"Mawlawi" Hebatullah Akhundzadeh : Get to know the Emir of the Taliban movement

"Mawlawi" Hebatullah Akhundzadeh : Get to know the Emir of the Taliban movement

After the Taliban succeeded in seizing power again in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, the name of the movement's leader, Hebatullah Akhundzadeh, began to be heard a lot, and some began to wonder about the nature of the role he could play during the coming period.

Only one photo has been published of Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, the emir of the Afghan Taliban movement since he was chosen by the movement's Shura Council on May 25, 2016 following the assassination of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

After the Taliban succeeded in taking control of power again in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, the name of the movement's leader, Hebatullah Akhundzadeh, began to be frequented, and some began to wonder about the nature of the role he could play during the coming period?

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Hebatullah Akhundzadeh, the new leader of the Taliban Akhtar Mansour, the leader of the Taliban who did not live long Hebatullah Akhundzadeh "Mawlavi" .He was born on October 19, 1967, in Banjwayi District (southwest of Kandahar City), Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, and belongs to the Noorzai tribe.

Hebatullah Akhundzada lived his childhood in the confines of his family, as his father, Abdul Sattar, was the imam of a mosque there.

Hebatullah Akhundzada received his initial education at the hands of his father, and with his family he took refuge in Pakistan after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and completed his religious education there.

He bears the title of "Mawlawi", which is higher than the title of "Mullah", which was held by the founder of the Taliban movement, Muhammad Omar.

Akhundzada participated in the battles against the pro-Russian Afghan government led by Muhammad Nur Tarqi, which came to power in April 1978.

He fled Afghanistan to neighboring Pakistan, where he settled in the "Jungal Bir Alizai" refugee camp in the border province of Balochistan.

He spent the late 1980s fighting Russian forces and teaching the "Mujahideen" while fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

He is believed to be one of the founding members of the Taliban and was a close aide of Mullah Muhammad Omar.

- In 1996, the former Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, appointed him as head of a military court in Kabul, and he was known to be responsible for most of the Taliban's fatwas and for solving religious problems among the movement's members.

- According to the biography published on the official website of the Taliban movement "Voice of Jihad", Akhundzadeh succeeded in "restoring law and order" in the country, and his application of legal borders played a major role in this field.

- Following the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Akhundzadeh played an "active and leading" role in "reviving and organizing jihad" against the United States and the coalition forces in the war in Afghanistan, according to the movement.

Hebatullah Akhundzadeh sought refuge in southern Pakistan when the Taliban regime was overthrown following the US invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, and he assumed the leadership of a local mosque there, and was reappointed - after the movement's restructuring - as the "Qadi al-Qadi" of the Taliban Sharia courts.

July 30, 2005: He was appointed deputy to the group's new leader, (at that time) Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, after confirming the death of its founder and spiritual leader Mullah Muhammad Omar.

- According to the available information about Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzadeh, the man was more interested in judicial and religious issues than the art of war, until the assassination of his predecessor Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

May 22, 2015: Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, was killed in a US drone strike, near the city of Quetta in Balochistan province, southwest Pakistan, on the Afghan border.

May 25, 2016: His selection as the leader of the Taliban was announced by members of the "Ahl al-Hal wa al-Aqd Shura" in the Taliban movement (the movement's supreme command body).

"Prince of the Faithful"

- Immediately after the announcement of Zadeh's selection as the leader of the movement, he immediately pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the "Al-Qaeda" organization, and called him "the Commander of the Faithful", which helped Zadeh prove his credibility among the jihadists.


In one of his first public statements, Akhundzadeh said on July 30, 2016 that an agreement with the Afghan government is possible if it abandons its foreign allies, addressing it: “Your support and siding with the invaders is like the work of those hateful faces who in the past supported the British and the Soviets. The Taliban has a program to unite the country under Islamic law, and the doors of amnesty and forgiveness are open."

- In September 2016, the privately owned Afghan Shamshad TV reported that a dissident military group led by Maulvi Naqibullah Honar declared jihad against the Taliban after appointing Akhundzada as its leader, accusing him of taking this position by order of the Pakistani intelligence.

Akhundzadeh issued a statement on February 26, 2017, calling on Afghans to plant trees in Afghanistan, highlighting the importance of this in Islamic law.

On March 24, 2017, the "Islamic State" organization published a propaganda video entitled "At the Gates of Epic Battles", in which it described Akhundzadeh as a "Taliban tyrant".

A few months after the "Islamic State" video, on June 25, 2017, the branch of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent issued a document entitled "Code of Conduct" in which it outlined its ideology and priorities. He made it clear that he was obligated to pledge allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to Akhundzadeh, and that al-Qaeda's "most important goal" was to support the Taliban.

- The document states that Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia is fighting the enemies of the Taliban outside Afghanistan while at the same time it is fighting on its side inside the country, and it urges other jihadist groups to pledge allegiance to Akhundzada.

June 9, 2018: The Taliban movement led by Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzadeh agreed to a temporary ceasefire with the Afghan government, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (he fled to the UAE after the Taliban entered the capital) announced a ceasefire with the movement.

Doha agreement-

Under the leadership of Akhundzadeh, the Taliban signed a historic peace agreement with the United States in Qatar on February 29, 2020, and Akhundzada described the agreement as a "big victory" for the group.

The "Voice of Jihad" website issued a statement quoting Akhundzadeh, describing the peace agreement as a "great victory."

Akhundzada announced that the Taliban would pardon anyone who "participated in hostilities against the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) or anyone who has reservations about the Islamic Emirate."

March 20, 2020: Al-Qaeda issued a 3-page statement congratulating the Taliban on the latest peace agreement signed with the United States.

- The statement explicitly congratulated Akhundzadeh on the "historic victory", which it said "forced the United States to withdraw its occupying forces from Afghanistan and comply with the conditions dictated by the Taliban mujahideen."

May 20, 2020: The Taliban issued a lengthy letter, in which Akhundzadeh urged the United States to "move forward" towards implementing the agreement signed in Doha on February 29.

Akhundzadeh said in the statement: "The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) is committed to the agreement signed with America and urges the other party to respect its obligations and not allow this crucial opportunity to be wasted."

July 28, 2020: Akhundzadeh issued a statement on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, saying that the group was on the verge of "establishing a pure Islamic government," and explained that the Taliban had fulfilled its obligations under the peace agreement signed with the United States on February 29, and urged The United States insisted on showing "seriousness, interest and prudence" in the country's ongoing peace process.

February 14, 2021: The "Hasht Ai Sobh" news website reported that Hebatullah Akhundzadeh, the group's chief of intelligence affairs, Mullah Mutiullah, and the group's financial director, Hafez Abdul Majid, were all killed in an explosion in the Pakistani city of Quetta months ago.

February 24, 2021: Akhundzada issues a decree asking Taliban members to refrain from "punishing" people without a court ruling, and to avoid taking videos or photos of these punishments being applied.

- In a recent message to the "Voice of Jihad" website, Akhundzadeh warned the group's members against "arrogance" because of their recent gains.

Phone call with Trump.

July 25, 2021: Former US President Donald Trump (75 years old) recalled an alleged phone call between him and Taliban leader Hebatullah Akhundzadeh, but he could not remember his name and said: Let's call him "Muhammad".

Trump said, "During my presidency I spoke with the Taliban, specifically with the leader, let's call him 'Mohammed'. I said to him: Muhammad, we are leaving (Afghanistan) but we will come back and hit you harder."

Trump described Taliban leader Hebatullah Akhundzadeh as a rude person, even though he was trying to make himself a nice person.

August 18, 2021: Wahidullah Hashemi, who is close to the Taliban's decision-making body, tells the media that the movement's leader, Hebatullah Akhundzada, is likely to remain the supreme leader and to take power in Afghanistan by a governing council.

Hashemi said in an English press statement that Hebatullah Akhundzadeh will likely play a higher role than the speaker of the assembly and will be closer to the country's president, adding: "Perhaps his deputy (Akhundzadeh's deputy) will take the position (president of the assembly)."

The Supreme Leader of the Taliban has 3 deputies: Mawlawi Yaqub, son of Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful Haqqani network, and Abdul Ghani Barader, head of the Taliban's political office in Doha and one of the founding members of the movement.
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