Mullah Mohammad Fazl: A Short Biography of One of the Taliban Five

ALIASES: Mohammad a Fazl, Mullah Fazl Ahmad, Mullah Fazl Mazloom, Haji Fazl

DOB: January 1, 1967, Charchno, Afghanistan

Citizenship: Afghanistan,

Risk Level: HIGH, likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies

Intelligence Value: HIGH

Rank/Position: Deputy Defense Minister, chief of staff of Taliban Army, Commander of 10th Division

Education: Rabinyah Madrassa

Incarcerated: January 11, 2002

Released: May 31, 2014


  • al-Qaeda
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  • Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
  • Anit-Coalition Militia
  • Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar


  • War Crime – murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan
  • Possibly involved in killing of Iranian diplomats
  • Massacres in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan
  • Protected a murderer accused of mass murder.
  • Brokered deals and passed communication between Taliban and extremist groups.
  • Narcotics trafficking


During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Fazl and his mother moved to a refugee camp in Pakistan. While there, he received six years of religious training at Rabinyah Madrassa. After leaving, Mullah Abdul Ghafar encouraged Fazl to join the Taliban, which was just starting. Fazl left and went to Kandahar to join the movement. His first assignment was as a solider in Kandahar.

In 1996, Fazl commanded 100 troops. From 1999 to 2001, he commanded around 3,000 troops and participated in hostilities toward the Northern Alliance. Soon after this, he became the Taliban Chief of Army Staff and Commander of the 10th Division.

In November 2001, Fazl turned himself in to Northern Alliance Commander General Dostum. The General was paid $500,000 to make sure that Fazl received safe passage to prison. Fazl was detained in Afghanistan until late December of that year. In January 2002 Fazl was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The US hoped to glean information regarding Taliban personnel and Taliban order of battle from Fazl. The US also hoped to get more information regarding the Mazar-e-Sharif prison uprising, the assassination of Iranian diplomats and training, motivation, recruitment, leadership and networks of terrorists.

Since his detainment, the Taliban has used Fazl’s name and capture in recruitment campaigns. Fazl, while in prison, fostered anti-US sentiment among the prisoners.

On May 31, 2014, Fazl, along with four other Taliban detainees, was traded for an American POW, Bow Bergdahl. The Emir of Qatar has been credited for his efforts to secure this deal between the US and the Taliban. Fazl, along with the other four, will be under Qatari control for at least one year, forbidden to leave the country.

Since the release of Fazl and the other four men, a government watch agency (the GAO) came out with a report stating that the Obama administration had acted illegally by not notifying Congress in advance of the exchange. It is currently unclear how this will affect US law or the administration.

Source by L. Murray

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