Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, Sgt. Benjamin Hines, and Cpl. Robert Hendriks were escorting a convoy to Bagram Airbase in April of 2019 when a Car Bomb blew up as they passed and not only killed them but injured 3 other Soldiers and 2 Contractors (damn Mercs deserve what they get).
As is SOP, an investigation ensued to identify the Terrorist Insurgents and bring them to Justice.
Or just vaporize them, their families, and any Goatherd unlucky enough to be within a Half Mile or so with an Airstrike, as well as those standing around in the way because they’re a nuisance.
It’s the United States way of making war.
In one of those Stopped Clock coincidences they may actually have found them this time.
White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019
By JAMES LaPORTA, Associated Press
June 30, 2020
The intelligence that surfaced in early 2019 indicated Russian operatives had become more aggressive in their desire to contract with the Taliban and members of the Haqqani Network, a militant group aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and designated a foreign terrorist organization in 2012 during the Obama administration.
The National Security Council and the undersecretary of defense for intelligence did hold meetings regarding the intelligence. The Pentagon declined to comment and the NSC did not respond to questions about the meetings.
Concerns about Russian bounties flared anew this year after members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000 in U.S. currency. The funds bolstered the suspicions of the American intelligence community that the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and other linked associations.
The intelligence in 2019 and 2020 surrounding Russian bounties was derived in part from debriefings of captured Taliban militants. Officials with knowledge of the matter told the AP that Taliban operatives from opposite ends of the country and from separate tribes offered similar accounts.
Everybody knows he can’t read. Yes, but…
The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.
So. HE WAS VERBALLY BRIEFED BY JOHN BOLTON! Kinda makes that argument a non starter. It’s in the part of the Bolton Book he Classified because it made him look like a Traitor who didn’t care about the Troops.
Let’s hear some more about those warnings.
Intelligence reports on Russian bounty operation first reached White House in early 2019
By Karen DeYoung, Shane Harris, Ellen Nakashima and Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post
June 30, 2020
Intelligence provided by captured Afghan militants suggested the bounty operation was in existence as far back as 2018, according to three people familiar with the matter, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.
Intelligence analysts believe that the bounties probably resulted in the deaths of three Marines killed in April 2019 when the vehicle they were traveling in was blown up just outside Bagram, the main U.S. air base in Afghanistan, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, which U.S. officials say ran the bounty program, was known to have been given a relatively free hand to engage in operations to rattle the Americans, according to several people familiar with administration assessments.
At the same time, the Russians were believed to want revenge for a number of perceived American transgressions, particularly against Russian interests in Syria. Among them were U.S. air and artillery strikes in February 2018 on forces in Syria that included members of the Wagner Group, a mercenary force run by a Russian businessman close to Putin that includes former members of Russian military and intelligence units. The U.S. strikes killed hundreds of attackers.
What did I tell you about Mercs?
But in February of this year, after discoveries of questionable militant cash flows and the interrogation of prisoners in Afghanistan, information again made its way to the NSC. In late March, after a restricted, high-level meeting at the White House, the CIA was tasked with assessing it.
CIA analysts determined that the information was credible and showed a Russian plot to target U.S. and coalition forces, current and former officials familiar with the matter said. One former official said that there was a significant amount of intelligence and that it left little doubt among those examining it that Russia was targeting American forces.
The National Security Agency, which examines intercepted communications, took a more skeptical view of the 2020 information and the credibility of the underlying sources, people familiar with the information said. But some said the disagreements between the NSA and the CIA have been overstated by Trump administration officials.
Potentially important intelligence is traditionally shared with the president and senior officials before it has been fully vetted, assessed and subjected to the scrutiny of several intelligence agencies, a former official said.
The 2020 information was deemed credible and significant enough to be included this spring in the President’s Daily Brief, which is produced for the president and shared with top aides. In May, it was converted for broader distribution in The Wire, a regular CIA compendium of intelligence reports, which may be accessed by other agencies as well as certain congressional officials, people familiar with the matter said.
Is this Benghazi!, BENGAHZI!, BENGAHZI!!!?
Alas probably not. Twenty Two hours of hearings about not passing a Military Miracle achievable only by using Transporters (Anytime now Scotty).
But I am more convinced than ever that Unindicted Co-Conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio is an Agent of Influence of the Rossiyskaya Federatsiya and a Traitor to the United States of America.
Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers
By Charlie Savage, Mujib Mashal, Rukmini Callimachi, Eric Schmitt, and Adam Goldman, The New York Times
June 30, 2020
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.
The intercepts bolstered the findings gleaned from the interrogations, helping reduce an earlier disagreement among intelligence analysts and agencies over the reliability of the detainees. The disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, the information was provided to him in his daily written brief in late February, two officials have said.
Afghan officials this week described a sequence of events that dovetailed with the account of the intelligence. They said that several businessmen who transfer money through the informal “hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan over the past six months and were suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen who operated between the Russian intelligence agency, known as the G.R.U., and Taliban-linked militants. The businessmen were arrested in what the officials described as sweeping raids in the north of Afghanistan as well as in Kabul.
A half-million dollars was seized from the home of one of the men, added a provincial official. The New York Times had previously reported that the recovery of an unusually large amount of cash in a raid was an early piece in the puzzle that investigators put together.
The Times reported last week that intelligence officials believed that a unit of the G.R.U. had offered and paid bounties for killing American troops and other coalition forces and that the White House had not authorized a response after the National Security Council convened an interagency meeting about the problem in late March.
Investigators are said to be focused on at least two deadly attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan. One is an April 2019 bombing outside Bagram Air Base that killed three Marines
Intelligence about the suspected Russian plot was included in the President’s Daily Brief in late February, according to two officials, contrasting Mr. Trump’s claim on Sunday that he was never “briefed or told” about the matter.
The information was also considered solid enough to be distributed to the broader intelligence community in a May 4 article in the C.I.A.’s World Intelligence Review, commonly called The Wire, according to several officials.
A spokesman for the Taliban has denied that they accepted Russia-paid bounties to carry out attacks on Americans and other coalition soldiers, saying that the group needed no such encouragement for its operations. But one American official said the focus had been on criminals closely associated with the Taliban.
In a raid in Kunduz City in the north about six months ago, 13 people were arrested in a joint operation by American forces and the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, according to Safiullah Amiry, the deputy provincial council chief there. Two of the main targets of the raid had already fled — one to Tajikistan and one to Russia, Mr. Amiry said — but it was in the Kabul home of one of them where security forces found a half-million dollars. He said the Afghan intelligence agency had told him the raids were related to Russian money being disbursed to militants.
Two former Afghan officials said Monday that members of local criminal networks had carried out attacks for the Taliban in the past — not because they shared the Taliban’s ideology or goals, but in exchange for money.
In Parwan Province, where Bagram Air Base is, the Taliban are known to have hired local criminals as freelancers, said Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of the province. He said the Taliban’s commanders are based in two districts of the province, Seyagird and Shinwari, and that from there they coordinate a network that commissions criminals to carry out attacks.
And Haseeba Efat, a former member of Parwan’s provincial council, also said the Taliban have hired freelancers in Bagram District — including, in one case, one of his own distant relatives.
“They agree with these criminals that they won’t have monthly salary, but they will get paid for the work they do when the Taliban need them,” Mr. Efat said.
I find it hard to believe the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation couldn’t find a more graceful way to transfer the money instead of a known GRU associated account but sometimes the Russians like to leave their fingerprints all over things (Polonium? Where do you get Polonium? Not from your Kiddie Chemestry Set) to send a message.