The United States confirmed that the Taliban killed the leader of the 2021 Kabul attack in Afghanistan

Many Afghans show credentials while trying to contact international forces to try to flee the country outside the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul (EFE/AKHTER GULFAM) (AKHTER GULFAM/)

The Taliban killed the main leader of the Islamic State group behind the suicide attack of August 2021 in front of the kabul airport that left 13 US service members and about 170 Afghans dead, according to the father of a Marine killed in the attack that was reported Tuesday by military officials.

Over the weekend, the US military began informing families about the 11 Marines, one sailor and one soldier killed in the blast at Abbey Gate during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. And those family members shared the information in a private group messaging chat, according to the mother of another Marine.

The story of the families Associated Press it was confirmed by three US officials and a top congressional aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet made public.

The leader of the Islamic State, whose identity has not yet been revealed, was killed in southern Afghanistan in early April as the Taliban carried out a series of operations against the Islamic State group, according to one of the officials. The Taliban at the time were not aware of the identity of the person they killed, the official added.

Darin Hoover, the father of Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, said the Marines provided him with limited information Tuesday and did not identify the Islamic State leader or give the circumstances of his death.

Hoover is among a group of 12 Gold Star families who have kept in touch since the attack, supporting each other and sharing information through messaging chat. The chat was created by Cheryl Rex, the mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, who died in the explosion.

Rex, who has been outspoken in criticizing the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal, told PA that it was through the chat group that they were informed Monday night about the assassination while awaiting official confirmation from US military officials.

Kabul airport attack
This is how they moved one of the victims

Hoover said he and his son’s mother, Kelly Henson, have spent the past year and a half mourning the death of the 31-year-old Marine Corps staff sergeant and praying for the Biden administration’s accountability for its handling of the retreat.

The killing of the unidentified member of the Islamic State group, Hoover said, is not helping them.

“No matter what happens, it’s not going to bring Taylor back and I understand that,” he said in a phone call. “About the only thing his mother and I can do now is be his advocate. All we want is the truth. And we are not getting it. That’s the frustrating part.”

His son and the other fallen service members were among those watching over the thousands of Afghans frantically trying on August 26, 2021 to board one of the crowded flights leaving the country after the US takeover. taliban The scene of despair quickly turned into one of horror as a suicide bomber attacked. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

The explosion at Abbey Gate came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. But that advice was largely ignored by the Afghans desperate to escape the country in the final days of a US-led evacuation before the US officially ended its 20-year presence.

The Afghanistan-based branch of Islamic State, with up to 4,000 members, is the Taliban’s staunchest enemy and main military threat. The group has continued to carry out attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban took power, especially against minority groups in the country.

Kabul bombing
Injured women arrive at a hospital for treatment after two explosions in front of the Kabul airport on August 26, 2021 (Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

After the Trump administration reached a agreement in 2020 with the Taliban to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and the Biden administration followed through on that deal in 2021, there was hope in Washington that the Taliban’s desire for international recognition and assistance for the country’s impoverished population might temper their behavior.

But relations between the US and the Taliban have deteriorated significantly since they imposed new draconian measures that they prohibited girls from going to school and excluded women from working for international aid and health agencies.

However, there is still a line of communication between the two parties, led by the US special envoy for Afghanistan, Tom West. West’s contacts are mainly with Taliban officials in Kabul and not with the more ideological wing of the Kandahar-based group.

The withdrawal of US troops in August 2021 caused the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and army, which the United States had supported for almost two decades, and the return to power of the Taliban. A comprehensive review was later ordered by President Joe Biden to look at “every aspect of this from top to bottom” and was released earlier this month.

The Biden administration in the public version of the review largely blamed President Donald Trump for the deadly and chaotic 2021 withdrawal, which was marked by the suicide bombing at Abbey Gate.

The news of the murder came the same day that Biden formally announced who will seek a second term as president, offering a reminder of one of the most difficult chapters of his presidency. The disastrous downsizing was, at the time, the biggest crisis the relatively new administration had ever faced. He raised sharp questions about the competence and experience of Biden and his team, the twin central pillars of his White House campaign.

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