Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers

nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/russian-bounties-afghanistan-intelligence.html

Analysts have used other evidence to conclude that the transfers were most likely part of an effort to offer payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence.

Though the United States has accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban before, analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program that detainees described during interrogations.

Investigators also identified by name numerous Afghans in a network linked to the suspected Russian operation, the officials said — including, two of them added, a man believed to have served as an intermediary for distributing some of the funds and who is now thought to be in Russia.

Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers
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