Taliban: We knew Harry was in Afghanistan; British journo: Yeah, they did

The problem, of course, is that both sides have a motive in wanting this to be true, the Brits to make Harry look that much more heroic and the jihadis to suggest they can penetrate even royal secrets.

The Taliban was aware that Britain’s Prince Harry was on active army duty in Afghanistan and was looking to “take him out,” according to a longtime royals watcher.

Robert Jobson, author and Royal Correspondent for the London Evening Standard said on The Early Show Monday that the Taliban learned of Harry’s presence by late last year, and hoped to “take him out and have all the publicity that would go with that.”

Would they really have left Harry out there dangling if they thought the Taliban had a bounty on him? C’mon.

[T]alking to newsweek via satellite phone from that region last week, deputy commander Mullah Abdul Karim recalled getting an urgent message from Taliban intelligence in late December or early January that “an important chicken” had joined British troops in his area of operations. Karim promptly sent his men hunting for the prince. “He is our special enemy,” says Karim. “Our first option was to capture him as a prisoner, and the second, to kill him.”

The prince traveled around the province with his unit, says Karim, whose men once or twice reported possible sightings of Harry’s armored convoy in their area of operations, eastern Helmand’s Sanguin district. But Karim and his fighters never got close to their target…

U.S. and British intelligence officials are highly skeptical about the Taliban commander’s story, dismissing it as propaganda and “wishful thinking.”

They’ve got a motive to dismiss it, though, haven’t they? Like Newsweek says, surely the mujahedeen have people on the inside, i.e. translators, maintenance staff, etc., to tip them when VIPs are in the neighborhood; that’s how they allegedly knew to hit Bagram last year when Cheney was in town for a one-day visit (or perhaps not). But if that’s so, wouldn’t they have coopted one of those guys to attempt a hit on a fish as big as Harry? They had 10 weeks to get it done. Why the foot-dragging?