NY Times: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.

Charlie SavageEric SchmittMichael Schwirtz

By Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz

  • June 26, 2020Updated 4:35 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

This is real bad news to hear. I am not sure if it is being reported elsewhere yet. I guess, intelligence knew this for some time, months?

Just the NY Times and breaking news… quite upsetting if true. I am sure, Russia would never admit to this.

Trump invited Russia back into the G7 while knowing they were literally putting bounties on our troops.

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This is potentially a huge story. Trump says he wasn’t briefed by intelligence, Pence, or anybody else. Either they feared his reaction or he is lying. If Trump is lying, had the information, and did not follow up, this is tantamount to treason. We’ll have to see how this story develops.

Despite Trump’s admiration for Putin, it’s hard to believe he would pay no heed to something like this, so I’m hoping he was not informed. But then one must ask why not, and intelligence is bankrupt.

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It is being reported it is the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, that was behind this.

But I thought it was Russia that was behind the Trump administration…?

No more than the US would admit its involvement in similar dodgy undertakings.

These are the same people who are responsible for the poisoning of Russian ex-spies in the U.K.

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…'s non-response to this. It probably is.

I have a feeling this might be a game-changer.

Joyce Karam, adjunct professor at George Washington University, works for the newspaper “The National” out of UAE I think… but she writes tonight:

AP: White House was briefed on #Russia bounties in Afghanistan in March * 2019 * . Bolton confirmed to colleagues he briefed Trump then. NYT says item was also in Trump’s written briefing in Feb. 2020

What’s significant:

• US intel high confidence in info to include in WH briefings
• Bolton knew
• Confirms Trump not big on reading his daily briefings
• Continuing threat from Russian bounties in 2019, 2020

  • this story is not going away anytime soon

Here’s Joyce’s twitter: https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam

She really is pretty good and no plug for liberal NPR here but she is a guess panelist sometimes on a show on NPR. It may only be on Fridays. I don’t listen enough but I have heard her enough on it. She’s pretty informed. I would not think of her as a leftist.

So, not good news. We will have to see what is next.

On what planet would intelligence not tell Trump about this? He’s the commander in chief. He needs to know. There is no excuse not to tell him.

The fact that he hasn’t said anything about it since the story broke is also very telling. Even if he came out and said that he had heard it, intelligence wasn’t sure it was true, but, golly, if it is true, Russia is going to have hell to pay, that would be the minimum response I would expect out of a US President. Trump can’t even do that.

Now, tell me again how Biden is deteriorating mentally, because that never gets old when you compare him to Trump.

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it is said he was given the information in his daily breifing report. but we have a president that doesn’t like to read. I can believe he never read it.


“Over the past several days, the New York Times and other news outlets have reported on allegations regarding our troops in Afghanistan,” O’Brien said in a statement. “While we do not normally discuss such matters, we constantly evaluate intelligence reports and brief the President as necessary.”

“Because the allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the Intelligence Community, President Trump had not been briefed on the items. Nevertheless, the Administration, including the National Security Council staff, have been preparing should the situation warrant action,” he added.

O’Brien also excoriated the intelligence leak, saying, “To those government officials who betray the trust of the people of the United States by leaking classified information, your actions endanger our national security. No matter the motivation, there is never a justification for such conduct.”

So, whether he knew or not back in February or March, now he knows - so what does he plan to do about it?


He’s waiting for Putin to verify it.

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Still clinging to that after lawyers, millions of dollars found nothing. Wow, what a statement.

Let’s see, we kicked Russian diplomats out of the country, we’ve campaigned against that oil pipeline. Nord Star or whatever it’s called.

In fact, our US soldiers seem to be moving into Poland from Germany as well. To defend that country.


Ukraine is still a hot topic, I’m for Ukraine and their territorial integrity, Crimea is Ukraine…

All that said, there seems to be something funny with how events have unfolded. We need to know all.

What is your explanation for why Trump is ignoring and/or downplaying it.

If people are keeping stuff from him, he should be ranting and raving and firing them. If they are burying stuff so that they can CYA, but they know he won’t read it, see previous sentence. If the information is false, same reaction is expected.

This “I didn’t know business” starts to lose its believability after a while.


Also undercut by the fact that the U.S. intelligence agencies thought it was believable enough to alert their counterparts in the U.K. (whose soldiers are also serving in Afghanistan and were also targets of this Russian scheme).

Another theory I’ve seen floated is that the intelligence people did not show the president the reports because they were afraid it would anger him. Which I find absolutely incredible (in the sense of ‘how is this possible?’).

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The Russians must not be paying very well since they’ve only managed to kill two US Soldiers (God bless you, RIP) in almost 7 months. So, if Russia quit paying the Taliban, they would never kill another US Soldier?? Sure, this story sounds believable…

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