- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2021

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Thursday called on the Biden administration to make “every effort” to prevent terrorist militants from causing more bloodshed and death in Afghanistan.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said he was “devastated” by the news that U.S. service members and Afghans were killed in twin bomb attacks at the Kabul airport and Baron Hotel, which killed at least 12 U.S. troops and wounded 15 more.

“Our immediate task remains to assure the safe withdrawal of American civilians, diplomatic personnel, and U.S. service members and the evacuation of the Afghan partners who have served and sacrificed alongside us, as well other individuals at imminent risk, such as journalists, civil servants, women, and civil society advocates,” he said in a statement. “Every effort must be made to prevent those responsible for this brutality from further victimizing innocent seeking safe harbor.”

“I am devastated to learn that American service members and Afghan civilians were killed and wounded in attacks in and around the Hamid Karzai International Airport. My heart and thoughts are with their families and friends,” said Mr. Schiff.

He said the Intelligence Committee was conducting “intense oversight” of the situation in Afghanistan.

Mr. Schiff said that it’s too early to know for sure but he suspects ISIS-K was responsible for Thursday’s deadly attack in Kabul.

ISIS-K, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Khorasan Province, is the branch of the militants operating in the South Asia and Central Asia region, which includes Afghanistan.

“While it is too early to draw any conclusions about those responsible, ISIS-K had a clear motivation to disrupt our efforts to evacuate many tens of thousands of people,” said

Mr. Schiff has been a critic of President Biden’s decision not to extend the Aug. 31 deadline for the U.S. military exit from Afghanistan, which would also end the evacuation effort for Americans in the country.

• Kery Murakami can be reached at kmurakami@washingtontimes.com.

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