Rep. Ken Calvert says suicide bomber was one of 7,000 inmates held at Bagram prison
The ISIS-K suicide bomber who killed 13 US service members outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in August was a prisoner released from Bagram Air Base on August 15, when the Taliban took control of the facility.
Officials confirmed the details to Granthshala News, including Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Cal., the top Republican on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, who told Granthshala News last week that intelligence sources said the suicide bombers were among 7,000 prisoners. there was one. Bagram was kept in prison, and was released by the Taliban last month.
Top Republic says ISIS suicide bomber was released from Bagram Air Base, cites Indian intel
“Security officials have now confirmed to me that the 26 August Kabul bomber was an ISIS-K terrorist previously detained in Bagram prison and released along with thousands of others a few days before the deadly attack.” The suicide bombing killed 13 American service members, seriously injured 20 more, and killed more than 150 Afghans.
“There were 7,000 prisoners held there — the terrorists, the worst terrorists — separated from the other terrorists,” Calvert said. “We believe he was one of them.”
Calvert said he is “in a position,” as the top Republican on the committee “that funds the CIA, the NSA, the NRO, the US Marine Corps, the Army, the Navy, the whole enterprise,” to say that he believes —that the intelligence they receive is “reliable.”
“I believe that the Indian intelligence services are correct in their assumptions and I have good reason to believe that the intelligence in their assessment is correct,” he said.
“It’s obviously a big deal, and the administration is trying to avoid it right now,” Calvert said. “It is important for the American people to know the truth.”
Calvert’s remarks came after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley and US Central Command chief General Kenneth F. McKenzie testified last week before armed services committees for both the House and Senate.
Stuart Schaller Attorney: Marine Still Suspicious Gag Under Order Despite Brigade Release, Rips ‘punitive’ Generals
McKenzie testified last week that the US was “still waiting to find out” whether the bomber was a former prisoner at Bagram Air Base, while Austin remained largely silent on the question.
The August 26 suicide bombing killed 13 US service members – including 11 Marines, a Navy sailor and an Army soldier. Eighteen other US service members were injured. More than 150 civilians were killed in the bombing.
In July, all US forces were withdrawn from Bagram, Afghanistan’s largest military base.
The Pentagon said on August 27 that “thousands” of ISIS-led prisoners were freed by the Taliban during the Afghan takeover days of the bombing near Kabul airport.
As the Biden administration began the withdrawal of military assets, provincial capitals throughout Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Taliban. By mid-August, the Taliban had gained control of two-thirds of Afghanistan. And by the time the US withdrew all US troops from the country on August 31, Kabul had also fallen into the hands of the Taliban. In mid-August, US intelligence assessments estimated the capital city could come under Taliban control within 90 days.
Meanwhile, Calvert told Granthshala News last week that he was investigating the matter, saying he had “a lot of questions that I’m trying to get through.”
Milley calls war in Afghanistan a ‘strategic failure’ for US, warns Taliban to ‘remain a terrorist organization’
“Why didn’t we take or secure those prisoners in the first place? And who will take responsibility for this miscalculation?” They asked, “What are we doing to hunt down his companions?”
Calvert said the man attacked the airport 10 days after his release from Bagram prison and questioned whether he acted alone.
“We need to know who they were, and also, where have the other 6,999 prisoners been released?” Calvert continued. “These prisoners were not just from Afghanistan, but from many different places – God knows where they are now.”
He added: “We have to try to figure out what the threat to our homeland and our allies means with these terrorists.”
Calvert said the US is “in a bad position” after fully withdrawing military assets from Afghanistan.
“You have thousands of terrorists running around,” he said, adding that the release of prisoners from Bagram “undone decades of American counterterrorism work.”
“It’s a threat, and it could be a bigger threat,” he said. “The administration can also come out and tell the truth.”