In 2017, then President Trump authorized the use of the GBU-43, otherwise known as a MOAB in the Nangarhar Province where at the time ISIS -K had emerged. This was as a result of 2 U.S. troops that were killed fighting ISIS and a third was wounded.
The Nangarhar province borders Pakistan and Afghanistan’s defense ministry reported the death of 94 militants including 4 major commanders and that no civilians had been killed in the strike. Two civilian deaths were also reported.
But why Nangarhar province? 5 days ago, CENTCOM reported an ISIS-K planner, an associate was struck and killed by a drone strike. It is also being reported that there were civilian casualties but as of the writing of this post, the Pentagon is not providing more information on the strike including the name or names of the ISIS-K operatives. It is suggested that the now dead operatives were part of the prison break by the Taliban from either the Bagram detention facility or the center in Kabul known as Pul-e-Charkhi. If this is the case, then were are a pile of new questions and a possible additional scandal brewing in the Biden-Afghanistan exit debacle.
But wait there is more.
Meet Amin al-Haq. He served as the security coordinator of Osama bin Laden’s Black Guard, was recently released by Pakistani authorities, according to a report in the Afghan Islamic Press, a jihadist news organization based in Peshawar. Al Haq was released from Pakistani custody in 2011.
Dr. Amin-ul-Haq, a major al-Qaeda player in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden security in charge in Tora Bora, returns to his native Nangarhar province after it fell to the Taliban. Dr. Amin became close to OBL in the 80s when he worked with Abdullah Azzam in Maktaba Akhidmat. pic.twitter.com/IXbZeJ0nZE
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 30, 2021
Could this where the next al Qaeda plotting against the West is based? Remember that President Biden declared in recent days that al Qaeda has been decimated? Oh, former President Obama said the same thing. So, Amin al Haq is in Nangarhar.
What can the United States possibly cultivate now with regard to intelligence since the CIA and the total United States footprint in Afghanistan is now gone? Feeling protected yet? Well, we may still have some tiny covert thing going on just outside of Kabul called the Salt Pit. A big maybe because –>
The C.I.A. had used part of the compound called Eagle Base to train Afghan counterterrorism units. Another section — the C.I.A.’s first detention center in Afghanistan, known as the Salt Pit — was where a U.S. government report found that the agency had carried out torture on detainees. Structures in both Eagle Base and the Salt Pit were demolished to prevent the Taliban from seizing sensitive materials. The C.I.A. had used part of the compound called Eagle Base to train Afghan counterterrorism units. Another section — the C.I.A.’s first detention center in Afghanistan, known as the Salt Pit — was where a U.S. government report found that the agency had carried out torture on detainees. Structures in both Eagle Base and the Salt Pit were demolished to prevent the Taliban from seizing sensitive materials.
More destruction appears to have occurred on Aug. 27, the day the Pentagon said U.S. forces carried out controlled demolitions of their own equipment. Publicly available data from NASA sensors shows heat signatures at the site possibly caused by active fires and explosions. Satellite imagery taken the next day also shows two warehouses with apparent fire damage. The buildings very likely contained documents, hard drives and other sensitive information, according to a former agency contractor. Officials have confirmed Eagle Base was destroyed. Evacuees were flown by helicopter to Hamid Karzai International Airport to avoid Taliban checkpoints. Flight data reveals that three Mi-17 helicopters made at least 35 flights to or from the compound since the Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug. 15. Hundreds were evacuated from the site since that day, according to people briefed on the operations.
The types of aircraft used — and their opaque ownership structures — provide clues that these flights were most likely designed to be covert and be involved in sensitive missions.
The helicopters are Russian-made Mi-17s, which are commonly flown by the Afghan military, and normally wouldn’t attract unwanted attention in the skies over Kabul. And the specific aircraft flying into the compound are registered to a private U.S. company whose manager has ties to U.S. defense agencies. For security reasons, The Times is not identifying the firm or tail numbers.
We found that one of the flights was inadvertently captured in a livestream by MarcaTV, a Spanish news outlet, as it flew toward the compound on Aug. 20.
The evacuations and building demolitions at the C.I.A. compound appeared complete by Aug. 28. Videos that were shared online on Aug. 30 show that Taliban fighters had already made their way onto the site. Video and full article by the New York Times is here.
We can only hope the CIA did in fact remove all intelligence regarding al Qaeda, ISIS-K and profiles, locations and evidence regarding Nangarhar and beyond.