Reports on new “unconfirmed intelligence” regarding the bounties paid to Afghan “non-state actors” for killing American soldiers emerged months after claims that Russia allegedly paid Taliban militants for the same thing in a series of reports by The New York Times.
The Trump administration is declassifying new “as-yet uncorroborated intelligence” that allegedly indicates that China offered bounties to “non-state actors” in Afghanistan to target American soldiers, according to what two unnamed senior administration officials told Axios on Wednesday.
According to the report referring to “unconfirmed intelligence”, bounties were offered “some time after late February”, when the US struck the deal with the Taliban. It was also added that earlier intelligence allegedly revealed information about “PRC weapons illicitly flowing into Afghanistan.”
The sources did not specify the exact timing of the bounties or the source of the intelligence.
According to Axios, Trump was recently briefed on the findings.
In its report, Axios mulled two possibilities, pondering the authenticity of what the source claimed. The outlet pointed out that, if the “intelligence” were to be confirmed, it would mean “a dramatic strategic shift for China”, escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington.
If the “intelligence” proves wrong, according to Axios, it will question “the motivations of the sources behind it as well as the decision to…