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Families of US-Afghan War dead say contractors bribed Taliban

Taliban Insurgents (ResoluteSupportMedia/Flickr)
December 29, 2019

Families of almost 150 U.S. service members and civilians who were killed or wounded in terror attacks in Afghanistan sued a group of Western contractors involved in the nation’s reconstruction for allegedly bribing the Taliban for protection.

The alleged payments ultimately helped finance a Taliban-led insurgency that led to the attacks in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Washington. The suit seeks unspecified damages for the families under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

“Defendants were all large Western companies with lucrative businesses in post-9/11 Afghanistan, and they all paid the Taliban to refrain from attacking their business interests,” according to the complaint. “Those protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaida-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans.”

The allegations are based on several confidential witnesses, internal company documents, declassified government-intelligence reporting and congressional testimony among other sources, according to the complaint.

Dow Jones reported earlier on the suit.

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©2019 Bloomberg News

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