Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. AP Photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Mullah Mohamed Omar, the leader of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan—known more commonly as the Afghan Taliban—has issued a fatwa declaring pledges of allegiance to the self-styled “caliphate” of the Islamic State forbidden in Islamic law, multiple regional news agencies have reported.
Omar, who got his start fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan, referred to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a “fake caliph,” and said “Baghdadi just wanted to dominate what has so far been achieved by the real jihadists of Islam after three decades of jihad. A pledge of allegiance to him is ‘haram.’” The Iranian Tanbak news agency quoted parts of the fatwa Monday.
Also according to Tanbak, last week a group of 12 former Taliban members were executed for their “betrayal” after they pledged loyalty to ISIS.
Baghdadi has previously referred to Omar as an “uneducated” person who “lacks all values of a spiritual and political leader.”
The feud between the two jihadi organizations may stem from a well-covered row between Al-Qaeda and its former franchise ISIS, which previously styled itself Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Omar is believed to still be close to Al-Qaeda, and his Taliban harbored former Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and his deputies in the run-up to the 2001 9/11 attacks.