An intercept of large of amounts of funds being transferred from bank accounts owned by Russia’s military intelligence agency to an account linked to the Taliban was among the evidence American officials used to prove Russia paid bounties to have American and coalition troops killed in Afghanistan, The New York Times reports.
The Times quotes three unnamed officials it says are familiar with the intelligence.
This is not the first time Russia has provided aid to the Taliban, but other evidence led them to the conclusion these transfers were related to bounties that detainees had told them about during interrogations.
Officials had earlier disagreed on the reliability of the information obtained during the interrogations, but the transfers and other data gave them credence, the Times reported.
The paper also noted the “disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump.”
Two officials have said the intelligence was given to the president in his daily written brief. But Trump has said he does not read the brief and relies on a verbal summary.
Afghan officials also this week talked about several businessmen who were arrested over the past months suspected of being go-betweens between the Russian GRU and Taliban. One man had a half-million dollars seized from his home, giving officials an early clue.