NATO Officials Say They Were Briefed On Russian Bounties On US Soldiers
Three NATO officials have confirmed that they were briefed on intelligence revealing that Russia was offering cash bounties for the deaths of US personnel in Afghanistan, according to Business Insider.
- The White House has claimed that they were not aware of the matter, as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnamy said that neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had been briefed on the intelligence.
- Over the weekend, “Trump tweeted that US intelligence ‘did not find this info credible’ and did not report it to him or Pence, calling the Times report ‘possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax.’"
- In contrast, the three NATO officers stated that they were briefed by US intelligence, with one saying:
"We were briefed [by the Americans] on a potential threat to our troops in Afghanistan from operatives potentially linked to the Russian intelligence services. There is no indication that our troops — or any non-US NATO troops — have been targeted in these attacks, but all NATO services with casualties in Afghanistan over the past two years are currently checking for any connections."
- Insider reported that the intelligence “had been a closely-held secret for several months, until US officials began briefing UK and other European allies last week.”
The US is currently investigating multiple attacks against US troops in Afghanistan.
- One intelligence official, who is from Western Europe, revealed that there is evidence of Russian operatives in Afghanistan who have links to Unit 29155, a secretive Russian military intelligence group.