YAKUTSK (Sputnik): US intelligence is deeply involved in the Afghan drug trade at the same time as it accuses Russia of conspiring with the Taliban, Special Presidential Envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said on Saturday.
“Their [US intelligence’s] planes fly from Kandahar or Bagram to any destination – like Germany or Romania – without any checks. No wonder, such is their business. Any Afghan citizen, anyone, in Kabul could tell you about it. It’s an open secret and everyone is sick and tired of it and dismisses it as a given”, Kabulov said.
Late last month, The New York Times, citing anonymous US intelligence sources, published an article claiming that Russian military intelligence offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan and that US President Donald Trump had been informed about this.
Trump said that neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the issue, because the United States Intelligence Community said the allegations were not verified or substantiated.
US President Donald Trump called the article another attempt at a Russia hoax to make Republicans look bad in an election year.
Russian officials have denied the allegations as false and characterised them as being part of the internal political infighting in the United States.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the Russian and US governments had not been in contact regarding the US media allegations.
The New York Times has released a fresh piece citing, a memo produced in recent days by the office of the nation’s top intelligence official acknowledged that the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but emphasized uncertainties and gaps in evidence, according to three officials.
The memo is said to contain no new information, and both its timing and its stressing of doubts suggested that it was intended to bolster the Trump administration’s attempts to justify its inaction on the months-old assessment, the officials said.
Some former national security officials said the account of the memo indicated that politics may have influenced its production.
The National Intelligence Council, which reports to the director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, produced the two-and-a-half page document, a so-called sense of the community memorandum.
Dated July 1, it appears to have been commissioned after The New York Times reported on June 26 that intelligence officials had assessed months ago that Russia had offered bounties, but the White House had yet to authorize a response.
The memo said that the C.I.A. and the National Counterterrorism Center had assessed with “medium confidence” — meaning credibly sourced and plausible, but falling short of near certainty — that a unit of the Russian military intelligence service, known as the G.R.U., offered the bounties, according to two of the officials briefed on its contents.