Two weeks before ISIS-K launched an attack outside the Kabul airport, CNN's chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, spoke with a senior ISIS-K commander who allegedly promised to "restart operations" after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Tragically, that threat became reality on Thursday when ISIS-K launched an attack outside the Kabul airport where evacuation operations were ongoing. That attack killed 13 United States service members and more than 160 Afghanistan civilians.
What are the details?
The interview was conducted just days before Kabul fell to the Taliban several weeks ago. According to Ward, ISIS-K was already in the city, "lying low and waiting for its moment to strike — words that turned out to be eerily prophetic."
The commander, whose real identity was masked but was called Abdul Munir, is from Kunar Province in east Afghanistan, which borders Pakistan. Speaking with Ward from a Kabul hotel, the commander said he and his men used to fight for the Taliban, but joined the Islamic State because they believed the Taliban was not implementing pure Sharia law.
The commander explained ISIS-K was exploiting the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan by engaging in a large-scale recruitment drive, and promised to "restart operations" once the takeover was complete.
"That moment has now come, as the world saw all too clearly on Thursday," Ward said in the video.
Now that ISIS-K "operations" have been restarted, Ward explained the goal of ISIS-K is to "undermine" the Taliban. By launching attacks, the terrorist group is doing just that, eroding the allusion that a Taliban government can guarantee security.
The U.S. military conducted a strike on Friday against the ISIS-K terrorist purportedly responsible for planning the attack outside the Kabul airport.
"U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner," U.S. Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban, USN, said in a statement. "The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties."
Shockingly, State Department spokesman John Kirby admitted Friday the Taliban released "thousands" of ISIS-K terrorist from Afghanistan prisons.
During a press briefing, Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin asked, "How many ISIS-K prisoners were left at Bagram and believed to have been released from the prison there and why weren't they removed before the U.S. pulled out to some place like Gitmo?"
"Well, I don't know the exact number. Clearly, it's in the thousands when you considered both prisons," Kirby responded. "Because both of them were taken over by the Taliban and emptied."