Kabul airport attack ‘mastermind’ killed by Taliban

by mcardinal


The Taliban has killed an Islamic State militant who was the “mastermind” behind a suicide attack at Kabul’s international airport in 2021 that killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of civilians during the United States chaotic evacuation from the country, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The bombing occurred on Aug. 26, 2021, as U.S. troops were trying to help Americans and Afghans flee in the aftermath of the Taliban‘s takeover, and compounded America’s sense of defeat after 20 years of war.

“He was a key ISIS-K official directly involved in plotting operations like Abbey Gate, and now is no longer able to plot or conduct attacks,” White House spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement, referring to the Abbey Gate entrance to the Kabul airport where the blast occurred. He did not name the official.

Pentagon officials said that they were made aware of the attack in early April, but it was not clear whether it was a targeted attack by the Taliban or if he was killed as part of an increase in battles between the Taliban and Islamic State fighters.

The New York Times reported that family members of the victims of the attack were informed by the White House, but were frustrated by the lack of information given.

“They couldn’t give me his name; they couldn’t tell me the details of the operation,” said Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover of the Marine Corps, who was killed during the blast, adding that he feels like the administration is treating the victims’ families like “garbage.”

“I want the administration to take some accountability and responsibility for this,” Hoover said.

The report comes amidst heightened concerns that the poorly planned pull-out from the region has erased all progress made by the 20-year campaign to eradicate terrorism from the region.

According to a Pentagon assessment that was part of the classified documents allegedly leaked by Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, the country has become a “significant coordination site” for the Islamic State, as the documents reveal ISIS leaders planned attacks across Europe and Asia and conducted “aspirational plotting” against the United States.

The Afghanistan withdrawal is sure to be one of the Biden administration’s failures that the Republican party will focus on in the run-up to the 2024 election. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is currently running a congressional probe into the president’s decisions and actions that contributed to the deadly evacuation as well as the effects the withdrawal has had on the U.S. and its allies.

Upon hearing of the death of the terrorist leader, the committee chairman, Michael McCaul (R – Texas) said that he celebrated any terrorist being “taken off the board,” but that it “doesn’t diminish the Biden administration’s culpability for the failures that led to the attack at Abbey Gate, and will in no way deter the committee’s investigation.”

Article written with major contributions from Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.