Who Was Omar Khalid Khorasani? Top Pakistani Taliban Leader Killed in Afghanistan

Top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakitan (TTP) leader Abdul Wali Mohmand alias Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Afghanistan.

A top leader of the militia called Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Abdul Wali Mohmand alias Omar Khalid Khorasani, was killed in a mysterious IED blast in Marga, a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban in Barmal district of Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan on Sunday evening.

According to reports, Khorasani’s car was hit by a loud blast while going from Margah to the nearby Argun district.

His son-in-law Ali Hassan Mohmand and two former TTP leader Mufti Hassan Swati and Hafiz Daulat Khan Orakzai were also among the Killed.

The spokesman of TTP, Muhammad Khorasani, has confirmed the death of Omar Khalid Khorasani in a message sent to the media.

Omar khalid khorasani was one of the founding members of the TTP.  After 9/11, he was instrumental in organizing the anti-state war of Islamic extremists and the TTP in Pakistan.

He was one of the most powerful and influential leaders of the TTP who had the strongest anti-state stance against Pakistan.

Omar Khorasani was the only commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan for whose death or capture the US government put a reward of 3 million dollars.

Earlier, all Pakistani Taliban commanders included in this list have been killed in US drone strikes, including Baitullah Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain Mehsud and Maulana Fazlullah Khorasani.

Omar Khorasani has been the target of several ground attacks by US, Afghan and Pakistani forces in the past, including US drone strikes, but he managed to escape each time.

This included a major ground attack in 2015 by U.S. and Afghan forces in Parchau, a border region in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan, which left Khorasani critically wounded and several key associates killed.

Who was Omar Khalid Khorasani?

The real name of the senior commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was Abdul Wali Mohmand, who was born on 18 July 1980 in village Kandahar of Safi Tehsil, Mohmand Tribal District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.

Abdul Wali Mohmand alias Omar Khalid Khorasani started his militant life in 1996 with the jihadist organization ‘Harkat al-Mujahideen’.

From the militant group Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, he participated in the fight against Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

After 2003, Omar Khorasani moved to South Waziristan to join newly organized networks of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban against US and coalition forces in Afghanistan due to the pressure of the changing situation in the region of the state of Pakistan and the ban on jihadist organizations in Kashmir. 

He moved and it was here that he met and became friends with Baitullah Mehsud, the future founder of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Before the TTP, Baitullah Mehsud created a network of fighters in his native South Waziristan called ‘Karwan’, which fought against the US and coalition forces and the Afghan government in Afghanistan, as well as foreign forces in South Waziristan.  It also started providing shelter to militants and fighting with Pakistani security forces.

Khorasani came from South Waziristan to his home district of Mohmand and opened a military training camp for extremists, whose apparent purpose was to help the Afghan Taliban in their fight against the American and coalition forces and the Afghan government in Afghanistan, but in fact they were members of the 9/11 of the State of Pakistan.  They were part of a secret movement of Pakistani jihadists against the latter’s policies, which later became the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud.

In July 2007, in response to the operation of the Pakistani security forces on the Lal Masjid in Islamabad and Jamia Hafsa adjacent to it, Khorasani along with dozens of fighters occupied the famous Tarangzai Sahib Mosque in Mohmand Agency and declared war against the state of Pakistan from there.

Omar Khalid Khorasani becomes founding member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in 2007

In December 2007, Omar Khalid Khorasani officially became a founding member of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and was appointed as the Amir for the Mohmand Agency of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

He along with his colleagues organized the militants in Mohmand and other tribal and urban areas to fight against the state from the platform of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud.

Khorasani’s name emerged in the media as a hard-line commander of the Pakistani Taliban when he killed Shah Khalid, a key commander of the rival Salafist school of thought in Afghanistan, in a gunfight with his associates in Mohmand Agency in July 2008.  In the areas located near the Afghan border, they established their occupation by ending the influence of Pakistani fighters who are considered to be supporters of the state.

The influence of Omar Khalid Khorasani and his associates in the central leadership of the Pakistani Taliban became prominent during 2012 under Hakimullah Mehsud’s leadership of the organization.

Omar Khalid Khorasani became the Ameer of the Executive Commission of Tehreek, his close associate Qari Shakeel was appointed the head of the political commission of the organization and another close associate Ehsanullah Ehsan was appointed as the main spokesman of the organization.

After Hakeemullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in November 2013, Khorasani split from the TTP in August 2014, along with dozens of other commanders, due to serious concerns over leadership and other issues within the militant group, particularly the group’s negotiations with the Pakistani government by declaring it, a separate group was established under the name of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

 Jamaat-ul-Ahrar soon overtook the main Tehreek-i-Taliban in terms of the number and intensity of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, which was weakened by further fragmentation, including the break-up of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, the involvement of key commanders in ISIS Khorasan.

At the same time, Omar Khorasani was added to the US government’s wanted list and a large reward was set by the US government for assisting in his killing or capture.

Khorasani announced his rejoining of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan along with his colleagues in August 2020.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud welcomed Khorasani’s rejoining the militant group through a video message, calling him very useful for strengthening Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and organizing the war against the state. (Courtesy BBC)

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