Islamic State terrorists say they have gotten their hands on a variety of US weapons and sensitive radio equipment in Afghanistan following recent battlefield victories. They also posted pictures of documents, photographs and US ID cards online.
The weaponry allegedly belonged to American soldiers, but none were captured in the area at the time, according to the Military Times publication.
The original source of the photographs is Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) Amaq new agency. They were first circulated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which alleged that they had been taken in Nangarhar province.
The photos also include an advanced military radio used by coalition forces, an American flag and personal documents – two ID cards belonging to Spc. Ryan Jay Larson, although it remains unclear how the weapons and papers ended up in IS hands, or even when the photos were originally taken.
The U.S. military command in Kabul said the soldier “has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit,” Reuters reports.
“SPC Larson was attached to a unit conducting a partnered (operation) with Afghan Forces,” US military spokesman Commander Ron Flesvig said in an emailed statement on Sunday, Reuters reports. “The soldier’s I.D. and some of the equipment were left behind after the (operation). The loss of personal identification is unfortunate.”
She offered no further details while the White House also referred the media to the Defense Department.
Nangarhar has become a volatile region of Afghanistan overrun with IS militants – about 1,000-1,500 of them, according to the US. Most are actually believed to be former Taliban who had previously fled Pakistan.
American special operations troops are in the area to help Afghan government troops reclaim territory lost to the terrorists.