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U.S. Military Says It Suspected Taliban Imposter

U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen

U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen

The top U.S. military officer has told CNN that U.S. authorities had long suspected that a self-described Taliban leader was an imposter, even as he engaged with Kabul over reconciliation.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said he did not believe the imposter ever met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Mullen also rejected the suggestion of an intelligence breakdown, saying "the intel world actually tipped us in the right direction with respect to that."

"The New York Times" reported this week that a man it had described as a "Taliban leader," who it said had taken part in secret peace talks, was in fact an impostor.

It said the man met Karzai and was given "a lot of money."

compiled from agency reports