The planner of the Kabul airport bombing that left 13 US soldiers and around 170 civilians dead when the Biden administration finally withdrew US forces from the country has been killed by the Taliban.
The alleged mastermind behind the bloody 2021 suicide attack was a leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, also known as ISIS-K, anonymous Biden administration officials said. the washington post.
Officials did not name the person or give details about how they were killed to protect the US government’s intelligence-gathering capabilities in the region, the newspaper said.
The bombing took place on August 26, 2021 outside the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport, where crowds packed to try to board evacuation flights after the Afghan government collapsed to the Taliban.
Authorities say the United States failed to coordinate with the Taliban, whose fighters carried out the killings in the “last few weeks.”
“In recent weeks we have come to realize that the ISIS-K terrorist most responsible for that horrific attack on August 26, 2021 has been killed in a Taliban operation,” a senior official told ABC News on Tuesday.
“We did not carry out this operation directly with the Taliban. We are not partnering with the Taliban. But we believe the result is significant.”
The attack was the deadliest enemy attack on US forces since August 2011, when a Chinook helicopter was shot down, killing 30 US soldiers on board.
Officials say they learned of the killing shortly after it happened, but took time to make sure before beginning to inform the families of US troops killed in the bombing.
“It took a bit of time to get to a high level of confidence that this was indeed an individual who had been removed in the operation. And of course we wanted to get it right before notifying families,” the official said.
The US troops who died were Marine Lance Cpl David Espinoza, 20; Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee, 23; Marine Staff Sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover, 31; Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, 23; Marine Cpl Hunter Lopez, 22; Marine Lance Cpl Dylan Merola, 20; Marine Lance Cpl Rylee McCollum, 20; Marine Lance Cpl Kareem Nikoui, 20; Marine Cpl Daegan Page, 23; Marine Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25; Marine Cpl Humberto Sanchez, 22; Marine Lance Cpl Jared Schmitz, 20; and Army Hospitaller Maxton Soviak, 22.