(LibertySociety.com) – While in a conflict, one of the most dangerous times is when operations wrap up and personnel leave because it makes the departing force vulnerable. Attention shifts from the previous mission to the current plan to return home, and forces are more prone to attacks.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened amid the evacuation of US citizens and allies from Afghanistan on August 26 when a suicide bomb exploded. According to the Pentagon, the attack killed 13 American troops and injured 18 more. The bomb murdered 90 Afghans who were hoping to evacuate and wounded 140 others.
Details About the Bombing
After briefings from sources on the ground, defense officials were on high alert for the possibility of a terrorist attack from the Islamic State during the pullout. The US embassy in Kabul began issuing warnings on August 25 for Americans to avoid the Hamid Karzai International Airport because of the ongoing threat.
In the late afternoon, a member of ISIS-K made his way through the crowd to the main Kabul airport entryway, Abbey Gate, with a bomb vest on and detonated the explosives. Immediately following the deadly blast, another terrorist group member opened fire on the people gathered in the area. There were reports of a second explosion near the Baron Hotel, not far from the Abbey Gate, but US Army Major General William Taylor confirmed those reports were incorrect.
And while it might be instinctual to look to the Taliban extremist faction for the suicide bomb attacks, it was ISIS who proudly claimed responsibility on behalf of ISIS-K for the murders.
The Taliban/ISIS-K Relationship
ISIS-K is an offshoot group of the Islamic State terrorist organization operating mainly in the Khorasan Central Asian province with a vendetta against the United States for the death of their founding emir Hafiz Saeed Khan in 2016.
The group is responsible for hundreds of attacks in the Middle East, killing countless civilians, including mothers and babies, because of their extremist beliefs.
And although the Taliban also holds some of the same views, they’re known enemies. So it makes sense their presence at the Kabul airport would draw the radical group’s attention, especially after they reportedly killed a senior ISIS-K commander just last week.
The Islamic State breakoff division’s mission remains to attack and kill as many infidels in Afghanistan as they possibly can. For this reason, the threat is ongoing until every last US citizen and ally evacuates the country.
President Joe Biden addressed the nation shortly after the bombing with a threat of his own, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” However, he didn’t provide any specific details on how he would accomplish the mission. And his current cooperation with the Taliban casts a shadow over his words.
But as commander-in-chief, he ordered US military leaders to develop a plan to strike back at the terrorists.
Biden also made it clear that it’s in the Taliban’s best interest to help provide security around the airport as the evacuation plans continue until the August 31 deadline. In fact, evacuation flights resumed Friday morning. The US military has airlifted about 5,100 Americans to date and believes there are about 1,000 to go.
But with the continued terrorist threat in the area, there’s no telling if further attacks will happen or how many more innocent people will die before the mission is complete.
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