In recent days, there has been a great stir among US journalists that Russian GRU intelligence has offered Taliban-linked militants financial rewards for killing American and British soldiers. The US Secret Service bases its information on Russian payments in Afghanistan on records of money transfers between several bank accounts.
The US correspondents concluded that the accounts controlled by the Russian military intelligence GRU were leaving larger sums of money in dollars to accounts belonging to people connected to the Taliban.
This is stated in the continuation of its investigative reports by the New York Times. The letter wrote that one of the Afghans, who withdrew money from the accounts and then distributed it for attacks on American soldiers, is now apparently in Russia.
Afghan counter-intelligence, which arrested several people and obtained confessions from them, also obtained some information about the secret “rewards” program for NATO troops.
An extended havala system has also been used to transfer money in Muslim countries: in one place someone deposits cash at a banker or exchange office, and in another country his co-worker issues the same cash to the person for whom it is intended. Some Muslim countries reduced the system after 2001 to pressure from the United States, which complained that the scandals were used for money laundering and terrorist financing.
Both the Taliban and Russia deny the findings
Afghan police recently arrested a man they saw as a link between the Russian GRU and the Taliban. She found half a million dollars in cash with him. Russia denies paying Taliban militants to kill US troops. The Taliban also refused, saying he was not fighting to receive alms from abroad.
In the United States, reports of possible Russian rewards for killing US troops have sparked criticism of President Donald Trump. Opposition Democratic congressmen accuse him of sweeping the suspicion under the rug or at least paying no attention to it. Trump claims that no one told him about the suspicion, and added that he did not consider the report credible.
US troops are a major component of NATO’s international forces, which support the government and military in Afghanistan in the fight against the Taliban and other Islamist groups. In February, however, the United States concluded an agreement with the Taliban in Qatar to end the fighting and gradually withdraw all foreign troops from the country.
“If the allegations against Russia are credible, a fundamental response is needed,” Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, who broke up with the president last year, told Reuters. However, he did not say whether he himself believed that the accusations against Russia were substantiated. Reuters contacted four former US administration officials who, on condition of anonymity, said they considered the conclusions of the secret services on Russian support for the Taliban credible.
The imaginary Russia-Afghanistan-United States triangle has a complicated history. In 1979, during the Cold War and the Soviet-American rivalry, Moscow sent an army to Afghanistan to keep the communist regime in power in Kabul. The United States began financially helping the opposition, which Muslims from all over the world came to fight for. Among them is Osama bin Laden, the later leader of al-Qaeda.
The Soviet army withdrew in 1988, and in the mid-1990s the Islamist Taliban, supported and funded by Pakistan, began to take power.
The Taliban leadership made Afghan territory available to al-Qaeda, so after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, Afghanistan became the target of a US offensive. The Taliban were overthrown, but were never completely destroyed militarily.
Trump is pushing for an agreement with the Taliban on the grounds that the war has been going on for almost twenty years and that American troops need to be brought home.
Video: Four people died in an attack on a US convoy in Afghanistan