Rahmatullah Safi

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For other individuals named Rahmatullah, see Rahmatullah.

Brigadier General Rahmatullah Safi (born 1948) is a former Afghan army officer and mujahideen commander who fought during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He was later claimed to have been the representative of the Taliban movement in Europe.[1]

Formerly a colonel in the Royal Afghan Army, he trained an elite commando force of 1,600 men during the reign of king Zahir Shah. When Mohammed Daoud Khan took power, he left Afghanistan for England. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, he joined the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, a mujahideen party led by Pir Sayyed Ahmed Gailani.[2]

As a mujahideen commander, Rahmatullah Safi was based in Peshawar, and operated in Paktia and Kunar provinces, taking part in the 1986 Zhawar fighting.[3] He was in charge of NIFA's training facilities, where he claimed to have trained some 8,000 mujahideen, possibly with British assistance.[2] In 1985 Safi led a delegation of mujaheddin to the United States, where the general spoke at colleges and universities in more than a dozen US cities.[4] Safi was hospitalized in Pittsburgh 1986 for a cardiac evaluations; his medical bills were paid by donations and the Committee for a Free Afghanistan.[5]

In 1998, Safi was living in London, England, but departed to Afghanistan along with Nabi Misdak to convince Mullah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden to foreign authorities.,[6] and he was considered the representative of the Taliban in Europe according to a United Nations Security Council press release.[1]

In 2004, Safi resigned his military commission and announced his intentions to run in the 2004 Afghan presidential election[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Press Release, AFG/131, SC/7028". United Nations Security Council. Retrieved May 10, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Cooley, John; Said, Edward (2002). Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. Pluto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-7453-1917-3. 
  3. ^ Isby, David (1989). War in a distant country, Afghanistan: invasion and resistance. Arms and Armour Press. p. 106. ISBN 0-85368-769-2. 
  4. ^ Bend Bulletin - Jan 19, 1985 Afghans Appeal for More Aid
  5. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Sep 3, 1986 Afghan Rebel Appeals for US Support
  6. ^ Newsweek: Mohammed Omar's Driver Says U.S. Soldiers Came Close to Finding Him; 'Man of the People' Fled His Kandahar Compound in Rickshaw, Slept in Basements
  7. ^ Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty