Kabul Airport Suicide Bomber Had Been Released From Prison by Taliban Days Earlier

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – It has been reported that the August suicide bomber that killed 169 Afghans and 13 United States military members was a terrorist that had been released by the Taliban from a CIA site after the US left the country.

The man, identified as Abdul Rehman, had been housed in a Bagram prison since September 2017, when he was handed over to the Central Intelligence Agency.

On August 15, Taliban members released thousands of prisoners, including Rehman, from multiple prisons in the area.

Rehman was an Afghan native of the Logar province who had ties to India, as he studied engineering at a college in that country and his father was a merchant that went there often for business.

When Rehman was arrested, it ended a plot by ISIS-K to place suicide bombers all across the region, including in New Delhi where he was originally apprehended.

An officer who worked on Rehman’s case told India’s FirstPost Magazine, on the condition of anonymity, “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 consequences of the failure, the officer said, will be “very far-reaching.”

One intelligence official said, “There’s no clarity on what happened to Abdul Rehman between his escape from Bagram and the suicide attack. It is possible he wanted revenge, or that he was persuaded by his old jihadist friends to atone for his role in the killings of his associates in this manner.”

Other senior Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were also said to have been released while the Taliban forcefully regained control of the region.

This piece was written by Leah Anaya on September 19, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Objectivist. Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own commentary.

Share your opinion

COMMENT POLICY: We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, hard-core profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment!