Oops – NATO hands big bucks to shopkeeper posing as Taliban commander

“It sounds like the plot from a spy novel or James Bond film.

But NATO chiefs in Afghanistan have been severely embarrassed by a shopkeeper who fooled them into thinking he was a Taliban commander during secret peace negotiations.

Astonishingly, the ruse went on for two months, during which time the ‘contact’ was paid a substantial sum of money.

He was also flown on a British military plane to three meetings designed to end the insurrection.

Despite suspicions about his identity, nobody disputed his claim to be Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, one of the Taliban’s most senior leaders.

It was only months later — and after the handover of piles of cash to keep him coming back — that an old friend of Mr Mansour said they had the wrong man.

They now believe he was nothing more than a shopkeeper from the Pakistani city of Quetta.”


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