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US offers reward for information on ISIS-K leader, Kabul airport attack

evacuees from afghanistan arrive in an airbus a400 transport aircraft of the german air force luftwaffe in tashkent
Evacuees from Afghanistan arrive in an Airbus A400 transport aircraft of the German Air Force

The United States said on Monday it was offering a reward of up to $10 million each for information leading to the identification or location of ISIS-K leader Sanaullah Ghafari and for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for a deadly August 2021 attack at Kabul airport.

The Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K, is the regional Islamic State affiliate, which first appeared in 2014 and is named after an old term for the region. It has previously fought both the Western-backed government that fell in August and the Taliban.

In June 2020, Ghafari was appointed by the extremist group to lead ISIS-K. Ghafari was responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct operations, the US State Department said.

In November, the State Department designated Ghafari as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”.

The US military said on Friday that a single Islamic State bomber killed 13 US troops and at least 170 Afghans at Kabul airport last August.

The bombing occurred on Aug. 26 as U.S. troops were trying to help both Americans and Afghans flee in the chaotic aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover, and compounded America’s sense of defeat after 20 years of war.

It also left President Joe Biden’s administration struggling to answer accusations that the State Department could have evacuated Americans sooner instead of putting U.S. troops at risk.

US officials said in November they believed ISIS-K could develop the ability to strike outside of Afghanistan within six to 12 months.

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