Images of the Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid when he was younger are evidence that he is actually a Pakistani operative.
A number of social media users have shared images of what they claim to be the Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid before he assumed his role. These posts have also claimed that Mujahid is actually working on behalf of the Pakistani government.
These posts have gained significant attention online. In fact, one post has managed to gain over 1,200 shares to date.
Misbar’s investigation found that the majority of the images being shared as Zabiullah Mujahid are in fact Pakistani actor Yasir Nawaz. Images of Nawaz in news outlets show that the person being shared on social media match those being shared as Zabiullah Mujahid, but dressed in more Western-style clothing.
One of the images appears to be neither Nawaz nor Mujahid. This is the individual in the top right of the composite image in the most popular Facebook post that we could find. We could not identify this individual.
Even if the images were of Zabiullah Mujahid before publicly assuming his role as the Taliban’s spokesperson, they would not necessarily indicate that he was a Pakistani government operative. Not much is known about Mujahid’s past. The New York Times has reported that he recently claimed that he is 43 and from the Pakita Province of Afghanistan. He also claims to have been educated in Pakistan.