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Pentagon: ‘Thousands’ of ISIS-K Combatants Released by Taliban

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Taliban fighters march in uniforms on the street in Qalat, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, in this still image taken from social media video uploaded August 19, 2021. (Reuters)

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that “thousands” of prisoners affiliated with ISIS-K (Islamic State Khorosan Province) — the terrorist group responsible for yesterday’s attacks at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul — had been freed from Afghan prisons in recent months as the United States moved forward with a military withdrawal.

On Friday, Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin asked Kirby “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?”

Kirby responded by conceding that “clearly, it’s in the thousands” while maintaining that he did not have an exact number. Bagram Airbase fell to the Taliban on August 15, just a little over a month after U.S. forces abandoned the base in the dead of night without notifying the Afghan commander on site and even cutting the electricity to the base to aid their exodus.

.@JenGriffinFNC: “How many ISIS-K prisoners were left at Bagram and believed to have been released from the prison there & why weren’t they removed before the U.S. pulled out to some place like Gitmo?”

Kirby: “Well, I don’t know the exact number. Clearly, it’s in the thousands” pic.twitter.com/yUdIz0l32H

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 27, 2021

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