World A 2019 bomb blast on a protection power convoy that killed three Marines is under review
July 1, 2020, 11: 42 AM
7 min learn
Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, urged ABC News on Tuesday that whereas he saw no proof of Russians offering bounties to shatter U.S. troops for the length of his time commanding Marines in Afghanistan, the households of fallen carrier persons are “entitled” to answers.
“You factual have to gape at the info relish repeatedly, study thoroughly,” acknowledged Berger, who spoke with ABC News Chief World Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz in an distinctive interview airing this Sunday.
The White Residence on Tuesday persisted to provide briefings to make a vary individuals of Congress on the intelligence about reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which a protection power official urged ABC News confirmed that Russian intelligence officers had all the scheme by the final 365 days offered to pay Taliban militants to shatter American troops. Lawmakers absorb referred to as on the administration to share more data and potentially make a choice circulation.
One of many incidents being checked out for a seemingly connection to the alleged Russian plan is an April 8, 2019 bomb blast on an American protection power convoy end to Bagram Air Inaccurate that killed three Marines, in line with The Associated Press.
Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines and Workers Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman had been all killed when a automotive bomb detonated end to their automotive as their convoy headed abet to the low. They had been among the 23 American citizens who died in Afghanistan in 2019 both from fight or non-fight reasons.
Hendriks’ father Erik urged ABC News on Tuesday that it can perchance well “destroy his heart” to search out out that reports of Russian bounties had been staunch.
“If 1 ounce of American blood turn out to be once spilled, and this possibility of Russian involvement turn out to be once no longer given to our Warriors on the bottom, then sure! Disgrace on this administration as to send a Marine in an already chaotic and unsafe war zone being shorted intel,” Erik Hendriks urged ABC News in a textual train message. “(If or no longer it is staunch) sure it cheats every man lady, husband son and daughter of lifestyles or death data. I pray right here’s no longer what my authorities has attain to. I am hoping this proves crude.”
Erik Hendriks additionally acknowledged over the phone that he turn out to be once disenchanted no person from the Trump administration has but reached out to his household to provide consolation or answers, but turn out to be once cautious to divorce his madden from politics.
“I am no longer shooting darts at Trump’s face,” he acknowledged, additionally bringing up that he has earned the gorgeous to make investments and query of.
Berger urged Raddatz that he would not choose ever seeing the leisure about Russian meddling, but acknowledged, “it takes plenty to shock me now.”
“The save apart we operated in southern Helmand we did not absorb, to my knowledge, Russian influence,” Berger acknowledged. “It can perchance well well had been, but I turn out to be once no longer aware of it.”
The records about the Russian bounty program turn out to be once first gleaned from special operations raids on Taliban areas in January where trim amounts of American money turn out to be once came across, in line with a protection power official.
Subsequent intelligence about this system turn out to be once voice sufficient that both the protection power and CIA took steps to lengthen security and surveillance of Russian operatives interior Afghanistan, a source urged ABC News.
Months later that intelligence turn out to be once briefed to senior national security officials, in line with the protection power official.
President Donald Trump and White Residence officials absorb acknowledged he turn out to be once no longer briefed on the intelligence since it had no longer been fully verified by the U.S. intelligence neighborhood. Nonetheless the Contemporary York Times quotes two officials as announcing that the records turn out to be once incorporated in written save within the president’s every single day intelligence briefing from dead February.
While the April 2019 incident is among these under investigation for seemingly links to the bounty program, the Pentagon acknowledged in a assertion issued dead Monday that it has no longer came across any corroborating proof.
“The Division of Defense continues to mediate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives had been engaged in malign exercise in opposition to United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan,” acknowledged Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman. “So far, DOD has no corroborating proof to validate the sizzling allegations came across in launch-source reports. Regardless, we repeatedly make a choice the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan — and around the realm — most significantly and as a result of this truth consistently undertake measures to end shatter from doable threats.”
The director of national intelligence and the CIA decried the intelligence leaks about the Russian bounty program in separate statements Monday, announcing it can perchance well well abate their ongoing diagnosis about the Russian program.
ABC News’ James Meek and Henderson Hewes contributed to this file