression by outside invaders seeking to destroy by military and other aggressive means their culture and way of life. And no matter how much you bash them for their beliefs, you cannot preach democracy, diversity, human rights and multi-culturalism whilst denying it when it happens to go against the interests of westernisation (i.e. capitalist globalisation).

    With all due respect for my fellow atheists, there exists a form of militant atheism that tends towards a form of liberal or humanitarian interventionism and gloating cultural triumphalism every bit as repugnant as its theological counterpart.



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  • Ipse Dixit @ #1.

    I take your points, but we can all play the victim if we choose.

    Given half a chance I suspect the “freedom fighters” would become invaders.

    Anyway, I’m not scared; his eyebrows aren’t serious enough form him to be a successful religious leader.



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  • Stafford Gordon #2
    May 26, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Given half a chance I suspect the “freedom fighters” would become invaders.

    Of course there is a substantial proportion of the Afghan and Pakistani population, who would like to be “free” of Taliban terrorist domination by these ignorant tribal fanatics who have been armed with modern foreign weapons, but who reject modern civilised conduct!

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150303-polio-pakistan-islamic-state-refugees-vaccination-health/

    Taliban Assassins Target Pakistan’s Polio Vaccinators

    Health workers—many of them women—continue to face bullets and bombs as they inoculate children.



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  • @ #1 by Ipse Dixit : “…….the new leader of the Afghan resistance movement, resisting foreign invaders of his ancestral lands ….
    … Love them or loath them, everyone has a right to resist by violent means aggression by outside invaders seeking to destroy by military and other aggressive means their culture and way of life….”

    If you think that is all that the Taliban are about, then man, you really need to get out more.



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  • Ipse Dixit.

    Your knowledge of the region is poor in the extreme. Mujihadeen fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud fought not only to rid his people of the true invader, Russia, but implemented democracy into his region in the north, spoke strongly for the rights of women and had the political savvy to know that all parties must be included in any political sentiment. He was a friend to Europe warning of extremist actions against them and the USA to come that he was hearing about. He desparately wanted support for his people but Dubya (Bush junior) reacted too late to the glowing CIA accounts of the man and his work sticking for the longest time to the standard pro Saudi Oil policy.

    Saudi princes flooded Pakistan with money to import nascent Taliban fighters into Afghanistan to inflate their number by 300%.

    Afghanis (except for the religious coservative Taliban) lionised Massoud. His picture was put up everywhere, even to this day. He is otherwise known as the Lion of Panjshir. Help came too late for Massoud and his cause and his warning of attack against the US was not taken seriously enough. His nemesis Osama Bin Laden had him assasinated by suicide bombers posing as journalists two days before the Twin Towers attack.

    I marched against the Iraq invasion but the intervention in Afghanistan (against American oil interests and brown nosing) though bungled had more than an element of decency to it.



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