ISIS Claims to Have Looted Sensitive US Military Equipment in Afghanistan
The ISIS terrorist group has released images of American military equipment they say they seized in Eastern Afghanistan.
The materials include a rocket launcher, communications gear, and other sensitive military equipment. The images also show a close-up view of an ID card belonging to U.S. soldier, Spc. Ryan Jay Larson.
It is unclear when the photographs were taken and how the equipment got into the hands of the extremist group, but the Army says Larson has not been captured and is still with his unit.
“Obviously, SPC Larson is not captured—he is accounted for and with his unit despite having lost his ID card and possibly some of his equipment during recent operations,” Brig. Gen. Charlie Cleveland said in an email statement to Fox News. “Beyond that, there is a lot of equipment in those pictures.
“At this point, we don’t know if all of the equipment in the pictures was lost during recent operations or at some other time in the past.”
The images were shared on Twitter on Aug 6. by SITE intelligence Group, which monitors the web activity of ISIS and other terrorist organizations. The equipment was reportedly picked up by ISIS fighters in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province, which is the area where U.S. special operation troops have been engaging in warfare with up to 1,500 ISIS militants.
Military Times notes that other items included weapons such as smoke grenades and rifles, protective gear such as body armor, knee pads, and eye goggles, a multiband radio, and flex cuffs used to detain enemies.
Shawn Snow, a Marine Corps veteran, told Military Times that the lost radio could be concerning.
“It’s one of the most commonly used portable radio systems employed by coalition and NATO forces. If ISIS has captured several of these radios, it would provide them with deadly capabilities,” he said.
However, authorities say that the photos could be an ISIS propaganda ploy and they will await word from the Pentagon before jumping to conclusions.
“Americans have been in Nangarhar for years,” said retired Marine Corps officer Fred Galvin. “All of that equipment could have been bought in a local bazar. It’s possible this is just a deception operation. ‘Hey look. We attacked them. We destroyed them.’ It could be a complete ruse.”