Taliban kill mastermind of suicide bombing at Kabul airport

A ground assault by the Taliban killed the ISIL terrorist who spearheaded the August 2021 suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that left 13 U.S. troops and about 170 Afghans dead during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Initially, neither the U.S. — nor apparently the Taliban — were aware that the mastermind was dead. He was killed during a series of battles early this month in southern Afghanistan between the Taliban and the ISIL group's affiliate, according to several officials.

But in the past few days, U.S. intelligence confirmed "with high confidence" that the ISIL leader had been killed, a senior administration official said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Late Tuesday night, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder issued a statement confirming that the plotter had been killed by the Taliban. "The United States was not involved in this operation," Ryder said.

Over the weekend, the U.S. military began to inform the parents of the 11 Marines, the sailor and the soldier who were killed in the blast at Abbey Gate, and they shared the information in a private group messaging chat. The father of one of the Marines said the death of his son's killer brings little comfort.

"Whatever happens, it's not going to bring Taylor back and I understand that," Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, said in a phone call with The Associated Press. "About the only thing his mom and I can do now is be an advocate for him. All we want is the truth. And we're not getting it. That's the frustrating part."

Hoover said he and his son's mother, Kelly Henson, have spent the past year and a half grieving his death and praying...

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