Asian Newsmaker of the Year

Half my country was destroyed by 23 years of war," Mullah Mohammed Omar told TIME earlier this year. "If the remaining half of Afghanistan is destroyed in trying to save (Osama) bin Laden, I am ready." He had no illusions, therefore, about the choice he and his country faced after Sept. 11. His improbable rise to power began in 1994, after he emerged from anonymity armed with the militancy of his faith and a twisted sense of divine mission. Today, however, with his ideology more closely linked to his patron than his Prophet, he is skirting oblivion, destined for a cell...

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