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Trump was briefed that China sought to pay non-state actors to attack US forces in Afghanistan


The intelligence, which will be declassified by the #Trump administration, was provided to the #President in his daily brief on #December 17, the official said. #His national security adviser #Robert O’#Brien discussed the information with the #President that same day, the official said.

#Information of this alleged intelligence is thus far uncorroborated. The scenario is reminiscent of reports earlier this year that #Russia allegedly offered #Afghan militants bounties to kill US forces in #Afghanistan. #That information also appeared in the #President’s intelligence briefing although it was later revealed that the information likely went unnoticed for weeks.

#Trump has yet to publicly call #Russia out on the issue.

#While it’s unclear whether #President-elect #Joe #Biden has seen the intelligence, he would have had access to the same intelligence since he receives the #President’s #Daily #Brief.

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The #White #House and the #Biden transition team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNN reported in #June that #Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence agency GRU had recently offered money to #Taliban militants in #Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, according to a #European intelligence official. The official told CNN the incentives offered by the #Russians had, in their assessment, led to coalition casualties, which would be service members’ deaths or injuries. The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries.
A US official with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN at the time that there was intelligence indicating money was transferred, but it is not clear how verified the intelligence in question was or who exactly the representatives of this #Russian unit approached — top leaders or commanders of field units located to the coalition forces.
US intelligence had concluded months prior that #Russian military intelligence offered the bounties, amid peace talks, and #Trump was briefed on the intelligence findings and the #White #House’s #National #Security #Council held a meeting about it in late #March, according to the #New #York #Times, citing officials briefed on the matter.
#After the news broke in #June, #Trump denied receiving a briefing about the intelligence. #He tweeted that “there have not been many attacks” on US troops by #Taliban fighters as his evidence that the reported intelligence may be “phony” — a step further than an earlier statement from the #White #House in which press secretary #Kayleigh #McEnany did not deny the validity of the report, but instead said #Trump and #Vice #President #Mike #Pence were not briefed “on the alleged #Russian bounty intelligence.”
There was discussion as far back as #February and #March in the US intelligence community and among the top military commanders about the #Russian operation to assess the intelligence and what exactly was happening, a US official told CNN in #June. There were some efforts at protecting US forces because of the intelligence, the source also said.

#This is a breaking story and will be updated.

CNN’s #Paul #LeBlanc, #Nick #Paton #Walsh, #Veronica #Stracqualursi, #Radina #Gigova, #Barbara #Starr, #Devan #Cole and #Sarah #Westwood contributed to this report.



[ source link ]
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/30/politics/china-us-forces-afghanistan/index.html

##Trump #briefed ##China #sought #pay #nonstate #actors #attack #forces ##Afghanistan

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