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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be searching for revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria wherein the American navy killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally recommended that the Russians could have been attempting to derail peace talks to maintain america slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter mentioned the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s navy intelligence company, identified broadly because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West via subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a 12 months earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the heart of Moscow’s covert efforts to intrude within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, often known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Celebration servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inner communications.

Partially as a result of these efforts had been aimed toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come below explicit scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to learn from it, however discovered inadequate proof to ascertain that his associates had engaged in any felony conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are usually far more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes embellished navy veterans with years of service, in some circumstances courting to the Soviet Union’s failed struggle in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been lively in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent times. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from america, and at occasions they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to deliver an finish to the battle.



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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be in search of revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria wherein the American army killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally advised that the Russians might have been making an attempt to derail peace talks to maintain the US slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter mentioned the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s army intelligence company, recognized broadly because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West by way of subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a 12 months earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the heart of Moscow’s covert efforts to intrude within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, generally known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Social gathering servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inside communications.

Partially as a result of these efforts had been geared toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come below explicit scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to learn from it, however discovered inadequate proof to ascertain that his associates had engaged in any felony conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are typically far more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes adorned army veterans with years of service, in some instances relationship to the Soviet Union’s failed conflict in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been energetic in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming lately. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from the US, and at occasions they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to deliver an finish to the battle.



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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be in search of revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria through which the American navy killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally steered that the Russians might have been making an attempt to derail peace talks to maintain the USA slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter mentioned the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s navy intelligence company, recognized broadly because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West by means of subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a 12 months earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the middle of Moscow’s covert efforts to intrude within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, referred to as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Occasion servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inside communications.

Partly as a result of these efforts had been geared toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come below specific scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to profit from it, however discovered inadequate proof to ascertain that his associates had engaged in any prison conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are typically rather more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes adorned navy veterans with years of service, in some instances courting to the Soviet Union’s failed struggle in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been energetic in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent times. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from the USA, and at instances they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to convey an finish to the battle.



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Russian bounty on US troops: Pelosi calls for intelligence briefing


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President Trump denies realizing about an intelligence report that mentioned Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The White Home briefed a choose group of lawmakers Monday on intelligence reviews that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, amid rising questions in Congress concerning the administration’s obvious inaction on the matter.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer demanded a categorised briefing for all Home and Senate members Monday, whereas the White Home downplayed the intelligence evaluation and mentioned President Donald Trump had not been briefed on the matter as a result of it had not been absolutely verified. 

“Congress and the nation want solutions now,” Pelosi, D-Calif, wrote in a letter Monday to Trump’s CIA director and his Director of Nationwide Intelligence. 

Pelosi and different lawmakers, together with some Republicans, mentioned they need to know why Trump was not briefed on the intelligence evaluation and what steps the U.S. can take to punish Moscow for focusing on American troops.   

“What we’re speaking about right here is placing the goal crosshairs on the backs of American servicemen and ladies in uniform,” mentioned Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sasse mentioned Congress must be targeted on two questions:  “No. 1, Who knew what, when, and did the commander-in-chief know? And if not, how the hell not?”

Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the Home Armed Providers Committee, additionally mentioned the crucial query is whether or not Trump knew or not.

“Both he did learn about it and he is mendacity, or his administration has de-prioritized one thing that places American folks’s lives – our servicemembers’ lives – in danger,” Kim mentioned. “I feel it is extremely damaging that the president is saying that he did not learn about this.” 

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany mentioned the White Home invited eight lawmakers from the related congressional committees to a briefing on Monday. It was not clear if any Democrats had been invited or attended.

Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the Armed Providers Committee – publicly confirmed that he participated. After the briefing, Banks blasted the media for disclosing the intelligence, saying the New York Occasions, which first reported the story, can have blood on their hands for disrupting an investigation into the Russian operation. 

“The actual scandal: We’ll probably by no means know the reality… As a result of the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into focused killing of American troopers so as to smear the President. The blood is on their fingers,” Banks, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.

Late Monday,CIA Director Gina Haspel and Trump’s Director of Nationwide Intelligence John Ratcliffe each issued uncommon public statements on the matter.

Ratcliffe blasted what he referred to as the “selective leaking of any categorised info” and advised the media reviews on the alleged Russian operation had interfered with efforts to probe additional into the matter. 

“We’re nonetheless investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in latest media reporting and we’ll transient the president and congressional leaders on the applicable time,” Ratcliffe mentioned. “Sadly, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our means to ever discover out the complete story with respect to those allegations.”

Haspel equally mentioned that leaks “compromise and disrupt” intelligence analysts’ means to “accumulate, assess, and ascribe culpability.”

Whereas not commenting instantly on the Russia intelligence, she defended the intelligence group’s dealing with of the difficulty, together with reviews that U.S. officers had briefed allied nations whereas presumably not briefing the president.

“When growing intelligence assessments, preliminary tactical reviews usually require further assortment and validation,” Haspel mentioned. “Normally, preliminary pressure safety info is shared all through the nationwide safety group – and with U.S. allies – as a part of our ongoing efforts to make sure the protection of coalition forces abroad.”

After talking with Haspel and Ratcliffe, Pelosi mentioned she nonetheless had “many critical questions” about what the White Home is doing to handle threats from Russia and maintain Moscow accountable. 

Trump denied on Sunday that he had been briefed on the Russian bounty operation, which a number of information shops, together with the Related Press, have confirmed for the reason that Occasions printed its story on Friday. Trump has tried to solid doubt on the tales.

“Intel simply reported to me that they didn’t discover this data credible, and due to this fact didn’t report it to me or @VP,” the president tweeted on Sunday night time, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. “Presumably one other fabricated Russia Hoax, possibly by the Faux Information … desirous to make Republicans look unhealthy!!!”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the report.

“These claims are nothing however lies,” mentioned Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, in keeping with Tass, a Russian information company. Peskov echoed Trump’s Twitter put up, saying the New York Occasions is understood for publishing “elaborate hoaxes.” 

When requested if the intelligence was included within the president’s written day by day briefing, McEnany responded: “He was not personally briefed on the matter.”  

She mentioned Trump was not informed concerning the intelligence findings as a result of some intelligence officers questioned the evaluation. 

“There was not a consensus among the many intelligence group, and in reality, there have been dissenting opinions throughout the intelligence group,” she mentioned. “And it could not be elevated to the president till it was verified.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee, questioned that clarification. Presidents are ceaselessly briefed on intelligence that isn’t rock strong – with analysts explaining how a lot confidence they’ve within the info – so “the president can consider the importance of it but additionally requested for extra info,” Schiff mentioned in an interview with CNN on Monday. 

This report specifically ought to have been flagged for Trump due to the significance of U.S.-Russian relations and the potential menace to American navy personnel, he mentioned. “If it goes to the safety of our troops, that is one thing that must be briefed to the commander-in-chief,” Schiff informed CNN. 

An aide to Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., mentioned he can be bringing a handful of Democrats to the White Home on Tuesday morning for a briefing. However Hoyer is continuous to press the White Home for a full congressional briefing, mentioned his aide, who was not licensed to talk publicly on the scenario.

Democrats weren’t alone in elevating questions on how the White Home dealt with the Russian bounty reviews.

Republican Sen. Todd Younger, who sits on the Senate International Relations Committee, mentioned he was “alarmed” that Trump, Pence and prime lawmakers in Congress weren’t briefed on the intelligence info. Younger advised intelligence officers must be held “accountable for his or her gross negligence” for failing to alert the president, and he referred to as for congressional hearings to probe the Russia allegations.

“We should work to determine the reliability of media reviews and, the place obligatory, advance accountability inside our personal authorities and facilitate a punishing response to the seemingly immoral, unlawful, and unconscionable actions of the dictator who lords over the Russian folks,” Younger, of Indiana, mentioned in an announcement Monday.

Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the Home Republican management, mentioned in a tweet Sunday that if the report is correct, “the White Home should clarify” why the president and vice chairman weren’t briefed on the matter and “what has been finished in response to guard our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”

In its story on Friday, the Occasions reported that Russian navy intelligence officers supplied Taliban-connected militants bounties for killing American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The Occasions story additionally reported that prime White Home officers had been briefed on the matter in late March and Trump was additionally knowledgeable.

It isn’t clear if the Russian operation resulted within the deaths of American troops. The Related Press reported that intelligence officers are investigating an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a automotive rigged with explosives detonated close to their armored autos as they traveled again to Bagram Airfield, the biggest U.S. navy set up in Afghanistan.

Three different U.S. service members had been wounded within the assault, together with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed accountability for the assault on Twitter. The officers the AP spoke to additionally mentioned they had been wanting intently at insider assaults — generally referred to as “green-on-blue” incidents — from 2019 to find out if they’re additionally linked to Russian bounties.

Trump has pushed to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan amid a peace settlement with the Taliban. 

Contributing: Maureen Groppe, the Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2020/06/29/russian-bounty-us-troops-pelosi-demands-intelligence-briefing/3277971001/





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Russian bounty on US troops: Pelosi calls for intelligence briefing


CLOSE

President Trump denies understanding about an intelligence report that stated Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The White Home briefed a choose group of lawmakers Monday on intelligence reviews that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, amid rising questions in Congress concerning the administration’s obvious inaction on the matter.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer demanded a categorised briefing for all Home and Senate members Monday, whereas the White Home downplayed the intelligence evaluation and stated President Donald Trump had not been briefed on the matter as a result of it had not been absolutely verified. 

“Congress and the nation want solutions now,” Pelosi, D-Calif, wrote in a letter Monday to Trump’s CIA director and his Director of Nationwide Intelligence. 

Pelosi and different lawmakers, together with some Republicans, stated they wish to know why Trump was not briefed on the intelligence evaluation and what steps the U.S. can take to punish Moscow for focusing on American troops.   

“What we’re speaking about right here is placing the goal crosshairs on the backs of American servicemen and ladies in uniform,” stated Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sasse stated Congress must be centered on two questions:  “No. 1, Who knew what, when, and did the commander-in-chief know? And if not, how the hell not?”

Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the Home Armed Companies Committee, additionally stated the vital query is whether or not Trump knew or not.

“Both he did learn about it and he is mendacity, or his administration has de-prioritized one thing that places American individuals’s lives – our servicemembers’ lives – in danger,” Kim stated. “I believe it is extremely damaging that the president is saying that he did not learn about this.” 

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated the White Home invited eight lawmakers from the related congressional committees to a briefing on Monday. It was not clear if any Democrats had been invited or attended.

Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the Armed Companies Committee – publicly confirmed that he participated. After the briefing, Banks blasted the media for disclosing the intelligence, saying the New York Instances, which first reported the story, could have blood on their hands for disrupting an investigation into the Russian operation. 

“The actual scandal: We’ll seemingly by no means know the reality… As a result of the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into focused killing of American troopers with a purpose to smear the President. The blood is on their arms,” Banks, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.

Late Monday,CIA Director Gina Haspel and Trump’s Director of Nationwide Intelligence John Ratcliffe each issued uncommon public statements on the matter.

Ratcliffe blasted what he known as the “selective leaking of any categorised data” and recommended the media reviews on the alleged Russian operation had interfered with efforts to probe additional into the matter. 

“We’re nonetheless investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in current media reporting and we are going to transient the president and congressional leaders on the acceptable time,” Ratcliffe stated. “Sadly, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our capacity to ever discover out the total story with respect to those allegations.”

Haspel equally stated that leaks “compromise and disrupt” intelligence analysts’ capacity to “gather, assess, and ascribe culpability.”

Whereas not commenting instantly on the Russia intelligence, she defended the intelligence neighborhood’s dealing with of the problem, together with reviews that U.S. officers had briefed allied nations whereas probably not briefing the president.

“When growing intelligence assessments, preliminary tactical reviews typically require further assortment and validation,” Haspel stated. “Usually, preliminary power safety data is shared all through the nationwide safety neighborhood – and with U.S. allies – as a part of our ongoing efforts to make sure the protection of coalition forces abroad.”

After talking with Haspel and Ratcliffe, Pelosi stated she nonetheless had “many severe questions” about what the White Home is doing to deal with threats from Russia and maintain Moscow accountable. 

Trump denied on Sunday that he had been briefed on the Russian bounty operation, which a number of information shops, together with the Related Press, have confirmed because the Instances revealed its story on Friday. Trump has tried to forged doubt on the tales.

“Intel simply reported to me that they didn’t discover this information credible, and due to this fact didn’t report it to me or @VP,” the president tweeted on Sunday night time, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. “Probably one other fabricated Russia Hoax, possibly by the Faux Information … eager to make Republicans look unhealthy!!!”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the report.

“These claims are nothing however lies,” stated Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, in response to Tass, a Russian information company. Peskov echoed Trump’s Twitter submit, saying the New York Instances is thought for publishing “elaborate hoaxes.” 

When requested if the intelligence was included within the president’s written day by day briefing, McEnany responded: “He was not personally briefed on the matter.”  

She stated Trump was not instructed concerning the intelligence findings as a result of some intelligence officers questioned the evaluation. 

“There was not a consensus among the many intelligence neighborhood, and actually, there have been dissenting opinions throughout the intelligence neighborhood,” she stated. “And it might not be elevated to the president till it was verified.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee, questioned that clarification. Presidents are ceaselessly briefed on intelligence that’s not rock stable – with analysts explaining how a lot confidence they’ve within the data – so “the president can consider the importance of it but additionally requested for extra data,” Schiff stated in an interview with CNN on Monday. 

This report particularly ought to have been flagged for Trump due to the significance of U.S.-Russian relations and the potential risk to American army personnel, he stated. “If it goes to the safety of our troops, that is one thing that must be briefed to the commander-in-chief,” Schiff instructed CNN. 

An aide to Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stated he can be bringing a handful of Democrats to the White Home on Tuesday morning for a briefing. However Hoyer is constant to press the White Home for a full congressional briefing, stated his aide, who was not licensed to talk publicly on the scenario.

Democrats weren’t alone in elevating questions on how the White Home dealt with the Russian bounty reviews.

Republican Sen. Todd Younger, who sits on the Senate Overseas Relations Committee, stated he was “alarmed” that Trump, Pence and high lawmakers in Congress weren’t briefed on the intelligence data. Younger recommended intelligence officers must be held “accountable for his or her gross negligence” for failing to alert the president, and he known as for congressional hearings to probe the Russia allegations.

“We should work to determine the reliability of media reviews and, the place crucial, advance accountability inside our personal authorities and facilitate a punishing response to the seemingly immoral, unlawful, and unconscionable actions of the dictator who lords over the Russian individuals,” Younger, of Indiana, stated in an announcement Monday.

Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the Home Republican management, stated in a tweet Sunday that if the report is correct, “the White Home should clarify” why the president and vice chairman weren’t briefed on the matter and “what has been completed in response to guard our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”

In its story on Friday, the Instances reported that Russian army intelligence officers provided Taliban-connected militants bounties for killing American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The Instances story additionally reported that high White Home officers had been briefed on the matter in late March and Trump was additionally knowledgeable.

It is not clear if the Russian operation resulted within the deaths of American troops. The Related Press reported that intelligence officers are investigating an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a automobile rigged with explosives detonated close to their armored automobiles as they traveled again to Bagram Airfield, the most important U.S. army set up in Afghanistan.

Three different U.S. service members had been wounded within the assault, together with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed duty for the assault on Twitter. The officers the AP spoke to additionally stated they had been trying carefully at insider assaults — generally known as “green-on-blue” incidents — from 2019 to find out if they’re additionally linked to Russian bounties.

Trump has pushed to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan amid a peace settlement with the Taliban. 

Contributing: Maureen Groppe, the Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2020/06/29/russian-bounty-us-troops-pelosi-demands-intelligence-briefing/3277971001/





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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be looking for revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria by which the American army killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally advised that the Russians might have been making an attempt to derail peace talks to maintain the USA slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter stated the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s army intelligence company, recognized extensively because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West via subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a 12 months earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the middle of Moscow’s covert efforts to intrude within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, often called 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Occasion servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inside communications.

Partially as a result of these efforts have been aimed toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come below explicit scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to profit from it, however discovered inadequate proof to determine that his associates had engaged in any felony conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are usually far more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes embellished army veterans with years of service, in some instances relationship to the Soviet Union’s failed struggle in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been lively in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent times. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from the USA, and at occasions they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to carry an finish to the battle.



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Russian bounty on US troops: Pelosi calls for intelligence briefing


CLOSE

President Trump denies understanding about an intelligence report that stated Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The White Home briefed a choose group of lawmakers Monday on intelligence stories that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, amid rising questions in Congress in regards to the administration’s obvious inaction on the matter.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer demanded a categorised briefing for all Home and Senate members Monday, whereas the White Home downplayed the intelligence evaluation and stated President Donald Trump had not been briefed on the matter as a result of it had not been absolutely verified. 

“Congress and the nation want solutions now,” Pelosi, D-Calif, wrote in a letter Monday to Trump’s CIA director and his Director of Nationwide Intelligence. 

Pelosi and different lawmakers, together with some Republicans, stated they wish to know why Trump was not briefed on the intelligence evaluation and what steps the U.S. can take to punish Moscow for focusing on American troops.   

“What we’re speaking about right here is placing the goal crosshairs on the backs of American servicemen and ladies in uniform,” stated Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sasse stated Congress must be centered on two questions:  “No. 1, Who knew what, when, and did the commander-in-chief know? And if not, how the hell not?”

Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the Home Armed Companies Committee, additionally stated the vital query is whether or not Trump knew or not.

“Both he did learn about it and he is mendacity, or his administration has de-prioritized one thing that places American individuals’s lives – our servicemembers’ lives – in danger,” Kim stated. “I feel it is extremely damaging that the president is saying that he did not learn about this.” 

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated the White Home invited eight lawmakers from the related congressional committees to a briefing on Monday. It was not clear if any Democrats had been invited or attended.

Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the Armed Companies Committee – publicly confirmed that he participated. After the briefing, Banks blasted the media for disclosing the intelligence, saying the New York Instances, which first reported the story, may have blood on their hands for disrupting an investigation into the Russian operation. 

“The actual scandal: We’ll seemingly by no means know the reality… As a result of the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into focused killing of American troopers as a way to smear the President. The blood is on their palms,” Banks, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.

Late Monday,CIA Director Gina Haspel and Trump’s Director of Nationwide Intelligence John Ratcliffe each issued uncommon public statements on the matter.

Ratcliffe blasted what he known as the “selective leaking of any categorised data” and advised the media stories on the alleged Russian operation had interfered with efforts to probe additional into the matter. 

“We’re nonetheless investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in current media reporting and we’ll transient the president and congressional leaders on the acceptable time,” Ratcliffe stated. “Sadly, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our means to ever discover out the complete story with respect to those allegations.”

Haspel equally stated that leaks “compromise and disrupt” intelligence analysts’ means to “gather, assess, and ascribe culpability.”

Whereas not commenting instantly on the Russia intelligence, she defended the intelligence neighborhood’s dealing with of the problem, together with stories that U.S. officers had briefed allied nations whereas probably not briefing the president.

“When growing intelligence assessments, preliminary tactical stories typically require further assortment and validation,” Haspel stated. “Basically, preliminary pressure safety data is shared all through the nationwide safety neighborhood – and with U.S. allies – as a part of our ongoing efforts to make sure the protection of coalition forces abroad.”

After talking with Haspel and Ratcliffe, Pelosi stated she nonetheless had “many severe questions” about what the White Home is doing to deal with threats from Russia and maintain Moscow accountable. 

Trump denied on Sunday that he had been briefed on the Russian bounty operation, which a number of information retailers, together with the Related Press, have confirmed because the Instances printed its story on Friday. Trump has tried to forged doubt on the tales.

“Intel simply reported to me that they didn’t discover this information credible, and subsequently didn’t report it to me or @VP,” the president tweeted on Sunday night time, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. “Probably one other fabricated Russia Hoax, possibly by the Pretend Information … eager to make Republicans look unhealthy!!!”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the report.

“These claims are nothing however lies,” stated Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, in keeping with Tass, a Russian information company. Peskov echoed Trump’s Twitter submit, saying the New York Instances is thought for publishing “elaborate hoaxes.” 

When requested if the intelligence was included within the president’s written each day briefing, McEnany responded: “He was not personally briefed on the matter.”  

She stated Trump was not advised in regards to the intelligence findings as a result of some intelligence officers questioned the evaluation. 

“There was not a consensus among the many intelligence neighborhood, and in reality, there have been dissenting opinions throughout the intelligence neighborhood,” she stated. “And it might not be elevated to the president till it was verified.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee, questioned that clarification. Presidents are ceaselessly briefed on intelligence that isn’t rock strong – with analysts explaining how a lot confidence they’ve within the data – so “the president can consider the importance of it but in addition requested for extra data,” Schiff stated in an interview with CNN on Monday. 

This report specifically ought to have been flagged for Trump due to the significance of U.S.-Russian relations and the potential menace to American navy personnel, he stated. “If it goes to the safety of our troops, that is one thing that must be briefed to the commander-in-chief,” Schiff advised CNN. 

An aide to Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stated he could be bringing a handful of Democrats to the White Home on Tuesday morning for a briefing. However Hoyer is continuous to press the White Home for a full congressional briefing, stated his aide, who was not approved to talk publicly on the state of affairs.

Democrats weren’t alone in elevating questions on how the White Home dealt with the Russian bounty stories.

Republican Sen. Todd Younger, who sits on the Senate International Relations Committee, stated he was “alarmed” that Trump, Pence and high lawmakers in Congress weren’t briefed on the intelligence data. Younger advised intelligence officers must be held “accountable for his or her gross negligence” for failing to alert the president, and he known as for congressional hearings to probe the Russia allegations.

“We should work to establish the reliability of media stories and, the place obligatory, advance accountability inside our personal authorities and facilitate a punishing response to the seemingly immoral, unlawful, and unconscionable actions of the dictator who lords over the Russian individuals,” Younger, of Indiana, stated in an announcement Monday.

Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the Home Republican management, stated in a tweet Sunday that if the report is correct, “the White Home should clarify” why the president and vp weren’t briefed on the matter and “what has been performed in response to guard our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”

In its story on Friday, the Instances reported that Russian navy intelligence officers provided Taliban-connected militants bounties for killing American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The Instances story additionally reported that high White Home officers had been briefed on the matter in late March and Trump was additionally knowledgeable.

It isn’t clear if the Russian operation resulted within the deaths of American troops. The Related Press reported that intelligence officers are investigating an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a automotive rigged with explosives detonated close to their armored automobiles as they traveled again to Bagram Airfield, the most important U.S. navy set up in Afghanistan.

Three different U.S. service members had been wounded within the assault, together with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed accountability for the assault on Twitter. The officers the AP spoke to additionally stated they had been trying carefully at insider assaults — generally known as “green-on-blue” incidents — from 2019 to find out if they’re additionally linked to Russian bounties.

Trump has pushed to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan amid a peace settlement with the Taliban. 

Contributing: Maureen Groppe, the Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2020/06/29/russian-bounty-us-troops-pelosi-demands-intelligence-briefing/3277971001/





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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be in search of revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria wherein the American army killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally prompt that the Russians could have been making an attempt to derail peace talks to maintain america slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter stated the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s army intelligence company, recognized extensively because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West by means of subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a 12 months earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the middle of Moscow’s covert efforts to intervene within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, often known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Celebration servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inside communications.

Partially as a result of these efforts had been aimed toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come beneath explicit scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to learn from it, however discovered inadequate proof to ascertain that his associates had engaged in any legal conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are usually rather more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes adorned army veterans with years of service, in some circumstances courting to the Soviet Union’s failed warfare in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been lively in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent times. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from america, and at instances they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to carry an finish to the battle.



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Russian bounty on US troops: Pelosi calls for intelligence briefing


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President Trump denies figuring out about an intelligence report that mentioned Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The White Home briefed a choose group of lawmakers Monday on intelligence stories that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, amid rising questions in Congress concerning the administration’s obvious inaction on the matter.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer demanded a labeled briefing for all Home and Senate members Monday, whereas the White Home downplayed the intelligence evaluation and mentioned President Donald Trump had not been briefed on the matter as a result of it had not been totally verified. 

“Congress and the nation want solutions now,” Pelosi, D-Calif, wrote in a letter Monday to Trump’s CIA director and his Director of Nationwide Intelligence. 

Pelosi and different lawmakers, together with some Republicans, mentioned they need to know why Trump was not briefed on the intelligence evaluation and what steps the U.S. can take to punish Moscow for concentrating on American troops.   

“What we’re speaking about right here is placing the goal crosshairs on the backs of American servicemen and ladies in uniform,” mentioned Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sasse mentioned Congress must be centered on two questions:  “No. 1, Who knew what, when, and did the commander-in-chief know? And if not, how the hell not?”

Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the Home Armed Providers Committee, additionally mentioned the vital query is whether or not Trump knew or not.

“Both he did find out about it and he is mendacity, or his administration has de-prioritized one thing that places American individuals’s lives – our servicemembers’ lives – in danger,” Kim mentioned. “I believe it is extremely damaging that the president is saying that he did not find out about this.” 

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany mentioned the White Home invited eight lawmakers from the related congressional committees to a briefing on Monday. It was not clear if any Democrats had been invited or attended.

Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the Armed Providers Committee – publicly confirmed that he participated. After the briefing, Banks blasted the media for disclosing the intelligence, saying the New York Instances, which first reported the story, can have blood on their hands for disrupting an investigation into the Russian operation. 

“The actual scandal: We’ll possible by no means know the reality… As a result of the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into focused killing of American troopers to be able to smear the President. The blood is on their palms,” Banks, who served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.

Late Monday,CIA Director Gina Haspel and Trump’s Director of Nationwide Intelligence John Ratcliffe each issued uncommon public statements on the matter.

Ratcliffe blasted what he referred to as the “selective leaking of any labeled info” and instructed the media stories on the alleged Russian operation had interfered with efforts to probe additional into the matter. 

“We’re nonetheless investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in current media reporting and we’ll temporary the president and congressional leaders on the acceptable time,” Ratcliffe mentioned. “Sadly, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our capability to ever discover out the total story with respect to those allegations.”

Haspel equally mentioned that leaks “compromise and disrupt” intelligence analysts’ capability to “gather, assess, and ascribe culpability.”

Whereas not commenting straight on the Russia intelligence, she defended the intelligence neighborhood’s dealing with of the difficulty, together with stories that U.S. officers had briefed allied nations whereas presumably not briefing the president.

“When creating intelligence assessments, preliminary tactical stories typically require further assortment and validation,” Haspel mentioned. “Typically, preliminary pressure safety info is shared all through the nationwide safety neighborhood – and with U.S. allies – as a part of our ongoing efforts to make sure the security of coalition forces abroad.”

After talking with Haspel and Ratcliffe, Pelosi mentioned she nonetheless had “many severe questions” about what the White Home is doing to handle threats from Russia and maintain Moscow accountable. 

Trump denied on Sunday that he had been briefed on the Russian bounty operation, which a number of information shops, together with the Related Press, have confirmed for the reason that Instances revealed its story on Friday. Trump has tried to forged doubt on the tales.

“Intel simply reported to me that they didn’t discover this information credible, and due to this fact didn’t report it to me or @VP,” the president tweeted on Sunday evening, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. “Presumably one other fabricated Russia Hoax, possibly by the Pretend Information … eager to make Republicans look unhealthy!!!”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the report.

“These claims are nothing however lies,” mentioned Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, in line with Tass, a Russian information company. Peskov echoed Trump’s Twitter put up, saying the New York Instances is understood for publishing “elaborate hoaxes.” 

When requested if the intelligence was included within the president’s written day by day briefing, McEnany responded: “He was not personally briefed on the matter.”  

She mentioned Trump was not instructed concerning the intelligence findings as a result of some intelligence officers questioned the evaluation. 

“There was not a consensus among the many intelligence neighborhood, and actually, there have been dissenting opinions throughout the intelligence neighborhood,” she mentioned. “And it will not be elevated to the president till it was verified.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee, questioned that clarification. Presidents are incessantly briefed on intelligence that isn’t rock stable – with analysts explaining how a lot confidence they’ve within the info – so “the president can consider the importance of it but additionally requested for extra info,” Schiff mentioned in an interview with CNN on Monday. 

This report particularly ought to have been flagged for Trump due to the significance of U.S.-Russian relations and the potential menace to American army personnel, he mentioned. “If it goes to the safety of our troops, that is one thing that must be briefed to the commander-in-chief,” Schiff instructed CNN. 

An aide to Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., mentioned he can be bringing a handful of Democrats to the White Home on Tuesday morning for a briefing. However Hoyer is continuous to press the White Home for a full congressional briefing, mentioned his aide, who was not approved to talk publicly on the scenario.

Democrats weren’t alone in elevating questions on how the White Home dealt with the Russian bounty stories.

Republican Sen. Todd Younger, who sits on the Senate International Relations Committee, mentioned he was “alarmed” that Trump, Pence and prime lawmakers in Congress weren’t briefed on the intelligence info. Younger instructed intelligence officers must be held “accountable for his or her gross negligence” for failing to alert the president, and he referred to as for congressional hearings to probe the Russia allegations.

“We should work to determine the reliability of media stories and, the place needed, advance accountability inside our personal authorities and facilitate a punishing response to the seemingly immoral, unlawful, and unconscionable actions of the dictator who lords over the Russian individuals,” Younger, of Indiana, mentioned in a press release Monday.

Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the Home Republican management, mentioned in a tweet Sunday that if the report is correct, “the White Home should clarify” why the president and vice chairman weren’t briefed on the matter and “what has been achieved in response to guard our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”

In its story on Friday, the Instances reported that Russian army intelligence officers supplied Taliban-connected militants bounties for killing American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The Instances story additionally reported that prime White Home officers had been briefed on the matter in late March and Trump was additionally knowledgeable.

It isn’t clear if the Russian operation resulted within the deaths of American troops. The Related Press reported that intelligence officers are investigating an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a automobile rigged with explosives detonated close to their armored autos as they traveled again to Bagram Airfield, the most important U.S. army set up in Afghanistan.

Three different U.S. service members had been wounded within the assault, together with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed duty for the assault on Twitter. The officers the AP spoke to additionally mentioned they had been trying intently at insider assaults — typically referred to as “green-on-blue” incidents — from 2019 to find out if they’re additionally linked to Russian bounties.

Trump has pushed to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan amid a peace settlement with the Taliban. 

Contributing: Maureen Groppe, the Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2020/06/29/russian-bounty-us-troops-pelosi-demands-intelligence-briefing/3277971001/





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


Some officers have theorized that the Russians could also be looking for revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria by which the American navy killed a number of hundred pro-Syrian forces, together with quite a few Russian mercenaries, as they superior on an American outpost. Officers have additionally urged that the Russians might have been attempting to derail peace talks to maintain the USA slowed down in Afghanistan. However the motivation stays murky.

The officers briefed on the matter stated the federal government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s navy intelligence company, identified extensively because the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had labored for British intelligence after which defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officers say the unit, which has operated for greater than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with finishing up a marketing campaign to destabilize the West by means of subversion, sabotage and assassination. Along with the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a yr earlier.

American intelligence officers say the G.R.U. was on the middle of Moscow’s covert efforts to intrude within the 2016 presidential election. Within the months earlier than that election, American officers say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, referred to as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Occasion servers after which used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing inner communications.

Partly as a result of these efforts have been geared toward serving to tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his dealing with of points associated to Russia and Mr. Putin has come below specific scrutiny. The particular counsel investigation discovered that the Trump marketing campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and anticipated to learn from it, however discovered inadequate proof to ascertain that his associates had engaged in any felony conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 are usually far more violent than these involving the cyberunits. Its officers are sometimes embellished navy veterans with years of service, in some circumstances relationship to the Soviet Union’s failed struggle in Afghanistan within the 1980s. By no means earlier than has the unit been accused of orchestrating assaults on Western troopers, however officers briefed on its operations say it has been energetic in Afghanistan for a few years.

Although Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, relations between them have been warming lately. Taliban officers have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with different distinguished Afghans, together with the previous president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the present Afghan authorities in addition to anybody from the USA, and at instances they’ve appeared to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to deliver an finish to the battle.



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