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Mullah Mohammad Omar and the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List

Rumours spun out of control on twitter when it was suggested that Mullah Mohammad Omar had been removed from the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.


  1. Pakistani blogs and media outlets appear to be the main source for a rumour that quickly picked up steam among twitter users, many of whom were Afghan journalists. See here, for example, with the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune's story:
  2. The initial spark this morning seems to have been a tweet by @RatebNoori:
  3. This was retweeted and then repeated by numerous Afghan users, many of whom didn't reference a news report or the FBI's list.
  4. This then picked up steam as others started retweeting, googling, and finding the original Pakistani media stories.
  5. Some journalists questioned the story.
  6. I used's Wayback Machine to check whether he had ever been on the list. I had a hunch that he hadn't ever been on that list. There was only one previous snapshot of the page, made on 14 May 2011, but Mullah Mohammad Omar wasn't on the list then.
  7. It was at this point that Tolo News, one of the biggest Afghan television stations, seems to have gone with the story.
  8. Twitter was still busily repeating the main claim.
  9. Some made jokes.
  10. Responding to the flood of tweets, @DanInKabul found the US government website 'Rewards for Justice' which clearly showed Mullah Mohammad Omar still has a $10 million reward on offer.
  11. On a separate page on their site they show Mullah Mohammad Omar clearly on a tier two listing for rewards offered.