Review Reaffirms Findings on 2021 Kabul Airport Bombing

A comprehensive supplemental review by the U.S. Army Central Command has reaffirmed the initial findings of the 2021 investigation into the suicide bombing at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and approximately 170 Afghan civilians. The review, prompted by new public testimony and completed two years after the tragic event, confirmed that the attacker was Abdul Rahman al-Logari, an ISIS-K affiliate since 2016.

The review determined that despite al-Logari’s release by the Taliban from detention in mid-August 2021, the attack would likely have occurred regardless due to the availability of other ISIS-K operatives. It also concluded that the attack was tactically unavoidable at the time, given the circumstances and available intelligence.

Officials emphasized the professionalism and vigilance of the Marines on the ground, citing their adherence to the rules of engagement in a highly chaotic environment. The review also addressed various aspects of the security operations during the evacuation, supporting the decisions made under extreme pressure, including the consolidation of the airport’s perimeter the day before the attack.