One of the Kabul suicide bombers has been identified as Islamic State terrorist Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri. He was the suicide bombers who detonated a bomb outside Kabul airport's Abbey Gate on Thursday. Al-Loghri is a member of ISIS-K, the terrorist group who took responsibility for the deadly blasts.
In an advisory issued before the blasts the U.S. had warned of a possible terror attack targeting those gathered at Hamid Karzai International Airport in an attempt to leave the country following Taliban's takeover.
Suicide Bomber Was in Close Vicinity of U.S. Troops
The blasts, which took place at Abbey Gate and Baron Hotel, located near the airport, killed 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops. While claiming responsibility for the twin blasts, ISIS-K posted a statement on their Telegram account on Thursday.
Politico reported that an ISIS militant wearing a suicide vest was responsible for the first bombing which took place around 5 p.m. local time just outside Abbey Gate. Soon after an ISIS gunman opened fire at the crowd gathered outside the airport.
Sources told the outlet that U.S. troops returned fire while NATO troops were ordered to leave the airport gates immediately due to the threat of additional attacks.
The Sun reported that in the Arabic statement the terror outfit claimed that the suicide bomber was within five metres of the U.S. troops gathering the documents from people desperately trying to flee Afghanistan, when he detonated his vest. ISIS-K also insisted that the bombing killed and hurt more than 150 people. It is believed that ISIS-K will release a video to support its claim.
Al- Loghri Was a Member of ISIS-K
Al- Loghri joined the Islamic State Khorasan, an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, formed in late 2014. The K stands for Khorasan region, a historical term which includes parts of present-day Iran, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Comprising terrorists who left the Taliban, terror outfit ISIS-K is believed to be currently headed Shahab al-Muhajir, also known as Sanaullah.
"ISIS had sent representatives to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. They were essentially able to co-opt some disaffected Pakistani Taliban and a few Afghan Taliban [members] to join their cause," Seth Jones, an Afghanistan specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told NPR.
"Their goal really is an Islamic emirate, and they are a competitor of both al-Qaida and the Taliban," he added.