US Military Reportedly Zeroing in on Daesh Cell Linked to Kabul Airport Suicide Bomber
23:09 GMT 01.01.2022 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
Nearly 200 individuals, including 13 US service members, were killed in August 2021 by a suicide bomber near the Kabul airport's southeast gate. Both the Islamic State and the US have identified the bomber as Abdul Rahman Al-Logari, an engineering student-turned-militant who was freed from Parwan prison after Kabul fell to the Taliban*.
The US and foreign intelligence officials are making headway in efforts to gather intelligence on Daesh-Khorasan*, the Afghan-based Islamic State branch, as well as an affiliated suicide bomber who killed almost 200 individuals on August 26, according to a new report in the New York Times
Citing American officials, the outlet detailed that the US and Logari had a previous run-in back in 2017, when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tipped off Indian counterparts to warn of a planned suicide bombing by Logari in New Delhi.
Authorities in India ultimately thwarted the student-turned-militant's planned attack and detained the suspect. Soon after, Logari was handed over to the CIA, which assigned him to serve time at the US-made Parwan Detention Facility.
The militant remained at the Bagram Air Base prison until August 15, 2021, when the Taliban swarmed the abandoned air base and freed over 12,000 prisoners—including some 6,000 Taliban fighters.
At the same time, the Taliban also released rival militants from the Pul-e-Charkhi and Parwan prison, including Logari and some 1,800 Daesh-K fighters, according to US officials. The release occurred just 11 days prior to the suicide bombing.
"It’s hard to explain what the thinking was in letting out people who were a threat to the Taliban," Edmund Fitton-Brown, a senior UN counterterrorism official, said during a recent security conference in Doha, Qatar.
Daesh-K, which quickly claimed responsibility for the August 26 terror attack, has significantly expanded since Shahab al-Muhajir, a new commander, took hold of the group in June 2020.
In October 2021, Colin H. Kahl, a US undersecretary of defense for policy, told members of Congress that the militant group could be preparing to attack the US as soon as 2022.
"We could see ISIS-K generate that capability in somewhere between six and twelve months," Kahl claimed before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I think the current assessments by the intelligence community is that al Qaeda would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability."
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries