Who are the leaders of the Taliban who conquered Afghanistan?

Who are the leaders of the Taliban who conquered Afghanistan?

Despite the death of the first supreme leader of the Taliban, Mohammad "Mullah" Omar, the leader of the fundamentalist group remained in the hands of the same figures who controlled it then

Abdul Ghani Baradar, in the center, during one of the meetings for peace negotiations in Moscow (photo: Sefa Karacan / Getty Images) The Taliban fundamentalists who occupied Kabul in recent days emerged as a political and military group during the civil war in Afghanistan, which broke out after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. From 1996 to 2001 they ruled the country by imposing a bloody and repressive regime, based on the rejection of all Western customs and on a hyper-conservative interpretation of the Koran. Since then, some of the top leaders have died, such as Mohammad Omar, the first supreme leader, as well as his first successor, Akhtar Mansour, who was killed by a US drone in 2016, but the main leaders of the Taliban are often still the same people of 20 years ago.

Haibatullah Akhunzada

Known as the "Leader of the Faithful", he is a scholar of Islamic law and supreme leader of the Taliban since his predecessor, Akhtar Mansour, was was killed by a US drone near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2016. Akhunzada holds final authority over all political, religious and military affairs of the Taliban. In the 1980s, he participated in the Islamist resistance against the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, but his reputation is more that of a religious leader than a military commander. He is believed to be in his 60s and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Mohammad Yaqoob

Son of the founder of the Taliban, Mohammad Omar, Yaqoob is one of the group's military leaders and is expected to be in Afghanistan. In 2016 he could have become the supreme leader of the Taliban, but Akhunzada would have prevented him because he is still too inexperienced. Yaqoob is said to be 30 years old and currently in Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani

The son of a mujahideen guerrilla commander, Haqqani is a leading Taliban leader, held responsible for some of the attacks more violent bombers carried out by fundamentalists. The so-called Haqqani Network, one of the most powerful and feared military groups in the region, with which he controls financial and military resources on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, responds to his direct orders. His whereabouts are currently unknown and he should be around 45 years old.

Abdul Ghani Baradar

One of the co-founders of the Taliban, Baradar now heads the group’s political office. A pivotal element of the Afghan uprising after the 2001 invasion of the United States, he was captured in 2010 and held for 8 years. In 2018, he was released in the context of an Afghanistan pacification project commissioned by former President Donald Trump. Once among Mohammad Omar's most trusted advisors, Bardar is today the main political leader of the Taliban. He should now have arrived in Afghanistan shortly after having been in exile in Doha, Qatar, since 2018.

Abdul Hakim

He is the head of the negotiating team who held the talks of Doha with the former Afghan government and representatives of the international community, to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict, before the conquest of Kabul. Hakim is also the head of the Taliban council of religious scholars, a powerful advisory body of the fundamentalist group, and believed to be Akhunzada's most trusted advisor.

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