Bangla Monday, August 10, 2020


Russian Bank Transfers to Taliban

According to a New York Times article citing three anonymous American officials, US intelligence monitored electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which the Times offers as evidence potentially supported allegations that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing US and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Speaking to TOLOnews, Obaidullah, the chief of the Baghlan police, also said that Russia is supporting the Taliban.

“Russia is providing training to the armed opponents in Dand-e-Ghori and support thems; Russia has equipped them with very dangerous weapons,” said Obaidullah, Baghlan police chief.

“Russia is taking revenge because in the past the US was in support of the Mujahideen who managed to suppress Russia, and today it is the time for Russia to take revenge,” said Fida Mohammad Ulfat, the former head of parliament’s security and intelligence commission.

The New York Times article 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.”

“The Taliban are getting help from across the border and also from the regional intelligence,” said Rabbani Rabbani, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz, a province in the north.

“Sometimes the West tangles with Russia and sometimes Russia comes against the West. They only work for their national interest whenever they get a chance,” said Mohammaddin Hamdard, a lawmaker from Kunduz.

The Times article also reads: "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.

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.

“Russia is interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs with the support they seek from the Taliban and to pave the way for bloodshed in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Zahir Salangi, a member of parliament from Parwan.

The Taliban and Russia have rejected the allegations.