Reports: U.S. Drone Strike Targeted Aid Worker Carrying Water, Not Explosives
Independent investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post are calling into question the U.S. military claims that its Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul destroyed a car operated by an ISIS-K sympathizer, which allegedly contained explosives destined for the Kabul airport.
The U.S. Central Command initial statement described the strike as a "self-defense" operation that eliminated an "imminent ISIS-K threat" to the airport. "Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material." In a press conference Sept. 1, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley called it a "righteous strike" that correctly followed procedures.
But the Times and Post investigations were unable to find evidence of any explosives in the car, which they say was driven by 43-year-old Zemari Ahmadi, an engineer working for the U.S. aid group Nutrition and Education International, which aims to eliminate malnutrition in Afghanistan. Family members told the Times that Ahmadi had applied for refugee resettlement in the United States.