These top Taliban leaders are now running Afghanistan
The Taliban shocked the world by sweeping across Afghanistan in a matter of days, bringing an end to the 20-year-long war and gaining power once again. The group is now set to form an interim government. It remains unclear as to who will lead the administration. But here are the top Taliban leaders who may be the face of the new regime.
Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, Supreme Commander
Born in 1961, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is an Islamic legal scholar, seen as a spiritual guide for the movement. He was elected the Taliban's third supreme commander - the highest rank in the group, after his predecessor was killed in a US drone strike. In the 1990s, he worked as the head of the Sharia Courts. He hasn't been seen in public in years.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Deputy Leader
Abdul Ghani Baradar is the Taliban's political chief and the main public face of the group, who will likely head the new government. He had co-founded the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1994. He was arrested in Pakistan's Karachi city in a joint US-Pakistan operation and released in 2018. He oversaw the signing of troop withdrawal agreement with the United States in 2020.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, Deputy Leader
Sirajuddin Haqqani, 48, is a deputy leader of the group and the son of top mujahedeen figure Jalaluddin Haqqani. He leads the Haqqani Network, designated by the US as a terrorist organization, which was merged with the Taliban around 2016. He is said to oversee finances and military assets along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. His younger brother, Anas Haqqani, is also a key Taliban leader.
Mohammad Yaqoob, Military Leader
Mohammad Yaqoob is the son of the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar. He is said to be around 30 years old and is currently the leader of the group's military operations. He was reportedly educated in a seminary in Pakistan and now lives in Afghanistan. He is considered less dogmatic than his father, the one-eyed chief of the group who reportedly died in 2013.
Abdul Hakeem, Top negotiator
Abdul Hakeem is believed to be around 60 years old and considered close to the supreme leader Akhundzada. He was last year appointed as the new chief of the Taliban negotiating team in Doha, Qatar, where the group signed the historic troop withdrawal agreement with US officials. He also leads the Taliban's senior council of religious scholars.