According to 3 U.S. officials, the Taliban released the ISIS-K bomber who attacked the Kabul international airport from prison just few days before the deadly attack killing 13 U.S. servicemen and women.
FirstPost, an English-language news site based in India was first to report the terrorist had been released from Bagram prison. ISIS-K took credit for the attack and identified the bomber, while Taliban officials publicly condemned the attack.
“Two US officials, as well as Rep. Ken Calver, a California Republican who said he had been briefed by national security officials, said the suicide bomber was released from the Parwan prison at Bagram air base” reports CNN.
The United States did have control over the base until it “abandoned Bagram in early July. It had turned over the prison to Afghan authorities in 2013.”
The Parwan prison at Bagram, along with the Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul, housed several hundred members of ISIS-K, as well as thousands of other prisoners when the Taliban took control of both facilities hours before taking over the capital with barely a shot fired in mid-August, a regional counter-terrorism source told CNN at the time. The Taliban emptied out both prisons, releasing their own members who had been imprisoned but also members of ISIS-K, which is the terror group’s affiliate in Afghanistan.
Eleven days later, on August 26, it was one of those prisoners who carried out the suicide bombing at Abbey Gate, killing the 13 US service members, including 11 Marines, one soldier and one sailor. They would be the last US troops killed in Afghanistan as part of America’s longest war.
The Taliban’s release of prisoners who then make a quick transition “to suicide bomber highlights the dangers Afghanistan could pose without a US military presence on the ground to monitor the latest developments in the country” adds CNN.
Just last week Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said in a Capitol Hill hearing, “it’s a real possibility in the not too distant future – six, 12, 18, 24, 36 months that kind of timeframe – for reconstitution of al Qaeda or ISIS.” Milley added, “and it’s our job now, under different conditions, to protect the American citizens against attacks from Afghanistan.”