The story of foreign intelligence networks paying bounties for the killing of American troops in Afghanistan has gotten new life with a revelation that Iran paid Taliban troops to kill U.S. and coalition troops. 

CNN has reported that they have identified payments linked to at least six attacks carried out by the Taliban in the past year, including a suicide bombing at Bagram airbase in December.

The news network reported that Iran paid bounties through the number two man inside the Taliban to the Haqqani Network for the December 11 attack on the U.S. airbase at Bagram. The attack resulted in the death of two civilians and the wounding of more than 70, including four Americans. 

The attack occurred less than a month before the United States carried out the drone strike that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force in Baghdad. CNN reported that, according to a current administration official and a former senior official, the Iran-Taliban link was cited as part of the justification for the strike against Soleimani.

The DOD decided in March of this year that it would not take any specific action in response to this intelligence to avoid complicating peace talks with the Taliban.

According to a former defense official, as quoted by Business Insider, the Iranians were openly distributing propaganda leaflets to Afghans who were “ramping up efforts and started to escalate into violence” during the Obama administration’s troop withdrawals in 2016.

The official claimed that the Iranians were openly calling for American and coalition forces’ heads in exchange for cash bounties and that Iran was “claiming responsibility.” 

“They weren’t hiding it… ‘If you bring us American heads, we will pay you,'” said the former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.