US blew up last CIA base in Kabul to keep equipment, data away from Taliban: Report
The US destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA base in Kabul, to keep equipment and information from falling into the hands of the Taliban, US officials told the New York Times.
Hours after the deadly ISIS suicide bombing on Kabul airport on Thursday, another blast was heard not far from the airport.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said early Friday the blast was due to US forces conducting controlled detonations to destroy their equipment.
US officials told the New York Times the blast was a controlled detonation that destroyed Eagle Base, which was used throughout the Afghanistan 20-year war as a counterterrorism training facility. The detonation was to ensure no equipment or information left behind would fall into the hands of the Taliban.
A former CIA contractor told the New York Times that leveling the base would have been no easy task.
“In addition to burning documents and crushing hard drives, sensitive equipment needed to be destroyed so it did not fall into the hands of the Taliban. Eagle Base was not like an embassy where documents could be quickly burned,” he said.
The Taliban have already seized a war chest of military equipment the US had given to the Afghan government. That included crates of new firearms, communications gear, more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including US Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft potentially including UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones.
Other reports have also indicated that the Taliban seized US military biometric identification equipment, raising fears that the group would use it to identify Afghans who worked for the US on the ground and retaliate against them.