Biography of new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor
A source close to Taliban on Friday shared details about Mansoor’s life with Pajhwok Afghan News. He was born in 1963 in the Band Taimor village of Maiwand district in southern Kandahar province.
He belongs to the Ishaqzai tribe, having received his early education in his hometown and nearby seminaries. At a young age, he joined the Mullah Haji Mohammad group during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
Mullah Mohammad Omar Akhund was then a commander of one of the groups of Mullah Haji Mohammad, the source said. Mansoor participated in the jihad against the Russians in Maiwand, Sang-e-Hessar, Zangawat and other parts of the city.
Known as one of the prominent warriors, Mansoor joined the Maulvi Obaidullah Ishaqzai group in 1987 but later Ishaqzai surrendered to Anwar–ul-Haq Uloomi, now the interior minister. Soon afterwards, he migrated to Quetta.
The source said Mansoor resumed his religious education in different seminaries and later shifted to Peshawar where he joined Jamia Mohammadia at the Jalozai Refugee camp.
Mansoor was in grade 8 in 1995 when he departed with hundreds of other Taliban for Kandahar and joined the Taliban movement. He was put in charge of airport security and later took over as a commander of jet fighters.
Mansoor served as director of Ariana in 1996 before being appointed as minister of civil aviation and transport and commander of the air force in September 1996 when the Taliban took control of Kabul.
Mansoor used to warmly welcome Arabs under the leadership of Mullah Omar Akhund while heading aviation and Arianna Airline. During that period, he traveled frequently and developed close relations with Arab in Gulf states.
Mansoor established the Turaya sattelite telephone business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the source said, adding he earned millions of dollars annually from his share in drug and hashish factories in Helmand.
The source said Mansoor took responsibility as a leading representative of the Ishaqzai tribe in the Taliban movement in 2004 and along with Mullah Gul Agha, Akhtar Mohammad Usmani, Abdul Samad Sani, Maulvi Nani and several other figures developed closer links with Mullah Omar.
With the passage of time, he got closer to Omar in an attempt to be declared as his successor, a goal he has finally achieved.
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