Afghanistan Situation Report: Terrorism Alarm Bells Ring Out As Bomb Blasts Kill 12 Americans

Thursday's two bomb blasts in Afghanistan--allegedly by Isis K--near Kabul's Hamid Karzai InternationalAirport, which reportedly
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Thursday's two bomb blasts in Afghanistan--allegedly by Isis K--near Kabul's Hamid Karzai InternationalAirport, which reportedly killed 13 American service members, injured 15, and, according to the Taliban, caused over 40 Afghan deaths is further complicating the Biden Administration's evacuation efforts slated to end Aug. 31.

For months, the message from the White House has been clear: The U.S. military is no longer needed in Afghanistan because the country is no longer a safe haven for terrorists who could strike the United States.

But on Thursday, that vision was shattered when two blasts rocked the ground near the Kabul airport, reportedly killing 13 U.S. service members and leaving scores of additional Afghan casualties in their wake. For officials and observers—many of whom had been working nearly around the clock to safely evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan allies—it confirmed their worst fears: Afghanistan could once again become a haven for terrorism.

In the first instance, a suicide bomber detonated a vest near Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing or wounding four or more U.S. personnel, according to a State Department alert obtained by SitRep.

Another blast occurred at the Baron Hotel, just a few steps from the airport. Local reports attributed to the Taliban indicated the blast left over 40 people dead and more than 100 injured.

We’re still waiting for a final update on the casualty toll—and on whether Afghanistan’s Islamic State franchise is responsible, as some U.S. officials suspect. But as U.S. troops welded the gates to the airport shut after the attack, there were fears that the security threat could further hamper the evacuation, which had already been impeded by scores of Taliban checkpoints that sprouted up around Kabul in recent days.

The Taliban condemned the attacks in a statement on Thursday.

But that wasn’t enough for many lawmakers skeptical of where Afghanistan is heading after the U.S. withdrawal.

“As we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security,” Sen. Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement after the attacks on Thursday.

Read more of this coverage here.

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