The Pentagon knew about the impending attack at the Kabul airport a few hours before the explosion, writes the newspaper, Politico, citing secret documents provided to it from meetings of the defense department.
The newspaper notes that just 24 hours before a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the airport, senior military leaders met at a daily meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
According to the documents, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, speaking via a secure video conference, instructed more than a dozen senior leaders of the ministry worldwide to prepare for the inevitable “event with numerous victims.”
Also, according to information from the documents, during the meeting, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, warned about “important” intelligence indicating that the terrorist group “Islamic State” is planning a “comprehensive attack.” At the same time, the commanders who called from Kabul noted that the gates of the Abbey airport are under the “highest threat.”
“I don’t believe that people are aware of the incredible degree of threat in this area,” Austin said, according to the documents.
During another conversation, the commanders in Kabul outlined a plan to close the Abbey gate afternoon on August 26, Kabul time. However, the Americans decided to keep the gate open for some time to allow the British allies to continue evacuating their personnel.
An explosion at one of the checkpoints of the Kabul airport on Thursday claimed the lives of 13 American soldiers who were providing evacuation of people from Afghanistan and almost 200 residents who were crowding in the hope of getting on a plane and leaving the country.