FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show The US Service Members Killed In The Aug. 26 Kabul Terrorist Attack?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A picture shared on Twitter purportedly shows the U.S. service members who were killed in the terrorist bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26.

Verdict: False

The photo shows service members who were killed in a 2017 plane crash in Mississippi.

Fact Check:

An Aug. 26 suicide bombing carried out by the militant group ISIS-K at the Kabul airport killed nearly 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members, ABC News reported. U.S. authorities said 11 of them were Marines and the others were a Navy medic and an Army soldier, the outlet reported.

The image in the Aug. 27 tweet shows what appears to be a collage of 16 servicemen’s photos. “#Americans who died in #KabulAirport blast yesterday,” the tweet reads. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Say To ‘Not Be Distracted’ By The Afghanistan Crisis And To ‘Keep One Eye On Washington’? )

The men in the photo were not, however, victims of the recent bombing in Kabul. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the same collage posted in a July 13, 2017, New York Times article. The servicemen died when their KC-130 transport plane crashed in Mississippi on July 10, 2017, according to the outlet.

A similar collage with the same 16 men’s photos was also included in a July 2017 article published by USA Today. The crash was an accident, and a Marine general said it appeared to have been caused by a mechanical failure, the Washington Post reported in 2017.

The Defense Department published the names of the service members killed in the Kabul airport attack on Aug. 28, and a CNN article featured photos of several of them. President Joe Biden ordered on Aug. 26 that American flags at the White House, military establishments and all public settings be flown at half-staff through Aug. 30 to honor the victims.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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