Giving Up Bagram Might Have Been a Terrible Mistake

Flashback to August 26, there was a deadly attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport by a suicide bomber. The attack claimed the lives of 13 US servicemembers and hundreds of Afghans.

The identity of the suicide bomber at the time was unknown; multiple reports have now confirmed the bomber’s name is Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri. US officials confirmed his identity to CNN and Fox News, while ISIS-K also confirmed his name.

Shockingly, CNN and Fox News report Abdul Rehman was one of the prisoners released from Bagram Air Base Prison days before the bombing.

How Was This Deadly Terrorist Released From Prison?

Bagram Air Base was essential for the operations of the US and its partners. However, upon leaving the country in July, the US military decided to hand over the base to the Afghan forces.

At the time, the Biden administration stated it was confident the Afghan forces had what it took to defend Afghanistan. The Bagram Air Base Prison was under the control of Afghan authority, as it had been for years.

However, things moved very quickly; by mid-August, the Afghan military and government gave in to the Taliban. Moving forward to August 15, Abdul Rehman and 6,999 other prisoners were released from custody. Reports have it that most of the prisoners released were terrorists.

GOP Rep. Ken Calvert, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, confirmed to Fox News the bomber was previously detained at the Bagram prison. He said security officials confirmed it to him and his position gives him access to credible news.

The prison held over 7,000 prisoners; some prisoners at the facility were the worst of all terrorists. Most of them have now been released from prison.

Should the Military Have Retained Bagram?

The criticism of how the Biden administration handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan will not end soon. Republicans have continued to weigh in on the event that happened in Bagram. They questioned if retaining a presence in Bagram would have averted the chaos.

In a recent congressional hearing on the Afghanistan withdrawal, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the committee if they retained Bagram, they would have put up to 5,000 US troops in harm’s way to operate and defend the area.

He further added that doing so would have been insignificant to the assigned mission, which was to protect and defend the embassy. GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri also asked Austin if the August 26th bomber who killed 13 US service members was a prisoner at Bagram.

However, her time expired before he was able to answer the question. On the other hand, McKenzie testified that the US is still “waiting to find out.”

Now it’s confirmed a Bagram prisoner was the cause of the bombing that took the lives of our dear servicemembers, who will take responsibility for the miscalculations? Isn’t it a reasonable thing to secure the prisoners to avert this type of situation?

There are still many unanswered questions. However, one thing is clear; the loss of lives on August 26 could have been avoided.