PortandTerminal.com, June 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – Business Insider reported today that three NATO officials say they had been briefed on intelligence that Russian operatives were secretly offering cash bounties to Taliban-linked militants for US casualties in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump has claimed that he nor Vice President Pence were briefed on the matter and has dismissed news reports on the intelligence as a “possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax.”
The intelligence was first reported Friday in The New York Times and has since been widely confirmed.
The revelation that US intelligence had briefed the White House on the Taliban bounties had been a closely-held secret for several months, until US officials began briefing UK and other European allies last week.
Three NATO military officials told Business Insider on Monday they had been briefed by US intelligence of the potential threat, with two of them saying they were given the briefing about one week ago. None of the three officials have permission to be named in the press, but their identities are known to Insider.
“We were briefed [by the Americans] on a potential threat to our troops in Afghanistan from operatives potentially linked to the Russian intelligence services,” one NATO military intelligence official told Insider on Monday.
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