Joe Biden’s administration confirmed Taliban fighters released Islamic State (ISIS-K) prisoners when they seized power in Afghanistan, on Aug. 27.
The Pentagon revealed the number of inmates freed from Bagram prison could be well over 1,000.
“Clearly, it is in the thousands when you consider both prisons,” spokesman John Kirby said in a video shared on Twitter. “Both of them were taken over by the Taliban and emptied but I could not give you a precise figure.”
This prompted Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin to question why U.S. forces did not remove the prisoners sooner.
Kirby explained Afghan security forces were supposed to take over such duties, and were ultimately responsible for not removing Islamic State prisoners.
.@JenGriffinFNC: "How can you say with such certainty and how can General McKenzie say with such certainty that the Taliban were not involved in this suicide bombing…Are you ruling out them being involved b/c you are so dependent on the Taliban right now?" pic.twitter.com/54htvpij7B— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 27, 2021
An Islamic State regional affiliate known as IS-K or ISIS-K, named after the historic Iranian and Central Asian region of Khorasan, recently claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Afghanistan. At least 13 U.S. military personnel died.
The group was founded by disgruntled militants who left both the Afghan- and Pakistani- Taliban back in 2014. It operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan according to a Forbes special report.
In a 2015 video, then group leader Hafiz Saeed Khan and other senior commanders pledged allegiance to then Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. They also declared themselves stewards of new Islamic State territory in Afghanistan.
Khan died during a 2016 U.S. drone strike while Baghdadi died after detonating an explosive vest during a 2019 U.S. forces raid.
There are also concerns about what might happen to the Americans still on Afghan soil. Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson revealed only 4,400 U.S military personnel was transferred to the United States, as of Aug. 26.
Over 4,400 Americans have now been evacuated from Afghanistan: Pentagon— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 25, 2021
These 4,400 people represent 5 percent of the total evacuated by the United States and its allies. President Biden’s deadline for withdrawal is Aug. 31.
GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urged the Democratic House speaker to call a session to discuss extending the current evacuation deadline. He believes this would help safely evacuate everyone.
“Nancy Pelosi needs to bring us back into session, bring up this bill, move this deadline and make sure every single American is able to leave Afghanistan,” he said according to Breitbart.