Nearly two years after a suicide bomber from ISIS-K attacked the Kabul Airport, killing 13 service members and injuring many others, Pentagon officials insist that the attack was "not preventable."
However, a new report claims that not only were U.S. military commanders aware of the threat in advance, but they also neglected two opportunities to eliminate the terrorist network responsible for the attack, as Town Hall reported in an Aug. 15 report.
The findings are from a new book titled 'Kabul: The Untold Story of Biden's Fiasco and the American Warriors Who Fought to the End,' written by Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson, and released on August 15, the two-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover.
In order to analyze the bombardment, Dunleavy and Hasson obtained information through freedom of information requests, Pentagon documents, and interviews with military personnel involved in the attack.
Their report indicates that U.S. officials accumulated intelligence nine days prior to the attack indicating ISIS-K intended to attack U.S. and international forces at the airport. Dunleavy and Hasson cite the Pentagon's own bombing report, which includes a sworn statement from an officer with 'target engagement authority' to conduct missions in defense of American forces.
The officer testified, "Intelligence indicated that ISIS-K intended to attack international forces and the Taliban in order to disrupt the 'establishment of stability and governance.'"
In response, the officer "conducted a targeting effort focused on ISIS K threats leading into Kabul," and requested strike authorization.
However, the request was denied by Rear Admiral Peter Vasly, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Forward, and Major General Chris Donahue, who feared provoking a "negative response" from the Taliban.
The information contradicts the Pentagon's public assertion that the Taliban was unaware of the impending attack and that U.S. intelligence regarding prospective threats was vague.
“Based upon our investigation, at the tactical level this was not preventable,” concluded Brig. Gen. Lance Curtis.
For his part, Hasson blasted U.S. leadership.
"Leaders in D.C. made one unforced error after another throughout the withdrawal, and each mistake compounded the risk to the men and women on the ground,” Hasson told the Daily Mail.
"Ultimately, it led to U.S. commanders tailoring decisions to the desires of Taliban leaders who had them surrounded, and to the loss of thirteen brave Americans."