Taliban killed the Mastermind of 2021 Kabul Airport Bombing

Taliban killed the Islamic State militant who planned the suicide attack in August 2021

( Photo credit: AP)

The Islamic State militant who planned the suicide attack in August 2021 at the Kabul airport, which killed 13 American service members and about 170 Afghans, was killed by the Taliban in a ground operation.

At first, neither the U.S. nor the Taliban were aware that the mastermind had died. According to the report by AP, he was killed at the beginning of this month after a series of confrontations in southern Afghanistan between the Taliban and an affiliate of the Islamic State organization.

An important member of the government said that U.S. intelligence had recently confirmed “with high confidence” that the Islamic State commander had been killed. The officials engaged in conversation on intelligence-related issues while remaining anonymous.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, confirmed the plotter’s death in a statement late Tuesday night. He added that the US was not part of this operation.

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A secret group chat discussion was used by the American military to begin communicating with the parents of the 11 Marines, one sailor, and one soldier who perished in the Abbey Gate explosion over the weekend. 

The death of the Marines’ murderer, according to the father of one of the Marines, provides scant solace.

Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover said that for the past 18 months, he and his son’s mother, Kelly Henson, had been grieving their son’s passing and pleading with God to hold the Biden administration accountable for how the pull-out was handled.

The identity and the circumstances of his death were not disclosed by the Marines, he said, and they only gave him a limited amount of information. A lack of specifics was expressed by U.S. officials due to the sensitivity of the information collection.

The administration official stated that it was their “moral responsibility” to let the victims’ families know that the “mastermind” and “person most responsible for the airport attack” had been taken away from the crime site.  According to intelligence authorities, the commander had “remained a key plotter and overseer” for the organization, the official continued.

According to several authorities, neither the U.S. nor the Taliban coordinated the death in any way. The administration official described the Taliban activity as “significant” and said it was only through the United States “over the horizon” intelligence capabilities that it was made aware of the operation.

Context 

A Taliban fighter stands guard on August 27, 2021, at the site of the August 26, 2021
(Photo credit: Axios)

On August 26, 2021, following the horrific Taliban takeover, the slain service personnel were among those screening the hordes of Afghans urgently trying to board one of the packed aircraft out of the nation. The situation soon changed into fear when the suicide bomber attacked. The Islamic State organization took ownership.

Several hours before the Abbey Gate explosion, Western officials had issued a significant attack warning and urged travelers to flee the airport. However, enthusiastic Afghans disregarded that advice lopsidedly in the final days of an American-led evacuation before the U.S. formally concluded its 20-year mission.

The Islamic State-Khorasan, an Afghan-based offshoot of the Islamic State, is the Taliban’s most vicious enemy and greatest military threat. Up to 4,000 militants are present. Since seizing power there, the Taliban has continued to carry out attacks, especially against the country’s minorities.

After the Trump administration made a deal with the Taliban in 2020 to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and the Biden administration continued that deal in 2021, there had been hoped in Washington that the Taliban’s desire for international recognition and aid for the country’s poor population might moderate their behavior.

However, relations between the two nations have deteriorated since the Taliban imposed stringent new restrictions that forbade women from working for international aid and health groups and from attending school.

US told Taliban that it is their responsibility to ensure that they give no haven to terrorists

The quick dissolution of the Afghan government and military, which the US had backed for over two decades, and the Taliban’s rise to power were aided by the US decision to remove all troops.

The Biden administration mostly blamed President Donald Trump for the fatal and chaotic 2021 pull-out, which also resulted in the suicide bombing at Abbey Gate.

The murder’s announcement coincided with Biden’s official announcement that he will run for president again, serving as a reminder of one of his administration’s most challenging episodes. The devastating drawdown was a serious disaster the government had experienced at the time. It raised serious concerns about the skill and expertise of Biden and his team, the two foundations of his presidential campaign.

Response by White House

The White House National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, on Tuesday, made clear to the Taliban that it is their responsibility to ensure that they give no haven to terrorists, whether from al-Qaida or the Islamic State.

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