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Military Could Have Stopped Afghanistan Bomber Who Killed 13 Americans, Service Member Testifies


U.S. military snipers stationed at the Afghanistan airport in 2021 prior to a deadly terror attack that killed 13 Americans had an opportunity to kill the suspected bomber but were not given authority from military leaders, according to one of the American service members on the ground that day.

Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps who was dispatched to Kabul during the Biden administration's bungled evacuation, on Wednesday told lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee that his sniper team was stopped from taking out the suspected terrorist bomber. Vargas-Andrews also recounted how the Biden State Department turned Afghans away from the airport, "condemning them to death" at the Taliban's hands. The Aug. 26 bombing left 13 U.S. military members dead and Vargas-Andrews severely wounded.

Vargas-Andrews's sniper team was provided with detailed information about the suspected bomber, including what he looked like. "I asked the intel guys why he wasn't apprehended sooner since we had a full description," the military veteran testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee during its first public hearing on the bungled withdrawal operation. "I was told the asset could not be compromised."

Soon after, Vargas-Andrews and his team spotted the bomber but were told to stand down by a commander in charge. "We reassured him of the ease of fire on the suicide bomber," Vargas-Andrews said. "Pointedly, we asked him for engagement authority and permission. We asked him if we could shoot. Our battalion commander said, and I quote, 'I don't know.'"

"Plain and simple, we were ignored," Vargas-Andrews testified. "Our expertise was disregarded. No one was held accountable for our safety."

Related Story: Former Recon Marine Says the Biden Admin Lied About Americans Being Able to Evacuate Afghanistan

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