ALL NEWS

Washington Post: Russian bounties to Taliban fighters believed to result in deaths of US troops, intelligence assessments show

Jun 29, 2020, 6:30 AM
In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, a US military Chinook helicopter lands on a field outside the ...
In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, a US military Chinook helicopter lands on a field outside the governor's palace during a visit by the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, and Asadullah Khalid, acting minister of defense of Afghanistan, in Maidan Shar, capital of Wardak province. - A skinny tangle of razor wire snakes across the entrance to the Afghan army checkpoint, the only obvious barrier separating the soldiers inside from any Taliban fighters that might be nearby. (Photo by THOMAS WATKINS / AFP) / To go with 'AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT-MILITARY-US,FOCUS' by Thomas WATKINS (Photo credit should read THOMAS WATKINS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read THOMAS WATKINS/AFP/Getty Images)

    (CNN) — Russian bounties offered to Taliban militants in Afghanistan to kill US or UK troops there are believed to have resulted in the deaths of multiple US troops, the Washington Post reported Sunday, citing US intelligence gathered from military interrogations.

Multiple people familiar with the matter told the Post it is not clear how many US troops may have been killed as a result of the bounties.

CNN previously reported that Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence agency GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, according to a European intelligence official. The official told CNN the incentives offered by the Russians had, in their assessment, led to Coalition casualties, which would be service members’ deaths or injuries. The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries.

There was discussion as far back as February and March in the US intelligence community and among the top military commanders about the Russian operation to assess the intelligence and what exactly was happening, a US official told CNN on Sunday. There were some efforts at protecting US forces because of the intelligence, the source also said.

The New York Times first reported on Friday that US intelligence concluded months ago that Russian military intelligence offered the bounties, amid peace talks. President Donald Trump was briefed on the intelligence findings and the White House’s National Security Council held a meeting about it in late March, according to the New York Times, citing officials briefed on the matter.

Trump, however, has repeatedly denied receiving a briefing about intelligence that Russians had tried to bribe Taliban fighters to kill US troops.

“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP,” he claimed in a Sunday evening tweet.

But John L. Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told the Times on Sunday night, “The veracity of the underlying allegations continues to be evaluated.”

Earlier Sunday, the President had tweeted that “there have not been many attacks” on US troops by Taliban fighters as evidence that the reported intelligence may be “phony.”

His tweet went a step further than a Saturday statement from the White House in which press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not deny the validity of the report, but instead said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed “on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, on Friday denounced the Times report as “baseless allegations” that have led to death threats against Russian diplomats in Washington and London. The Taliban also rejected the report.

There have been more than 2,400 total deaths of US service members since the start of America’s longest war in 2001. Last year was the deadliest in five years for the US in Afghanistan, with 23 service members killed during operations in the country in 2019.

This story has been updated with additional background and a tweet from the President.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

chronic wasting Utah...
Adam Small

DWR wants to test deer kills for chronic wasting disease

Though chronic wasting disease isn't prevalent in Utah animals, wildlife officials say they want to keep ahead of potential problems.
14 hours ago
Sgt. Elvin L. Phillips pictured. He's a World War II soldier, his burial will be in Bluffdale....
Amie Schaeffer and Samantha Herrera

Fallen World War II solider identified 78 years after his death, burial planned in Bluffdale

Using DNA analysis, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency was able to identify a World War II solider and he is now being returned home for burial.
14 hours ago
salt lake shooting arrest...
Simone Seikaly

Teen arrested, suspected of aggravated murder in Salt Lake City

The suspect in a fatal shooting on Sept. 10 was arrested in West Jordan after a search warrant pointed to his whereabouts.
14 hours ago
pig poop power...
Elizabeth Weiler

Nations largest pig farm exposed, two face criminal charges

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A jury selection is underway after two activists filmed their theft of dying piglets from Utah’s Circle Four Farm in an attempt to save them.  Advocates are calling it a landmark case to establish the “Right to Rescue” animals in distress.  Animal rights activists Paul Darwin Picklesimer and a former Northwestern […]
14 hours ago
Sprinkler watering lawn pictured. Drought water conservation made improvements this year....
Chris Jacobs

Water levels indicate that Utah’s water conservation efforts are working

The Division of Water Resources reported that drought conditions are lower than last year and water conservation has maintained consistent water levels.
14 hours ago
Taylorsville police have increased presence in the area (FILE PHOTO: KSLNewsRadio)...
Elizabeth Weiler

Attempted kidnapping of a minor near a Taylorsville school

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Police are investigating an attempted kidnapping case that occurred on Thursday, Sept. 29. just outside Bennion Jr. High School.  According to Taylorsville Police Department, the 11-year-old was walking home from school when she was approached by a man. The suspect, who was on foot, tried to get the girl to go with […]
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Washington Post: Russian bounties to Taliban fighters believed to result in deaths of US troops, intelligence assessments show