The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-KP) suicide bomber, who blew himself up outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, was released from Bagram Air Base by the Taliban a few days before the suicide attack, according to multiple reports.
The ISKP suicide attack on Kabul airport killed 13 US soldiers and more than 100 Afghan civilians.
The August 26 attack came as thousands of people gathered near Kabul airport to leave the country. Although US intelligence officials had previously warned of an explosion, the attack was not prevented. The blast killed more than 170 people, including 13 US troops, and wounded more than 200 others.
Some U.S. officials have now been quoted as saying that the suicide bomber was an ISKP member who was previously held in the US-controlled Bagram prison in Parwan province. The Taliban are said to have taken control of the area before the fall of Kabul. Thus, the suicide bomber was released from prison a few days before August 26.
Hundreds of ISKP members and Taliban fighters have reportedly been detained in Bagram and Pul-e Charkhi prisons. The Taliban have released their forces shortly after rising to power. In the meantime, hundreds of ISKP-affiliated prisoners have also been released.
One of the released prisoners is the perpetrator of the August 26 suicide attack in Kabul airport. Hundreds of Afghan civilians and 13 US service members were killed in the deadly attack. These are the last American soldiers to be killed during the 20 years of the US War on Terror in Afghanistan.
At the same time as the fall of Kabul, thousands of US troops and their allies were deployed to Kabul to facilitate one of the largest evacuation programs on record. The process took about two weeks, resulting in the evacuation of 123,000 people, including Afghans.
One day after the suicide attack (August 27), the ISKP claimed responsibility. The ISKP member has been identified as Abdul Rahman Al-Logari by US officials. According to a previous ISKP claim, the perpetrator managed to reach a distance of at least five meters from US forces by overcoming all security fortifications.
US Army Chief of Staff Mark Alexander Milley has previously warned that a terrorist threat may be less than 9/11, but that ISIS and al-Qaeda could regroup and pose a threat to the international community. He suggested that these groups could be revived in the next one to three years, stressing that the United States has a responsibility to monitor the situation and protect its citizens from possible attacks.
The Taliban, on the other hand, has assured the international community that Afghan territory will not be used against any country.
US allies have previously criticized the United States for its irresponsible withdrawal from Afghanistan. Congressman Ken Calvert blames the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that 13 US troops have been killed due to this strategic failure.
Recently, some US Senate Republicans have called for a review of how US troops left Afghanistan. Leading Republican senators Josh Hawley and Rick Scott have proposed a bill that would require a congressional committee to answer questions about how US troops left Afghanistan.
Critics of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan insist that the Doha agreement was key to the Taliban’s victory. According to the Doha Agreement, signed on February 29, 2020, the US had to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
The deal also prompted the United States to work to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners from government custody. Although the Taliban have repeatedly stated that these prisoners have not returned to the battlefields, Afghan and US officials had previously officially confirmed that all of these prisoners have returned to the front lines.