- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by SADAQAT JAN
Friday, Jan. 05, 2007 at 12:54 PM
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has added to the mystery over Osama bin Laden, saying he hasn't seen his ally and fellow fugitive since U.S.-backed forces ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001.
"No, I have neither seen him, nor have I made any effort to do so, but I pray for his health and safety," Omar said in an e-mailed response to questions sent by Reuters.
The questions were relayed to Omar through his spokesman, Mohammad Hanif, and a reply was received late on Wednesday.
A half-dozen audio tapes of bin Laden were circulated during the first half of 2006, but the al Qaeda leader last appeared on video tape in late 2004, while tapes of his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, have been issued regularly.
A video tape of bin Laden was released late last year, but it was identified as old footage, and the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States passed without word from the al Qaeda leader.
Speculation over the whereabouts and health of bin Laden boiled over in September when a French provincial newspaper reported that he had died of typhoid in late August.
Although several governments and intelligence agencies rebutted that report, saying they had no evidence to suggest bin Laden had died, they acknowledged they had no clue to where he was.
The wealthy Saudi-born bin Laden helped bankroll the Taliban after moving to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, and he was reported to have married one of Omar's daughters to cement their alliance.
The United States has offered a million reward for the capture of bin Laden and million for Omar.
The best guess to bin Laden's whereabouts remains somewhere on the rugged border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in the ethnic tribal lands where Omar's Taliban counts on support to fight an insurgency against U.S. and
NATO forces in Afghanistan and the government of President Hamid Karzai.
STILL IN CONTACT?
Analysts say that while there was no apparent evidence for any meeting between bin Laden and Omar after the September 11 attacks, the two fugitive militants are believed to have remained in contact in recent years.
"According to my information and the interviews which I conducted in the last two years in different provinces of the eastern and southern Afghanistan, Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden are in touch, at least (for the) last two years," said Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist who interviewed bin Laden shortly after the September 11 attacks.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both major U.S. allies in the war on terrorism, have deteriorated sharply over the past year in the wake of the bloodiest campaign mounted by the Taliban since it was ousted from power.
Omar said people from the Pashtun tribal belt straddling the border were rallying to the Taliban's cause. "The people themselves have risen up to fight the Americans," he said.
Although the Taliban and al Qaeda are seen as allies, Omar said his sole focus was Afghanistan while bin Laden's movement was engaged in a global jihad, or holy war.
"They have set jihad as their goal, whereas we have set the expulsion of American troops from Afghanistan as our target," he said.
To start a political process to end the militancy, Pakistan and Afghanistan plan to organize tribal councils -- known as jirgas -- on both sides of the border. No dates have been fixed.
A Taliban spokesman said last month that the group might join the jirgas if asked, but Omar rejected the proposal.
"The only people who would participate are those who have sold out to foreign powers. Our participation is absolutely out of the question," the fugitive militant leader said.
He reiterated his call for the withdrawal of foreign troops to end the conflict in Afghanistan. "Unless that happens, the war will heat further up," Omar said.
Afghanistan says Omar is based in or around the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, but Omar said he is in Afghanistan.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens
The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally!
Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80
More Breaking News...