As published by the New York Times
- American forces on Thursday destroyed the last CIA outpost in Afghanistan, US officials told The New York Times.
- Eagle Base in Kabul was demolished order to keep sensitive information out of Taliban hands.
- Most Kabul residents had minimal knowledge of the highly-secure facility.
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American forces on Thursday destroyed the last CIA outpost in Afghanistan outside of the Kabul airport in order to keep sensitive equipment and information away from the Taliban, US officials told The New York Times.
A controlled demolition was utilized to blow up Eagle Base, a former brick factory repurposed into a facility employed to train counterterrorism forces of Afghanistan’s intelligence agencies, according to The Times.
As the Afghan government was crumbling in the wake of the Taliban’s advances throughout the country, the forces at Eagle Base were some of the only remaining officials who continued their efforts to fight the insurgents.
Former CIA officer Mick Mulroy, who served in Afghanistan, praised the unit while speaking with The Times.
“They were an exceptional unit,” he said. “They were one of the primary means the Afghan government has used to keep the Taliban at bay over the last 20 years. They were the last ones fighting, and they took heavy casualties.”
According to The Times, local Afghan residents didn’t know much about the facility, as it was heavily fortified with walls that reached 10 feet and a thick metal gate that quickly opened and closed to permit vehicles inside the perimeter.
Once the vehicles were inside, they went through three security checkpoints and searches, with documents also being screened before any visitors were authorized inside the base facility.
A former CIA contractor told The Times that the action needed to be taken to prevent hard drives and sensitive equipment from being used by a Taliban-led government – and unlike embassies, documents simply couldn’t be burned to shield confidential information.
The obliteration of the base was already in the works and was unrelated to the terrorist attack on Thursday at the Kabul airport that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members. The bombing that day was carried out by ISIS-K, the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
The destruction of the base unnerved many Kabul residents who heard the explosion and were fearful that another terrorist attack was possibly being carried out.
At the Kabul airport, evacuees are still being flown out of the country, which is expected to last through the end of the month, when Taliban officials are demanding that the US adhere to the August 31 deadline of withdrawing troops from the country.