Islamic State Attacks Afghan Prison

Photo by Bob Jagendorf

A coordinated attack was made against the central prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Sunday evening. A suicide bomber drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into the main gate, which was followed by an assault on the guards and fortifications by armed individuals.

At least 29 are confirmed dead, with at least another 50 injured. The casualties count among them attackers, guards, prisoners, responding security personnel, and civilians.

There were 1,793 prisoners at the facility, which was used to house captured Taliban and Islamic State fighters. Of those people, 1,025 are reported to have escaped and been recaptured. It is not yet established how many of the remaining prisoners are not listed as escapees because they were among the dead and injured, but hundreds are assumed to be at large.

Islamic State has claimed credit for the attack, which came at the end of a three-day ceasefire between Taliban and Afghan forces.

President Trump has been pressuring the Afghan government to agree to a power-sharing arrangement with the Taliban by slashing aid money until they capitulate. This has been done following the removal of US troops from the area, in a rebuke of the Bush-era position that reducing the growth of Middle East terrorism would reduce the number of terrorists able to strike Western nations.

The change is striking, as President Obama was consistently and heavily condemned by Republicans for insufficient aggression toward terrorist groups in the Middle East. The growth of the Islamic State, in particular, was held up as one of Obama’s greatest failures. Obama’s dismissal of concerns about their early growth, with him addressing the group as “the JV team”, were used to demonstrate his lack of seriousness on the issue even after troops had retaken roughly 50% of all the land seized by the Caliphate.

President Trump, on the other hand, had been praised for redoubling the efforts to retake ISIS/ISIL land, with many Republicans and Trump himself framing the issue as if all of the gains had been made after Trump had taken office. Separate from interpretation, however, Trump personally declared that 100% of ISIS had been destroyed in addition to all of their land being reclaimed. On January 8 of this year, the President said during remarks about Iran, “Three months ago, after destroying 100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate, we killed the savage leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi.”

Since October, President Trump has framed the situation as ISIS no longer being able to conduct coordinated operations, with various world forces being in a “mop-up phase”, finding and addressing individuals who had been pledged to the terrorist group. This coordinated attack demonstrates that either the President’s narrative is an intentional lie, or American intelligence in the area has been degraded so heavily over the past four years that our security services are no longer able to adequately assess the situation in the Middle East.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.