Allegations that Russia worked with the Taliban to place bounties on U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East are not corroborated by any available intelligence, according to a top general in Afghanistan.
“It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News.
“We continue to look for that evidence. I just haven’t seen it yet. But…it’s not a closed issue,” he said.
McKenzie repeated similar claims made by Gen. Mark Milley in July that data supporting the allegations was inconclusive and not enough to act on.
“I found what they presented to me very concerning, very worrisome. I just couldn’t see the final connection, so I sent my guys back and said, look, keep digging. So we have continued to dig and look because this involves potential threats to U.S. forces, it’s open,” he said. “I just haven’t seen anything that closes that gap yet.”
New York Times (NYT) reported in June that Russia allegedly offered the Taliban money to kill U.S. troops, citing unnamed sources. The report claims Trump was made aware of Russian bounties as early as 2019.