The Pentagon has identified an alleged Islamic State member killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan last month; he was behind attacks on American troops after admitting a separate strike in Kabul killed civilians.
An August 27 drone strike in the eastern province of Nangarhar killed a lethal aid facilitator” for the Islamic State’s ‘Khorasan’ cell named Kabir Aidi, CENTCOM spokesman John Rigsbee added.
Noting the man also went by the alias “Mustafa.” Post-strike reflections indicate that Kabir Aidi was directly connected to the ISIS-K leaders that coordinated the August 26 attack at [Hamid Karzai International Airport],” the spokesman said,
Referring to a suicide bombing that killed at least 169 Afghan civilians and 13 American soldiers during a hasty evacuation effort last month.
Aidi was involved in “attack planning and magnetic IED production,” as well as the “distribution of explosives and suicide vests,” Rigsbee went on, adding he was “directly connected to threat streams in Kabul throughout the non-combatant evacuation at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The spokesman gave no indication of how the military arrived at those conclusions but also alleged Aidi was behind previous attacks in the Afghan capital, including at Kabul University in November 2020.
The Nangarhar strike as another drone bombing in Kabul on August 29 was launched in retaliation for the airport attack, which came as Washington withdrew its remaining personnel following 20 years of war.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley even deeming it a “righteous strike” – the military has since acknowledged that a man originally thought to be an ISIS fighter was, in fact, a non-combatant and that the drone strike killed nine other civilians, including seven children.
That none of those killed in the strike had ties to terrorism or posed a threat to US forces, deeming the innocent deaths a “mistake, said Frank Mackenzie.
Prior to that admission, the military had described Ahmadi in similar terms as the alleged ISIS fighter identified by CENTCOM was calling him an “imminent ISIS-K threat” and claiming the strike was “very disruptive” to the terrorist group’s plans for future attacks.