According to the National Security Council, the Taliban killed the ISIS-K leader responsible for the 2021 Abbey Gate suicide bombing at the Kabul international airport.
John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, did not name the ISIS-K leader killed by the Taliban, but referred to him as “the mastermind of the horrific attack,” which killed 13 US service members and over 170 Afghan civilians in the final days of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The ISIS-K leader behind the deadly suicide bombing at the Kabul airport in 2021 was killed by the Taliban, the White House says https://t.co/6JgL4HsNa3
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 25, 2023
Since the Taliban’s return to power, they’ve initiated an exhaustive crackdown on ISIS-K (which stands for ISIS-Khorasan) but still has a long way to go in it’s dealings with the terror organization.
About a month ago, US Central Commander, General Erik Kurilla reported to lawmakers that:
“In Afghanistan, the reduction in collection, analytical resources, and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance assets means our campaign against Al Qaeda and ISIS Khorasan is challenged; while we can see the broad contours of attack planning, we lack the granularity to see the complete threat picture.”
Kurilla also said that the terror group was ramping up attacks in the region and was in the process of planning attacks on US assets home and abroad.
Some authorities claim that this ISIS-K leader being killed by the Taliban rather than the DoD demonstrates severe limitations on the US’ ability to operate in Afghanistan following the end of the war.
Michael McCaul, Texas Representative and Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee rallied behind the ISIS-K leader’s killing. In statement, he said, “Any time a terrorist is taken off the board is a good day. But this doesn’t diminish the Biden administration’s culpability for the failures that led to the attack at Abbey Gate, and will in no way deter the committee’s investigation.”
Darin Hoover, father of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, who was killed at the Abbey Gate bombing said, “It’s great, we have another terrorist off the face of this earth. I’m good with that. But it doesn’t absolve the administration or the State Department or the Pentagon from taking responsibility or accountability for what happened. They haven’t stepped up and said we messed this up and it won’t happen again. And I personally think it can happen again.