Mullah Norullah Noori: A Short Biography of One of the Taliban Five

ALIASES: Mullah Nuri, Noor Muhammad, Noorudeen, Hafiz Noorullah

DOB: January 1, 1967, Shajoie, Zabul Province, Afghanistan

Citizenship: Afghanistan,

Risk Level: HIGH, likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies

Intelligence Value: HIGH

Rank/Position: Senior Taliban Military Commander, Taliban governor for the Balkh and Lagman provinces


Incarcerated: January 11, 2002

Released: May 31, 2014


  • Close ties to Taliban leader Mullah Omar
  • Senior Taliban Officials
  • Senior al-Qaeda members
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  • Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
  • Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin


  • Engaged in hostilities against US and Coalition Forces in Zabul Province
  • War Crimes – murder and torture of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Northern Afghanistan
  • Passed communications between Taliban and al-Qaeda


Noori grew up in Shajoie and learned to read and write at the mosque in his village. His father was an imam atht he mosque and Noori’s education earned him the title “Mullah.” While in Zabul Province, Noori worked on his father’s land and also as a tailor.

In 1995, Noori fought alongside al-Qaeda.

In March 1999, Noori left home to go to Kabul in order to join the Talibam. He met with Mullah Yunis at the security base and one month later began working for Governor Malawi Kabir in Jalalabad. He worked as Kabir’s guard and did housework.

In December 1999, Kabir sent Noori to Baghlan and told him to work for the local governor, Mullah Abdul Bari. In February 2000, Noori went to Mazar-e-Sharif to work for the governor. After 8 months, Noori was named governor. Noori’s responsibilities included mediating civil disputes and performing security duties.

On November 17, 2001 Noori turned himself in to US forces. He was sent to Guantanamo Bay on January 11, 2002. He was considered a high value asset because of the biographical information he had on Taliban leaders.

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

Since the release of Noori and the other four men, a government watch agency (the GAO) came out with a report stating that the Obama administration had acted illegally by not notifying Congress in advance of the exchange. It is currently unclear how this will effect US law or the administration.

Source by L. Murray