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In U.S. drone strike, evidence suggests no ISIS bomb – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-09-14 17:50:00 –

Kabul, Afghanistan >> This was the last known missile launched by the United States in the 20-year war in Afghanistan, which the military called it a “strike of justice.” U.S. officials believed it contained an Islamic State bomb and posed an imminent threat to the military at Kabul’s airport.

However, the New York Times’ investigation of video evidence, along with interviews with more than 12 Kabul driver colleagues and family members, included the US version of whether explosives were present in the vehicle and whether they were present in the vehicle. I’m asking questions about the event. The driver was associated with an Islamic state group and knew if there was a second explosion after the missile crashed into the car.

Military officials did not know the identity of the car driver when the drone fired, but said he may have visited a safe house in a group of Islamic State and what he had loaded at some point. And said they considered him suspicious because of how he interpreted his activities for the day, they thought there might be explosives in the car.

The Times reports that the driver is Zemari Ahmadhi, a longtime worker in a US aid group. Evidence, including extensive interviews with family, colleagues, and witnesses, suggests that his trip of the day actually involved getting colleagues in and out of work. And analysis of the video feed showed that what the military might have seen was a colleague loading a water canister in his trunk to take home to Ahmadiyya and his family. ..

The U.S. military said the drone strike could have killed three civilians, but the Times reported that 10 people, including seven children, were killed in a densely populated residential block.

Ahmadi, 43, has been working as an electrician at Nutrition and Education International, a California-based aid and lobbying group since 2006. On the day of the strike, Armady’s boss called from the office at around 8:45 am and asked him to pick up his laptop.

“I asked him if he was still at home and he said so,” the Secretary of State said in an interview at NEI’s office in Kabul. Like other Afghan colleagues, he spoke on anonymous terms for a relationship with an American company in Afghanistan.

According to relatives, Ahmadhi left his home, where he lived with his three brothers and their family, a few miles west of the airport, to work at NEI’s white 1996 Toyota Corolla around 9am. went out.

U.S. officials first put their target white sedan under surveillance after being discovered leaving behind a compound identified as a safe home for an Islamic State group allegedly about three miles northwest of the airport. He told the Times that it was around this time.

It’s unclear if authorities were mentioning one of the three stops Ahmadhi made to pick up two passengers and a laptop on his way to work: the latter location, NEI’s Country Director’s house. The Islamic State Group, which was near the location claimed by the rocket attack, was launched the next morning at the airport from an instant launcher hidden inside the trunk of a Toyota Corolla, a model similar to Ahmadhi’s vehicle.

A Times reporter visited his home director and met with family members who said he had lived there for 40 years. “We have nothing to do with terrorism or ISIS,” said the director, who also has resettlement cases in the United States. “We love America. I want to go there.”

The MQ-9 Reaper Drone continued to track Ahmadhi’s vehicles throughout the day while driving around Kabul. U.S. officials said they intercepted communications between the sedan and the Islamic State group’s safehouse and instructed them to stop several times.

However, those who rode with Ahmadhi that day said that the military interpreted it as a series of suspicious movements simply on a normal day at work.

After stopping by for breakfast, Ahmadiyya and his two passengers arrived at NEI’s office. There, security camera footage captured by the Times recorded arrival at 9:35 am. , They said they demanded permission to distribute food to refugees in a nearby park. Ahmadiyya and his three passengers returned to the office around 2 pm.

As you can see in the camera footage, Armady came out with a hose running water after 30 minutes. With the help of security guards, he filled some empty plastic containers. According to his colleagues, after the collapse of the government, water delivery stopped in his neighborhood and Ahmadi was taking water home from his office.

“I filled the containers myself and helped him load them into the trunk,” the guard said.

At 3:38 pm, a guard and another colleague moved the car further to the driveway. Camera footage ends shortly after the office shuts down the generator at the end of work and Ahmadiyya and the three passengers return home.

Around this time, U.S. officials said the drone had tracked Ahmadhi to a complex 5-7 miles southwest of the airport. This location was consistent with NEI’s office. There, they said they had observed the drone loading a car with heavy luggage that Ahmadiyya and three others believed could contain explosives.

However, passengers said they had only two laptops in the car and that the trunk had no cargo other than a previously placed plastic water-filled container. In another interview, all three passengers refused to load explosives into the vehicle they were about to return home.

According to one of Ahmaddy’s passengers, a colleague who regularly commute to work with him, going home was full of usual laughter and jokes, but there is one difference: Ahmadhi is afraid of trouble with the Taliban. So I silenced the radio. “He liked happy music,” said a colleague. “That day we couldn’t play anything in the car.”

Ahmadhi dropped off three passengers and headed for his home near the airport. “I asked him to come in a bit, but he said he was tired,” said the last passenger.

U.S. officials said they knew little about Ahmadhi’s identity at that time, but were convinced that the white sedan he was driving poses an imminent threat to the airport’s army.

When Ahmadhi pulled into the courtyard of his house-authorities said it was different from the alleged Islamic State group’s safe house-the tactical commander decided to attack his car at 4 pm Launched a Hellfire missile around 50 minutes

The target was currently in a densely populated residential area, but the drone operator immediately scanned and saw only one adult man greeting the vehicle, killing women, children, and non-combatants. I evaluated it with “reasonable conviction”. ..

But according to his relatives, when Ahmaddy pulled into the courtyard, his children and some of his siblings’ children came out and were excited to see him, and he returned into the car. I sat in the car when I was there. Ahmadiyya’s brother Lomar was sitting on the ground floor with his wife when he heard the gate open and Ahmadiyya’s car coming in. His adult cousin, Nazer, went to fetch water for his bath and greeted him.

Lomar recalled that when the sudden blast hit, the car’s engine was still running and the room was sprayed through the windows with shattered glass. He staggered. “Where are the children?” He asked his wife.

“They are outside,” she replied.

Lohmar rushed into the courtyard. He saw his nephew Faisal, 16, fell off the outer stairs and his torso and head were severely injured by debris. “He wasn’t breathing.”

He said he saw another dead nephew in the smoke and fire before his neighbor arrived and separated him.

Since the strike, U.S. military officials have justified their actions by quoting the larger explosions that followed.

“Because of the secondary explosion, we came to a reasonable conclusion that the vehicle had an explosive,” said General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last week.

However, a field survey of the strike, conducted by the Times visual team and Times reporters the next morning and made a second visit four days later, found no evidence of a second stronger explosion.

Experts examining photos and videos found clear evidence of a missile attack and subsequent vehicle fire, but no wall collapses or blows, no vegetation destruction, and only one entrance gate dent. He pointed out that it shows a single impact. wave.

Chris Cobb Smith, a veteran and security consultant for the British Army, said:

The U.S. military has so far admitted only three civilian casualties, but Ahmadiyya’s relatives said the strike killed 10 members of the family, including seven children. , 10; Armadi’s cousin Nacelle, 30; Romal’s three children, Arwin, 7, Benyamin, 6, and Hayat, 2. And two 3-year-old girls, Marika and Somaya.

Neighbors and Afghan health officials confirmed that the bodies of the children had been removed from the scene. They said the blast shredded most of the victims. The next day, the reporter saw debris of human bodies, such as blood and flesh scattered on the inner walls and ceiling, on and around the premises. Ahmadhi’s relatives provided pictures of some of the badly burned bodies owned by the children.

The family wondered why Ahmadiyya had already applied for resettlement of refugees in the United States and was motivated to attack Americans. His cousin Nazer, a former US military contractor, had also applied for resettlement. She was able to be included in his immigration case because he was planning to marry his fiancé Samia last Friday.

“They were all innocent,” said Emar, Ahmadhi’s brother. “You say he was ISIS, but he worked for Americans.”



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