According to classified documents obtained by Politico, senior Pentagon leaders discussed plans for a “mass casualty event” at a video meeting the day before nearly 200 died in a Kabul suicide attack, including 13 US Marines.
The outlet described the document as a transcript of high-level military meetings.
Politico claimed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed top leaders in over a dozen departments to prepare for such an event in a meeting on Wednesday, citing the documents.
It also quoted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley claiming to have “significant” information about a “complex attack” by a terrorist organization.
Commanders frequently identified the Abbey Gate, where the suicide bombing occurred and Americans were gathering, to be the “highest risk.”
“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Politico quoted Austin as saying.
Politico did not publish the document itself but claimed to have verified its authenticity through an anonymous defense official. The Pentagon itself has neither confirmed nor denied the report at press time.