As tensions rise on a wider range of issues, the United States stands remorseful of the thirteen American lives lost in the bombing of the Kabul airport last year. On Monday, the State Department announced a $10 million reward to each person who comes forward with intel on anyone else involved in the attack during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year. The blast had killed thirteen American Troops and at least one hundred-seventy Afghan civilians.
Many believe the death of the former leader of the Islamic State, Al-Qurashi, on Thursday was what ultimately led to the offer being released the following Monday. Prior to the arrival of the U.S. Special Forces, Al-Qurashi detonated a bomb, killing both himself and his family.
Sanaullah Ghafari is suspected of supplying, selling arms, and recruiting for ISIS-K. In November, the State Department designated Ghafari as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”. Since the start of 2022, ISIS-K has been involved in week-long jail raids, intercontinental recruiting, and the killing of thousands of innocent people.
Officials believe Sanaullah Ghafari had something to do with the airport attack. Ghafari was appointed to lead ISIS-K in June of 2020. According to U.S. officials, he is responsible for approving all the group’s strategic decisions in Afghanistan. The State Department also claimed that authority included Ghafari authorizing the Kabul airport bombing. Lead investigator, Brig. Gen. Lance Curtis, “It was a single blast, and it did not have the following attack. There were a series of crossfires to the front of the service members on the ground that created the illusion that there was a complex attack, but they’re absolutely were not.”
U.S. officials said in November they believed ISIS-K could develop the ability to strike outside of Afghanistan within six to 12 months. Their actions on Monday are being perceived as preventative, to say the least. The airport bomber carried 20 pounds of explosives packed with ball bearings as he blew himself up at Abbey Gate outside the Kabul airport. The Defense Department last Friday said an investigation into the attack showed that the Kabul airport bomber acted alone, which contradicted previous statements, according to The New York Times.