National Security Officials Confirm to Rep. Calvert that the Kabul Bomber was Previously Held in Bagram Prison
National security officials have confirmed to Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) that the ISIS-K bomber responsible for the August 26, 2021 terror attack at Kabul airport was carried out by an individual who was released from the Bagram prison shortly after the Taliban seized control of the facility on August 15, 2021. The U.S. military abruptly abandoned the facility in July of 2021.
“U.S. national security officials have now confirmed to me the reports that the August 26th Kabul bomber was a known ISIS-K terrorist that was previously detained at the Bagram prison and was released along with thousands of others just days before the deadly attack,” said Rep. Calvert. “President Biden’s disastrous handling of our withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a series of events that culminated with the tragic loss of life on August 26th outside of the Kabul airport. Thirteen Americans, including one of my constituents, were killed because of the poor judgement and execution of our troop withdrawal. The Biden Administration needs to explain why these prisoners were not transferred and secured at another location. Those responsible for these grave errors not only put our brave service members in harm’s way but have now – by our military’s own admission – placed Americans in greater danger than they were before.”
The Kabul bomber has been identified as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, a known member of the Islamic State of Khurasan Province (ISIS-K) terrorist group.
The terror attack killed 13 U.S. service members, injured 20 more, as well as killed at least 169 Afghan civilians outside Kabul airport. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, a constituent of the 42nd Congressional District, was among those killed.
The bomber was incarcerated in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison for the past four years, after being arrested before he carried out a planned bombing attack in New Delhi. According to a report from Indian news outlet Firstpost, he “was handed over to the United States' Central Intelligence Agency by the Research and Analysis Wing in September 2017.”
An intelligence officer who worked on the Abdul Rehman case told Firstpost: "America’s disorganized retreat from Afghanistan has led to hundreds of highly-competent and highly-committed terrorists being set free to rejoin the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Literally a decade’s work on counter-terrorism has been undone by the US' failure to secure key prisoners in Bagram."
The prisoner swap agreed to last year was negotiated, included a condition that those release would not pose a security threat to the U.S. or its allies, and gave U.S. and Afghan officials to decide who was ultimately released. None of those conditions were present when the U.S. abandoned Bagram without notifying our Afghan partners and the Taliban indiscriminately released thousands of prisoners, including the Kabul bomber, from Bagram in August.