US officials report that the Islamic State leader believed to have planned the 2021 airport bombing in Kabul has been slain by the ruling Taliban. The August bombing killed 170 civilians and 13 American soldiers who were attempting to evacuate the country as the Taliban assumed control.
The IS leader was killed weeks ago, but it took time for US officials to confirm his demise, according to sources. His identity has not been disclosed.
US officials stated that they determined the leader's death through intelligence gathering and surveillance of the region, but did not elaborate on how they determined he was responsible for the bombing.
Early in April, the United States learnt of the death of the leader. The sources mentioned that it is unclear whether he was targeted by the Taliban or was slain during ongoing fighting between IS and the Taliban.
The United States began notifying the families of fallen personnel about the death of the IS leader on Monday. The Marine Corps verified to CBS that Darin Hoover, the father of Marine Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover who died in the explosion, had been informed of the news. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Hoover stated that they were unable to provide him with specifics about the operation, but they did state that their sources are extremely reliable and that they've received confirmation from multiple sources that this individual was indeed killed.
The UK government stated at the time that among the casualties were two British nationals and the infant of a British national. A few days later, the United States claimed to have targeted a suicide bomber with a drone strike in Kabul, but subsequently admitted that the missile had killed 10 civilians, including seven children.
Later, they offered a $10 million (£8 million) reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of those accountable for the attack, or the capture of ISIS-K leader Sanaulah Ghafari. The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 signified the end of America's longest war.
It resulted in the collapse of the Afghan government and military, which had been supported for two decades by the US government. It also led to the return of the Taliban to power. The Biden administration was criticized domestically and internationally following the withdrawal.
During Republican-led hearings on the withdrawal, many had expressed anger over the abandonment of Afghans and US weaponry, and one US Marine injured in the blast characterized the withdrawal as a "catastrophe."
Michael McCaul, a representative for the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, stated that the death of the IS leader was welcoming news. However, it did not give justice to the families of the dead US soldiers. Mr. McCaul stated that if these reports are accurate, any time a terrorist is eliminated from the equation is a good day. However, this does not mitigate the Biden administration's responsibility for the failings that led to the Abbey Gate attack.
President Joe Biden ordered a comprehensive evaluation of the withdrawal, which was published earlier this month. The review placed the blame for the deadly withdrawal on President Donald Trump, stating that the Biden administration had been "severely constrained" by Mr. Trump's decisions, including a 2020 agreement with the Taliban to end the conflict.