Pentagon Hit by Intel Leak Showing U.S. Knew in Advance Specifics of Kabul Airport Attack That Killed 13 U.S. Military Members
According to a Politico report, using leaked classified intelligence from the U.S. intel community, the Pentagon knew well in advance that a suicide bomber was coming to the Abbey Gate long before the explosion. According to the leak, the military knew where and when the attack was coming; and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned allies to avoid the area.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chief’s Chariman Mark Milley, and CentCom Commander General Kenneth McKenzie all knew in advance the Abbey Gate was going to be bombed on Thursday, yet they kept the gate open.
(Politico) – Just 24 hours before a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, senior military leaders gathered for the Pentagon’s daily morning update on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
Speaking from a secure video conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon at 8 a.m. Wednesday — or 4:30 p.m. in Kabul — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed more than a dozen of the department’s top leaders around the world to make preparations for an imminent “mass casualty event,” according to classified detailed notes of the gathering shared with POLITICO.
During the meeting, Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of “significant” intelligence indicating that the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, ISIS-K, was planning a “complex attack,” the notes quoted him as saying. Commanders calling in from Kabul relayed that the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was “highest risk,” and detailed their plans to protect the airport.
“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Austin said, according to the classified notes.
On a separate call at 4 that afternoon, or 12:30 a.m. on Thursday in Kabul, the commanders detailed a plan to close Abbey Gate by Thursday afternoon Kabul time. But the Americans decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal timeline, to continue evacuating their personnel, based at the nearby Baron Hotel.
American troops were still processing entrants to the airport at Abbey Gate at roughly 6 p.m. in Kabul on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest there, killing nearly 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members. (read more)