US blows up CIA post used to evacuate at-risk Afghans

A US-controlled bang that was heard across Kabul destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA outpost outside Kabul airport, US officials said on ...


A US-controlled bang that was heard across Kabul destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA outpost outside Kabul airport, US officials said on Friday.

The base blast was intended to ensure that any equipment or information left behind would not fall into the hands of the Taliban.

Eagle Base, started at the start of the war in a former brick factory, had been used throughout the conflict. It has grown from a small outpost to a sprawling center that was used to train the counterterrorism forces of Afghan intelligence agencies.

These forces were among the only ones to continue fighting as the government collapsed, according to current and former officials.

“It was an exceptional unit,” said Mick Mulroy, a former CIA officer who served in Afghanistan. “They have been one of the primary means the Afghan government has used to keep the Taliban at bay over the past 20 years. They were the last to fight and suffered heavy losses.

Local Afghans knew little about the base. The complex was extremely secure and designed to be virtually impossible to enter. Walls up to 10 feet high surrounded the site and a thick metal door opened and closed quickly to allow cars to enter.

Once inside, cars still had to pass three exterior security checkpoints where vehicles would be searched and documents checked before being allowed to enter the base.

In the early years of the war, a junior CIA officer was in charge of Salt Pit, a detention site near Eagle Base. There, the officer ordered a prisoner, Gul Rahman, to undress and chain him to a wall. He died of hypothermia. A CIA board recommended disciplinary action but was dismissed.

A former CIA contractor said leveling the base would not have been an easy task. In addition to burning documents and overwriting hard drives, sensitive equipment had to be destroyed so that it did not fall into the hands of the Taliban. Eagle Base, said the former contractor, was not like an embassy where documents could be quickly burned.

The destruction of the base was planned and was unrelated to the huge explosion at the airport which killed around 170 Afghans and 13 US servicemen. But the detonation, hours after the airport attack, alarmed many people in Kabul, who feared it was another terrorist attack.

The official US mission in Afghanistan to evacuate US citizens and their Afghan allies is due to end next Tuesday. The Taliban said the evacuation effort should not be prolonged, and officials in the Biden administration said continuing beyond that date would significantly increase the risk to Afghans and US troops.

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Newsrust - US Top News: US blows up CIA post used to evacuate at-risk Afghans
US blows up CIA post used to evacuate at-risk Afghans
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