Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa: One of the Taliban FIve

Laura MurrayStarred Page By Laura Murray, 24th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the five Taliban leaders traded for US citizen/soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Read his short biography in terrorism here.

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa

ALIASES: Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Wali Herat
DOB: 1967, Argastan, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Citizenship: Afghanistan, Popalzai tribe
Risk Level: HIGH, likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies
Intelligence Value: HIGH
Rank/Position: Governor of the Heart Province, Minister of Interior, Military Commander
Education: none
Incarcerated: May 1, 2002
Released: May 31, 2014


    * Usama bin Laden
    * Mullah Omar
    * President Hamid Karzai
    * Iran
    * Taliban Leadership
    * Al Qaeda Leadership
    * Afghan tribes


    * Represented the Taliban in meetings with Iranian officials looking to support hostilities against the Coalition Forces and to broker trade and diplomatic relations with Iran
    * Suspected of being associated with the training camp run by al-Qaeda commander Abu Musab al Zarqawi
    * Opium trafficker and drug lord
    * Represented Usama bin Laden at a meeting with HAMAS members


Khairkhwa grew up as a refugee in Pakistan. Although he had no formal education, he did study Islam in school. Until the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan, he was a leader in the Popalzai tribe. At this point he joined the Taliban and served in various positions because of his trustworthiness. He was a spokesman (1995-1996), Minister of Interior (1996-1999), and Governor of Heart Province (1999-2001). Khairkhwa claims that he took these positions in order to secure the safety of his tribe and denies knowledge of any terrorist activities.

Right before the 9-11 attacks, Mullah Omar told him that his relationship with Hamid Karzai was under scrutiny.

In October 2001, Khairkhwa met with Iranian officials who were offering to broker a coalition between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban to unite them against the US. Iran offered to allow Arabs to cross the border to fight.

When the Taliban lost control, Khairkhwa met with Karzai to discuss a position with the new government and to ask for personal safety. He met with several associates before his detention. He claims that he called Karzai’s brother to negotiate a surrender and a new government position. The next day, he was invited to Abd al-Manan’s house. Pakistan border patrol came to arrest al-Manan. He escaped and Khairkhwa was arrested instead. Pakistan held him 18 days before turning him over to the US.
Khairkhwa was taken to Guantanamo on May 1, 2002. The US was hoping to glean information regarding weapon shipments, Taliban leaders, demography, Iranian support, and Iranian intelligence capabilities. The US believes that Khairkhwa has detailed knowledge of the inner workings of the Taliban. Although he offered up information, none of it was sensitive, unique, or incriminating of himself or al-Qaeda.

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

Other Four

Mohammad Nabi Omari
Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Mullah Norullah Noori
Abdul Haq Wasiq

About the Author

With a Master of Strategic Intelligence and a BS in Political Science, Laura excelled as an analyst with the federal government and local government. She focused on issues of terrorism and crime and quickly became the subject matter expert in every office she worked in. Laura left government service to pursue a writing career. She currently works as the Senior Policy Analyst with Sussman Corporate Security in addition to her writing. Laura focuses on issue of military, terrorism, intelligence, and organized crime. To follow her writings, and/or to connect with her on social media, go to her website.


Afghanistan, Bowe Bergdahl, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Qatar, Swap, Taliban, Taliban Five, Terror, Terrorism, Trade

Meet the author

author avatar Laura Murray
My passions in writing are in Christian persecution and food/health. I also love to pursue topics in terrorism and intelligence as my experience and education are in these areas.

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
24th Oct 2014 (#)

very nice post i like it and thanks for sharing it with us.

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author avatar Retired
25th Oct 2014 (#)

You are a brave lady, Laura, for exposing this information to a public left in the dark about these things. Watch your back, darlin'; stay safe.

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author avatar Denise O
4th Jan 2015 (#)

Love your moxy, keep it up. I look forward to reading a lot more of your work. Thank you for sharing. :)

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