According to three familiar officials, U.S. officials intercepted electronic data that showed a large transfer of funds from a bank account controlled by Russian military intelligence to a Taliban-linked account, which proved their conclusion that Russia secretly provided the killing Evidence of bounty in the US and coalition forces in Afghanistan proves this. With intelligence.
Although the United States has previously accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban, analysts have concluded from other intelligence that this transfer is likely to be part of the bounty program described by the detainees during the interrogation.
The interception reinforced the findings gathered from the interrogation and helped to reduce earlier disagreements between the intelligence analysts and agencies regarding the reliability of detainees. These disclosures further weakened the White House official’s claim that intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, two officials said that he had provided him with this information in his daily written summary in late February.
Afghan officials this week described a series of incidents consistent with intelligence. They said that in the past six months, several businessmen who made remittances through the informal “Hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan and suspected to be a middleman circle operating between the Russian Intelligence Service (GRU) and the Taliban a part of. Militants. These businessmen were arrested for full-scale attacks in northern Afghanistan and Kabul.
A provincial official added that $500,000 had been confiscated from the home of one of the men. The New York Times had Previous reports said that recovering an unusually large amount of cash during a raid was an early part of the problem raised by investigators.
Three U.S. officials who described and confirmed details about the basis of the intelligence assessment spoke on condition of anonymity, when the Trump administration failed to authorize any response to Russian agents suspected of targeting the U.S. military and afterwards The situation that played down this issue was unclear and exposed four days ago.
Officials at the White House and the National Security Council and Director of the National Intelligence Agency, John Ratcliffe, declined to comment. They pointed out Mr. Ratcliffe’s speech later Monday; National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien; and the Pentagon’s top spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman. All of them said that the latest news reports on Afghanistan have not been confirmed.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was accused on Tuesday after this article was published, saying that reports based on “selective leaks” had damaged intelligence collection. She did not talk about or deny the facts about the intelligence assessment, saying that she would not disclose confidential information.
On Monday, the government invited several Republican House members to the White House to discuss intelligence. The briefing was mainly conducted by three Trump administration officials: Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. O’Brien, and Mark Meadows, director of the White House Office. Until recently, Mr. Meadows and Mr. Ratcliffe were Republican congressmen, known for their frank support for Trump.
That briefing focused on Two people familiar with the meeting said they supported intelligence information on Russia’s conclusion of the secret bounty operation and other information that did not support the operation. For example, the briefing section focused on the accounts of the detainees being questioned and the disagreements of early analysts.
Both sides said that the purpose of the briefing seemed to be to point out that the information about the Russian bounty program was not clear. A person familiar with the matter said that, for example, the White House also cited interrogations by Afghan intelligence officials on other detainees, degrading their credibility by describing them as low-level identities.
Two people familiar with the matter said that executive officials did not mention anything about intercepting data to track financial transfers in the House Republican briefing.
Democrats and Senate Republicans also received briefings at the White House on Tuesday morning. Democrats emerged, saying this is clearly not what Trump suggested, “mischief. “They asked for their opinions directly from intelligence officials, not from Trump’s political appointments, but they admitted that they did not guarantee such briefings.
According to the information they saw, lawmakers said that Trump was deeply disturbed by his insistence on not knowing the plot and the subsequent public confusion.
“In view of these public allegations, the president did not come to the United States and assured the American people that he will have a deep understanding of whether Russia is offering a reward to the US military. He will do everything he can. I feel inexplicable. He has the ability to ensure that we protect the US military.” Adam B. Schiff, representative of the California Democratic Party and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said.
He added: “I don’t understand why the President doesn’t say this to the American people right now, but relies on’I don’t know’,’I never heard it’,’I never briefed.” That is unforgivable. “
A person familiar with the matter said that Ratcliffe was scheduled to go to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet privately with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Times It was reported last week that intelligence officials believed that GRU had offered a bounty and paid a bounty for the killing of the US military and other allies; after the National Security Council called an inter-agency meeting on this issue in late March, the White House did not authorize Respond.
Investigators are said to focus on at least two fatal attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan. One was an explosion outside Bagram Air Force Base in April 2019 that killed three Marines: Chief of Staff. 43-year-old Christopher Slutman (Christopher Slutman), Newark, Delaware; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks and sergeant 25 years old in Locust Valley, New York State. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania
On Monday, Felicia Arculeo, the mother of Corporal Hendricks, told CNBC that she was upset to learn from news reports that suspected the death of her son from Russian bounty operations. She said she wanted to conduct an investigation and added: “Even if possible, the responsible party should be held accountable.”
Officials did not disclose that other attacks are being reviewed.
Mr. Trump claimed that he had not been provided with information, so he also regarded the intelligence assessment as “So-called“And claimed that he was told it was “Untrustworthy. The White House subsequently issued a statement in the name of several subordinates, denying it had informed him of the situation.
Ms. McKinney reiterated this statement on Monday and said that the information was not provided to Mr. Trump because of disagreements within the intelligence community.
But she and other government officials objected when they were forced to say whether their denial included the president’s daily written briefing. The intelligence brief is the most important summary of intelligence and analysis written by the intelligence community for the president to read. As we all know, Mr. Trump often neglects to read his written briefings.
The president’s daily briefing contains information about suspicious Russian conspiracies The two officials said that in late February, Mr. Trump’s request on Sunday He has never been “short or informed” about the matter.
According to several officials, the information was also deemed reliable enough to be distributed to the wider intelligence community in an article published on May 4 in the US Agency for International Cooperation’s “World Intelligence Review” (commonly known as “Wire”).
A Taliban spokesperson denied that they accepted the bounty provided by Russia and launched attacks on Americans and other coalition soldiers, saying the organization’s activities do not require such encouragement. But an American official said the focus has always been on criminals with close ties to the Taliban.
About six months ago, in an assault in the northern city of Kunduz, according to Safiullah Amiry, Deputy Governor of the Associated Press in Afghanistan, the United States Army and the Afghan Intelligence Agency’s National Security Agency 13 people were arrested in the joint operation. Amir said that the two main targets of the attack had fled, one to Tajikistan and one to Russia, but it was in one of their Kabul homes that the security forces found $500,000. He said that the Afghan intelligence agency told him that the assault was related to Russia’s dispersal of money among militants.
Two former Afghan officials said on Monday that members of the local criminal network had launched attacks on the Taliban in the past-not because they shared the Taliban’s ideas or goals, but to exchange money.
General Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of the province, said that in the province of Pawan where the Bagram Air Force Base is located, the Taliban have hired local criminals as freelancers. He said that the Taliban’s commanders were located in two parts of the province, Saiyag and New Warri, from where they coordinated the network and commissioned criminals to attack.
Haseeba Efat, a former member of the Parwan Provincial Assembly, also said that the Taliban have hired freelancers in the Bagram area, one of whom is his own distant relative.
Efate said: “They agree with these criminals that they have no monthly salary, but they will be paid when the Taliban need them.”
Last year, 20 US soldiers were killed in combat-related operations in Afghanistan, the most since 2014.
The report was contributed by Fahim Abed, Najim Rahim, Helene Cooper and Nicholas Fandos.