WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today joined Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), in a letter to Kenneth A. Blanco, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) expressing concern regarding press reports that cite evidence of the existence of intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account. Brown and his colleagues called for the Administration to brief lawmakers in the next two days and to share intercepted evidence that would indicate whether the Russian government offered “bounties” for the killing of members of the United States Armed Forces.

“We are specifically inquiring about recent media reports regarding the existence of intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account,” wrote the lawmakers. “We request to be briefed by you directly within the next two days on these reports, including any intercept evidence developed by Treasury or other US government analysts to which FinCEN has access that would shed light on these allegations.”

A copy of the letter can be found here and below:

The Honorable Kenneth A. Blanco, Director

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

US Department of the Treasury

Dear Director Blanco:

We write with deep concern about mounting evidence regarding alleged payments by the Government of the Russian Federation, or proxies of that Government, to offer “bounties” for the killing of members of the Armed Forces of the United States or members of the Resolute Support Mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Afghanistan.

We are specifically inquiring about recent media reports regarding the existence of intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account. The media also reported on the discovery of roughly $500,000 in cash seized in a raid of the house of one of the alleged Afghan middlemen in this appalling reported scheme.

We request to be briefed by you directly within the next two days on these reports, including any intercept evidence developed by Treasury or other US government analysts to which FinCEN has access that would shed light on these allegations.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your prompt response.

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