Various media reports said a Russian military intelligence unit paid bounties to Taliban. The claim is unverifiable as the sources are anonymous.
Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the C.I.A. have declined to comment. Russia has denied the initial reports, and Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied the organization had any relations with any intelligence agency. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said the intelligence community was still investigating the intelligence highlighted by recent media reports and that the President and Congressional leaders would be briefed at the appropriate time. Due to the anonymity of the sources, the claim cannot be verified at the moment.