Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Taliban sources told NBC News that Omar lived in Zabul Province most of the time after 2001, although he also hid in nearby Uruzgan. They said he got much of his news from the BBC's Pashto service — which uses the language spoken many people in Afghanistan.
"He used to sit in the sun and there was a small garden where he would spend some time,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment.
NBC News was unable to independently verify the Taliban's claims. However, Dutch journalist Bette Dam recently unveiled research suggesting Omar lived near a U.S. base in Afghanistan, and never hid in Pakistan.
Dam described what she calls a "staggering U.S. intelligence failure" in her book "Op Zoek Naar De Vijand (Searching for an Enemy)," according to a summary of the work published this week. She says she spent five years interviewing Taliban members.
"After 2001, Mullah Omar never stepped foot in Pakistan, instead opting to hide in his native land — and for eight years, lived just a few miles from a major U.S. Forward Operating Base that housed thousands of soldiers," she wrote.