Taliban Fast Facts

Facts:Reclusive leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has led the Taliban since the early 1990s.

Taliban, in Pashto, is the plural of Talib, which means student.

Most members are Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.

The exact number of Taliban forces is unknown.

The group’s aim is to impose its interpretation of Islamic law on Afghanistan and remove foreign influence from the country.

August 8, 2012 – According to senior U.S. officials, in an effort to revive peace talks with the Taliban, the Obama administration has proposed a prisoner swap under which it would transfer five Taliban prisoners to Qatar in exchange for a U.S. soldier held by the Taliban. The new proposal involves sending all five Taliban prisoners to Qatar first, before the Taliban release Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The original offer proposed transferring the Taliban prisoners in two groups, with Bergdahl being released in between.

June 18, 2013 – An official political office of the Taliban opens in Doha, Qatar’s capital city. The Taliban announce that they hope to improve relations with other countries, head toward a peaceful solution to the Afghanistan occupation and establish an independent Islamic system in the country.

September 21, 2013 – Pakistan announces that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the founding members of the Taliban, has been released from prison. Baradar had been captured in Karachi, Pakistan in 2010.

May 31, 2014 – The United States transfers five Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. They are: Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari. It is believed he was being held by the Taliban and al Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network in Pakistan.

September 26, 2014 – A Taliban offensive in Ghazni province, Afghanistan leaves an estimated 100 civilians dead or wounded, including some women and children who were beheaded, according to a provincial deputy governor.