Islamabad: The Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar more commonly referred to as Mullah Omar lived in a ‘secret room’ near the bases of the US Army but the American troops failed to find him, a new book has claimed.
As per the book which exposes the embarrassing failure of US intelligence, Mullah Omar spent years living within walking distance of US bases in Afghanistan. The findings of the book, which have been published in the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal, state that the American troops once even searched the house where he was hiding but failed they could not find the secret room which was built for him where he was in hiding. The US had $10m bounty on Omar’s head after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The US had maintained that just like al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Omar was also in hiding in Pakistan.
The findings are part of a book written by Dutch journalist Bette Dam who has been reporting from Afghanistan since 2006. He worked on the biography – Searching for an Enemy – for more than five years which was published in Dutch last month. Its summary were published in English by the newly launched Zomia thinktank.
The report quotes Jabbar Omari who served as bodyguard to Omar after 2001.
In the initial years, Omar is said to have lived in the regional capital Qalat which was within walking distance of the Afghan governor’s compound, the area later chosen to house the main US base Lagman.
Omar reportedly stayed at Omari’s former driver’s house. It was a small house with a courtyard and adobe home which was concealed behind high walls. In this small house was a secret room in the corner angle of the L-shaped residential building. The entrance of this secret room was hidden behind what looked like a high cupboard on the wall.
As per the report, the US forces came close to finding Omar twice. Once when Omar was in the courtyard, they saw US soldiers nearby and hid behind a high pile of firewood. In a relief for Omar, the soldiers left without entering the courtyard .
The second close shave was when the US troops searched the house. They were unable to find the concealed entrance to the secret room where he hid.