The ISIS-K terrorist who carried out the August 26 suicide bombing outside the Kabul international airport that left 13 United States troops dead was released from prison by the Taliban just days before the bombing, three U.S. officials said on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Two U.S. officials and Rep. Ken Calvert, who said he was briefed by national security officials, confirmed the Taliban released the ISIS-K bomber from the Parwan prison at Bagram airbase after it was abandoned by President Joe Biden’s administration in July.
CNN reported that several hundred ISIS-K terrorists, as well as thousands of other prisoners, were being housed in the Parwan prison at Bagram and the Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul. In mid-August, the Taliban quickly took control of the facilities that were left in the control of Afghan authorities.
The militant group emptied the prisons, releasing both Taliban members and members of ISIS-K.
Eleven days after being released, one of the prisoners detonated a bomb at the Kabul Airport, killing 11 Marines, one soldier and one Navy corpsman. More than one month after the attack, one Marine injured in the attack remains in serious condition at Walter Reed Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C.
ISIS-K took credit for the deadly suicide bombing and identified Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri as the terrorist who executed the attack. Two U.S. officials later confirmed his identity.
The report comes as President Joe Biden continues to face backlash for his disastrous withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan that also left thousands of Americans stranded behind enemy lines.
Last week, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Gen. Frank McKenzie and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley both confirmed before Congress that they recommended to President Biden that a number of troops remain in Afghanistan, but those recommendations were seemingly ignored.
Without the troop presence, the generals said they believed Afghanistan would swiftly collapse.
“This committee is unsure as to whether or not General Miller’s recommendation ever got to the president,” Inhofe said. “Did you talk to the president about General Miller’s recommendation?”
“I was present when that discussion occurred, and I’m confident that the president heard all the recommendations and listened to them very thoughtfully,” McKenzie said.
In the wake of Biden’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan, no top officials have resigned, but one Marine officer is now facing court martial over publicly calling for top military officials to be held accountable for the deadly withdrawal.