Monday, October 5, 2015
Taliban’s New Leader Strengthens His Hold With Intrigue and Battlefield Victory
KABUL, Afghanistan — If ever there was a Taliban bureaucrat who seemed set on a less than stellar career path, it was Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.
In the 1990s, he was the Taliban government’s chief of aviation while Afghanistan had few planes in the air. He also oversaw the tourism department for what was one of the world’s most sealed-off countries at the time.
In short, there was little hint back then that he would someday emerge as the Taliban’s supreme commander, and the successor to the group’s legendary founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar.
But in the years since the Taliban leadership was was driven into exile in Pakistan in 2001, Mullah Mansour became central to the group’s reincarnation as a powerful insurgency that survived NATO offensives to pose a grave threat now to the Western-backed Afghan government.
Details of his rise, filled in through interviews with current and former Taliban commanders, Western and Afghan officials, paint a portrait of an insurgent leader with a distinct flair for intrigue.
As acting leader of the Taliban over the past few years, he closely kept the secret that Mullah Omar had been dead since 2013...
Posted by Cabecilha at 6:32:00 PM