Support The Moscow Times!

Bank Transfers Bolstered U.S. Suspicions of Russia-Taliban Bounty – NYT

The reports come as President Donald Trump tries to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and end America's longest war. Saifurahman SafiXinhua / Zuma / TASS

U.S. officials have intercepted data showing financial transfers between a Russian military spy unit and Taliban-linked accounts, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing three unnamed officials familiar with the intelligence.

The alleged intercepts bolstered U.S. intelligence conclusions, also reported by the NYT, that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan. Both Russia and the Taliban have denied the claims.

The U.S. intercepts showed large financial transfers from a bank controlled by Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, the NYT reported.

“Analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program,” the newspaper wrote.

The GRU has been linked to assassination attempts in Europe including the 2018 poisoning attempt on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.

Afghan officials reportedly corroborated the intelligence, saying Afghanistan has arrested 13 suspected middlemen between the GRU and Taliban-linked militants in the past six months and seized $500,000 in cash from one of their homes. 

Trump administration officials have briefed several House Republicans on intelligence that both supports and undermines the conclusion that Russia was running a covert bounty operation, two anonymous officials were quoted as saying.

The NYT reported that at least two deadly attacks linked to the alleged bounties were under scrutiny, one of which killed three Marines in April 2019. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more