When I lived in Pakistan I was frequently (three times maybe) offered the real story about the location of Mullah Omar. He was hiding in plain sight in Karachi selling potatoes from a handcart, I was told by people very clearly convinced it was true and by some people who clearly thought it was toss.
They never knew quite where. Or whether he favoured the Maris Piper or the Golden Wonder. So I never wrote the story. But now the fella is dead (as far as we know) I guess we can write pretty much anything we like. Like this from my old pal Tom Hussain for McClatchy
After fleeing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar took refuge in Pakistan’s densely populated southern port city of Karachi.
His cover? Potato trader in a downtown market.
For nearly three years, according to senior Pakistani intelligence operatives and a former Taliban government minister, Mullah Omar, among the most wanted men in the world, worked among the vegetable purveyors in low-end marketplaces in crowded Karachi.
Personally, with all this confusion about Mullah Omar being alive or dead, I’m starting to see it like one of those sad tales you see in the papers. He was actually slumped in front of the TV for two years, dead, with junk mail piling up in the hallway. No-one realised anything until the neighbours complained about the smell.