The Taliban is denying reports that leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is dead. The announcement of his death was posted earlier on a website and disseminated via text message. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that the announcement was fake. He blamed U.S. intelligence agencies for hacking into the Taliban website and cell phones. Omar has led the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan since the U.S. and its allies invaded the country in October 2001. In recent months, there has been a spike of violence in the war-torn country, especially in areas where NATO troops are transferring security responsibilities to Afghan forces. The Taliban is reportedly targeting these areas to convince the local people that the Afghan forces are unable to protect them.