An investigation by The New York Times that looked into a controversial Kabul, Afghanistan, airstrike last month, reveals footage that doesn't line up with the US military's official story on carrying out an ambush that left several dead.
It happened on Aug. 29, and the official reasoning shared at the time was that US forces believed a particular vehicle posed a danger to the troops stationed at Kabul airport. The military admitted to not knowing the identity of the driver of the car when they fired a missile. But his name was Zemari Ahmadi. He worked for the Nutrition and Education International, a California aid group.
A Times reporter went to the house of the NEI director to ask them if they had any connections to ISIS. "We have nothing to do with terrorism or ISIS. We love America. We want to go there," the director told them.
A Twitter thread from Times reporter Christoph Koettl lays out the imagery.
"The footage matches what his co-workers told us: that it was a regular day for Ahmadi, incl. regular trips to and from the office. Crucial: We see him fill up several canisters of water to put into the trunk of his car before heading home."
The narrative by the United States is that Ahmadi went to the NEI facility and packed the car with explosives. Three surviving witnesses that day told the Times that, actually, they had two laptops and water containers. But that was it.
All that happened that day was Ahmadi did some work with his colleagues, and was bringing back water to his family.
One of the passengers that Ahmadi carpooled with regularly said the atmosphere on the ride was usually jovial. But on this final day, it was more solemn with the radio off since the Taliban forbids music.
Ahmadi pulled up to the front of his house around 4:50 pm, and that's when the US military decided to strike it with a missile. A risk assessment was purportedly done in order to ensure no civilians were nearby.
However, the Times reports that several of Zemari's children and his brother's children rushed out to greet Zemari's return:
"The car's engine was still running when there was a sudden blast, and the room was sprayed with shattered glass from the window, Romal recalled. He staggered to his feet. 'Where are the children?' he asked his wife. 'They're outside,' she replied. Romal ran out into the courtyard; he saw that his nephew Faysal, 16, had fallen from the exterior staircase, his torso and head grievously wounded by shrapnel. 'He wasn't breathing.' Amid the smoke and fire, he saw another dead nephew, before neighbors arrived and pulled him away, he said."
A total of 10 members of the Ahmadi family were reportedly killed by the Biden administration's maneuver. But military officials thus far claim it was
"only three civilian casualties."
Gen. Mark Milley, the Biden administration's woke and controversial chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there were "secondary explosions" that established Zemari's vehicle had explosives in it. But the Times investigation of the site of the attack found no evidence of what Milley is claiming.