Earlier today, some organization carried out a complex suicide bomb attack on the perimeter of Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul. The explosions took place at an ingress point called the Abbey Gate and at the Baron Hotel, which is just a short distance from the Abbey Gate.
🔴The suicide bomber struck by Kabul airport's Abbey Gate.
The attack was followed up by gunfire and then another explosion near the Baron hotel pic.twitter.com/NiSjwxuSsf
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 26, 2021
Initial reports indicate at least four US Marines and an unknown number of civilians have been killed (see BREAKING: Four US Marines Killed in Kabul Bombing, More Attacks Anticipated). But that number may be substantially higher.
At least 10 US service members have been killed outside the airport in Kabul — from US officials according to our Pentagon team.
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) August 26, 2021
Breaking: Pentagon-connected source tells me as many as 13 U.S. service members are now believed killed, 20 troops wounded, 10 in critical condition.
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) August 26, 2021
At least 40 dead and 120 wounded, with the majority in critical condition, arriving at #Kabul hospitals following the terror attacks, according to a local NYT reporter.
6 days ago, Biden downplayed the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan.pic.twitter.com/73QYCPZO5j
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) August 26, 2021
Earlier today, an Italian Air Force C-130 evacuation plane taking off from HKIA.
#BIG: 🚨 Shots fired at Italian Air Force C-130 evacution plane that flew out of #Kabul airport #Afghanistan, no injures reported. pic.twitter.com/JDmM53qPnp
— OSINT Updates 🚨 (@OsintUpdates) August 26, 2021
Things are going to get a lot worse; let me tell you why.
The US government negotiated an agreement with the Taliban to allow the use of HKIA for evacuation until the August 31 deadline laid down by the Taliban for all US forces to be removed from their country. However, if you have followed the day-in-day-out reporting, it is obvious that the people making the deal don’t necessarily have the juice to make the deals work.
For instance, Taliban forces harassed and beat US passport holders on the way to the airport despite everyone agreeing that this would not happen. Earlier this week, Taliban fighters started turning back Afghans, no matter their US visa status. This was followed by an “official” announcement by the Taliban government that Afghans would no longer be allowed to leave (read Joe Biden Has Just Abandoned the Afghans Who Helped Us to Fight the Taliban). My assertion is that the Taliban leadership, like most revolutionary governments, is often driven by the actions of subordinate commanders as much as it dictates actions.
A wild card was also revealed today. There have been rumors of something called “ISIS-K,” or Islamic State-Khorasan suddenly cropping up. This is a relatively new group in Afghanistan and isn’t thought to be particularly large. While it is difficult to believe this group is any more brutal than the Taliban, the extent to which it has a different chain-of-command and political leadership means that it may not be on board with the rules, formal and informal, in existence at HKIA. The White House and its catchfarts in the media have pointed the finger of blame at this group.
Explosions outside the Kabul airport that have caused multiple U.S. casualties come as Biden administration officials have been alarmed in recent days by threats at Hamid Karzai International Airport by ISIS-K, a terrorist group that is a sworn enemy of the Taliban.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said while no formal attribution has been made, all signs – and recently gathered intelligence – point to ISIS-K, an offshoot of Islamic State, as the culprits.
This is where the funhouse mirrors come in.
Along with the newly discovered ISIS-K group, we are getting a parallel narrative.
The Taliban and ISIS-K are sworn enemies and have been fighting for years. ISIS-K views the Taliban as apostates, and not devout enough in terms of its approach to Islam. The group’s leaders denounced the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, The New York Times reported. Along these lines, ISIS-K has an interest in conducting attacks that would induce chaos, embarrass the Taliban, and make it harder for the militant group to tighten its grip over Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s victory “puts significant pressure on ISIS to demonstrate its continued relevance to global jihad, which will make ISIS more dangerous as it attempts to prove the organization’s capability and relevance,” Jennifer Cafarella, a national security fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, told Insider.
The question is, do we believe this? For years we were told by the same group of clowns that Shia and Sunni would not cooperate…and yet in Iraq, we saw that happening all the time. We saw al-Qaeda operatives given safe haven in Iran. Now we’re told that this group and the Taliban are sworn enemies, yet somehow, they can operate freely at the epicenter of Taliban military strength and carry off an independent operation beneficial to the Taliban without being detected. Color me skeptical.
Let’s be candid; the Taliban have a vested interest in turning what is already a goat-rope into a monumental disaster. The way to do that is to gradually increase insecurity at HKIA without being overtly involved. This lets the Taliban have its cake (it is seen to keep its agreement with the US) while creating a disaster (mysterious suicide bombers, planes shot at, etc.).
The Biden White House also has a vested interest in assigning blame to ISIS-K, perhaps even an existential interest. That makes them look like they have the vaguest clue as to what is going on.
Of course, ISIS-K has a vested interest in taking credit, because this raises their profile and they look like the guys who are carrying on with the good fight, as the Taliban is making kissy-face with the Great Satan.
ISIS-K, or whoever has drawn blood, has further embarrassed the United States (assuming that is possible). Unless the Taliban haul out the planners and leaders behind the attack for a public rendezvous with a Stihl chainsaw, either the Taliban are not in control and the Biden White House are morons for negotiating with them, or the Taliban is stage-managing the attacks while maintaining plausible deniability.
The only way the US breaks out of this cycle and can continue the evacuation is to hold the Taliban accountable for every attack and any attack on US or allied interests. They’ve shown they can’t or won’t’ provide security for our forces and civilians, and it is time to let them know that our rules have changed, too. But we won’t do that — because the White House is weak and flaccid, and really doesn’t care if Americans, military or civilian, die in Kabul.
The Pentagon just said they expect ISIS attacks to continue and are relying on the Taliban to help protect us. The Taliban are supposed to protect us?! This is insanity.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 26, 2021