Gunmen Attacked An Afghan Compound Wearing US Army Uniforms — And Failed Miserably

Bullet Points
Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

Gunmen disguised as U.S. military personnel and wearing explosives-laden suicide vests engaged Afghan security forces in a two-hour siege of the national police headquarters in Kabul on Wednesday, U.S. and Afghan officials announced. One responding Afghan police officer was killed and five were wounded, the Washington Post reports.

  • A brazen assault: An Afghan government spokesman said the eight-man raiding party attempted to storm the Afghan Interior Ministry on May 30 after detonating a car bomb at the facility gates, according to the Washington Post, which added that, "as in such attacks in the past, the blast paved the way for the other attackers to get inside the vast compound."
  • They were wearing U.S. military gear. U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander Gen. John Nicholson told reporters during a May 30 press conference that the attackers were wearing "old-style" U.S. Army uniforms and driving a captured Humvee. "The good news," he said, "is that the guards at the gate, the Afghan guards, immediately recognized these as old uniforms, called on the terrorists to exit the vehicle so they could be checked out, and at that point the fighting started."
  • Somebody blew their load early. Nicholson told reporters that many of the attackers were killed when one detonated his suicide vest prematurely, taking out some of his "colleagues" as they were mounting their initial assault. "They never gained entrance to the MOI headquarters," Nicholson said. "The crisis response... quickly reacted and killed all these terrorists before they could gain entrance to MOI."
  • No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. Nicholson told reporters that U.S. officials "believe" the Taliban's Haqqani network offshoot was responsible for the attack, as the use of Army uniforms "tracks with their tactics in the past."  No group has claimed responsibility yet, including the Taliban, which offered a separate statement the same day dismissing Pentagon claims of a 50-kill strike in a separate part of the country as "propaganda."
  • This isn't the first time this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. Back in August 2011, Afghan national security forces uncovered "a large military uniform-making factory," ostensibly used Haqqani insurgents to conduct urban attacks posing as Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police personnel, as in the assault on the Ministry of Defense that April. A 2012 Haqqani sizzle reel showed a gaggle of fighters decked out in U.S. Army uniforms; in 2017, the deadliest attack in the war in Afghanistan killed nearly 100 Afghan security personnel at a northern Army base, thanks to suicide bombers in military uniforms.

The silver lining, according to Nicholson? "We don’t, at this time, do not believe it was an ISIS attack." So there's that, I guess.

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.

Read More Show Less

Several hundred U.S. troops will remain in Syria after allied forces clear ISIS fighters out of their last stronghold in the country, officials said on Friday.

President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.

Read More Show Less
Chris Osman (Photo: _chris_osman_designs/Instagram)

The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.

"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."

Read More Show Less
Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

A Richland, Washington city councilman thinks native son Jim Mattis would make a terrific governor or even president.

Read More Show Less

It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.

Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.

The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.

Read More Show Less