The father of Kareem Nikoui, one of the United States Marines killed in the deadly terrorist attack in Kabul last week, blamed President Joe Biden for his son’s death, saying the president “turned his back” on the young Marine.
On Friday, Kareem’s father, Steve, told the Daily Beast that while he wants to “respect the office” of President Biden, he believes both the president and military leaders are to blame for his 20-year-old son’s death, which occurred near the Abbey Gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul during Biden’s eleventh-hour efforts to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan
“They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” he said. “I blame my own military leaders … Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”
Mr. Nikoui told the Beast that he stayed home from work after news broke of the attack. “I knew he was there,” Kareem’s father said. “So all day, I was glued to the TV.”
Just after 4 p.m. local time Thursday, Nikoui said he saw three Marines approaching his house to deliver the devasting news of his son’s untimely death.
“I haven’t gone to bed all night,” Nikoui told the outlet Friday morning. “I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on.”
Nikoui later told Reuters that he had received a video from Kareem a day before his death, showing the Marine comforting Afghan children who were waiting at the airport.
“He was born the same year it started, and ended his life with the end of this war,” Mr. Nikoui said.
Newsmax host Greg Kelly posted a photo of the young Marine, writing, “Kareem Nikoui, US Marine. Killed in the Kabul Airport terror attack.”
On Thursday, after the suicide bombing attack that left 13 U.S. troops dead and 18 others injured, Biden told reporters that the decision to trust the Taliban during U.S. evacuation efforts injured was not a mistake.
During a White House press conference, a reporter asked, “There’s been some criticism, even from people in your party, about the dependence on the Taliban to secure the perimeter of the airport. Do you feel like there was a mistake made in that regard?”
Biden responded, “No, I don’t.”
“I think Gen. [Kenneth] McKenzie handled this question very well,” Biden continued. “The fact is that we’re in a situation, we inherited a situation, particularly since as we all know the Afghan military collapsed in 11 days. It is in the interests of, as McKenzie said, in the interests of the Taliban that in fact ISIS-K does not metastasize.”
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Friday that “thousands” of ISIS-K terrorists have been released from a prison at the Bagram Air Base after the Taliban took over. U.S. forces abruptly abandoned the base on July 1. The Associated Press reported the U.S. abandoned the base overnight without even notifying the base’s new Afghan military commander.
Politico reported last week, citing three unnamed U.S. officials, that the U.S. provided the Taliban with a list of of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies who should be given entry into the Kabul airport in an effort to expedite evacuation.