Republican Rep. Ken Calvert of California says that national security officials have confirmed to him reports that the terrorist who killed 13 U.S. service members and others in Afghanistan last month had been incarcerated in Bagram prison until shortly before the attack.
"U.S. national security officials have now confirmed to me the reports that the August 26th Kabul bomber was a known ISIS-K terrorist that was previously detained at the Bagram prison and was released along with thousands of others just days before the deadly attack," Calvert said, according to a news release.
The lawmaker told Fox News that Indian intelligence sources are reporting that the terrorist was among the incarcerated individuals that the Taliban released from the prison. All American forces were yanked from Bagram Air Base in July, according to the outlet.
"It is my belief that the Indian intelligence services are correct in their assumptions, and I have good reason to believe that the intelligence is correct in their assessment," Calvert said, according to the outlet.
The individual who perpetrated the suicide bombing had previously been locked up in the Bagram prison for several years, the Indian outlet Firstpost has reported, citing "credible intelligence sources."
Calvert, who has served in Congress since 1993, is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
"Why didn't we move or secure those prisoners in the first place? And who is going to take responsibility for this miscalculation?" Calvert queried, according to the outlet.
Fox News reported that U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said on Wednesday said that America is "still waiting to find out" whether the bomber had previously been imprisoned at Bagram Air Base.
One of the U.S. service members killed in the terror attack was from Calvert's district.
In the statement included in his news release, the congressman lambasted President Joe Biden, who has been heavily criticized for botching the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"President Biden's disastrous handling of our withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a series of events that culminated with the tragic loss of life on August 26th outside of the Kabul airport," Calvert said. "Thirteen Americans, including one of my constituents, were killed because of the poor judgement and execution of our troop withdrawal. The Biden Administration needs to explain why these prisoners were not transferred and secured at another location. Those responsible for these grave errors not only put our brave service members in harm's way but have now – by our military's own admission – placed Americans in greater danger than they were before."