Mohammad Nabi Omari: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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(U.S. Department of Defense)

Mohammad Nabi Omari was born in Metakham Village in the Khowst Province of Afghanistan in 1968. According to U.S. Department of Defense documents from Guantanamo Bay released by Wikileaks, Omari is identified as a senior Taliban official.

As of 2008, he was classified as being of high risk to the U.S. and its allies, a high threat to detention personnel, and of high intelligence value to the United States and its interests.

Here’s what you need to know about this former detainee, one of five Taliban prisoners released in a swap for U.S. POW Bowe Bergdahl:

1. He Was a High-Ranking Taliban Official With Ties to al-Qaida

In his 2008 Department of Defense file, Mohammad Nabi Omari is identified as a “senior Taliban official” who had strong ties to anti-U.S. militias including al-Qaida, the Afghan insurgent group known as the Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.

Omari allegedly also managed weapons caches and helped smuggle weapons into the region.

2. He Fought the Soviets in the 1980s

Mohammad Nabi afghanistan

Afghan resistance fighters shown in a file photo dated November 17, 1981, in unknown location in Afghanistan. (Getty)

Omari was born in the Afghan Khowst province, but fled with his family to Pakistan in 1984 to escape the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. During the 1980s, the Department of Defense noted that Omari returned to Afghanistan to fight in the U.S.-baked mujahideen against the Soviets. During this time the CIA was purchasing Soviet-looking weapons from Egypt and China and transported them into Pakistan.

He and his family officially moved back to Afghanistan in 1992 where he served for two years as a police officer and 2 years as a farmer before joining the Taliban.

3. He Was Arrested After Being Lured by an Invitation From an ‘American Friend’

On September 14, 2002, the Governor of Khowst, Omari’s home province, sent a message informing him that his “American friend” wanted to meet him at the old Khowst airport. When Omari arrived at the airport he was reportedly arrested. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay on October 28, 2002.

4. While in Guantanamo, He Had 37 Disciplinary Infractions, Including Throwing Cups of Feces at a Guard’s Face

Guantanamo inmates photos


At Guantanamo Bay, Omari’s behavior has been categorized as “non-compliant and semi-hostile toward the guard force and staff.” Between October 2002 and January 2008, Omari had 37 reports of Disciplinary Infraction including participating in mass disturbances, threats, attempted suicide, and possession of drugs.

In March 2007, he was cited for assault after throwing a cup of feces which struck a guard’s face.

5. He’s One of the 5 Taliban Affiliates Traded for Bergdahl



U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and held until May 31, 2014, when he was turned over to the United States. After he was safe, President Obama revealed that his release was part of a negotiation with the Taliban that necessitated the United States release five requested Taliban affiliates from Guantanamo Bay. They are Mohammad Fazl, Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Khairullah Khairkhwa. They were brought to Qatar and released on June 1.

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