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Fake Afghan negotiator incident "stigma on forehead of Americans, allies": Taliban

December 2, 2010 - Kabul

The Taliban have mocked NATO by praising the 'impostor', who reportedly duped British intelligence agents into believing that he was Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement, and took part in the Afghan reconciliation talks in exchange for 'a lot of money'.

In a statement posted on its website, the Taliban said that the episode had become "a stigma on the forehead of the Americans and their allies," The Daily Times reported.

The imposter exposed the US' position towards talks with the terrorist group, the statement added, repeating the Taliban's stance that it would not negotiate till "Afghanistan remains under occupation."

Last month, American officials had confirmed that they had given up hope that the Afghan was Mansour, or even a member of the Taliban leadership, according to a newspaper report.

While some officials said that the man may simply have been a freelance fraud, posing as a Taliban leader in order to enrich himself, others were of the view that he may have been a Taliban agent, said the paper.

Others suspected that the fake Taliban leader, whose identity is not known, may have been dispatched by the Pakistani intelligence service, known by its initials, the ISI, the paper added.

A NATO member said that the impostor was "someone the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) groomed to delay and counter check us".


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