• ISIS-K named the suicide bomber as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, and two U.S. officials confirmed his identity
  • 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of other civilians were killed in the Kabul suicide bombing
  • Questions are up on whether retaining some presence at Bagram could have limited the chaotic pullout and evacuation

The ISIS-K suicide bomber who killed 13 American service members and hundreds of other civilians in Kabul on Aug. 26, was imprisoned at Bagram Air Base just a few days before the attack, multiple reports revealed, further raising questions about the chaos that took place in the last days of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., who said he was briefed by national security officials about the matter, as well as two other U.S. officials, stated that the suicide bomber was released several days before the terrorist attack from the Parwan prison, which is near Kabul, CNN reported. The prison is located at the Bagram air base, which was abandoned by U.S. troops in July.

ISIS-K named the suicide bomber as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, and the two U.S. officials confirmed the dead attacker's identity to the outlet.

A regional counter-terrorism source told CNN that the Parwan prison and the Pul-e-Charkhi prison, which is also near Kabul, were both taken over by the Taliban in mid-August. During the takeover, Taliban militants released their imprisoned members, along with ISIS-K terrorists, the officials said.

One of the freed ISIS-K terrorists carried out the deadly attack at the Abbey Gate on Aug. 26, claiming the lives of nearly 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members. “Security officials have now confirmed to me that the Aug. 26 Kabul bomber was a known ISIS-K terrorist,” Calvert was cited as saying by Fox News. “There were 7,000 prisoners housed there – terrorists, the worst of the terrorists – held separately from other terrorists. We believe he was one of them,” he added.

Calvert noted that new information about the attacker’s release from prison before the attack in Kabul “is obviously a big deal, and the administration is trying to avoid it right now.”

Evacuations of American citizens and Afghan allies were underway at the Kabul airport when the bombing took place. The Biden administration continues to deal with increasing questions about the evacuation efforts and total pull-out of troops, with Republicans particularly questioning whether retaining some U.S. military presence at the Bagram air base could have helped prevent more chaos, Business Insider reported.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said leaving the air base without retaining some U.S. presence was "one of the biggest military blunders in U.S. history."

Both Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have defended the decision to not leave some U.S. troops at Bagram. Austin has said retaining military presence at the base would have required up to 5,000 service members to defend and operate the base. Milley echoed Austin’s comments.

There have also been questions about the alleged lack of organization in handing over the air base to Afghan forces. Bagram commander Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani also said in July that U.S. troops departed from the air base without informing him, leaving looters time to ransack the place.

Taliban forces took over the airport in Kabul after the US military pulled out
Taliban forces took over the airport in Kabul after the US military pulled out AFP / Karim SAHIB