The US Department of Defense issued a news release Monday afternoon about the death of Army Specialist Brittany Gordon. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The DoD says 24-year-old Gordon died from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device. Now multiple news reports say Gordon’s death may be the latest in a series of so-called insider attacks in Afghanistan.
Gordon was from St. Petersburg, Florida. In a report in the Tampa Bay Times, US Representative C.W. Bill Young said military officials had advised him that the IED came from a suicide bomber.
“It was not one that was planted as a mine. The person was wearing a suicide vest. This is also considered an IED,” said Young, who chairs the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Yesterday The New York Times reported that a member of the Afghan intelligence service detonated a suicide vest Saturday, killing two Americans and four Afghan intelligence agency colleagues.
The details reported by The New York Times seem to coincide with Young’s account. The paper reported that the attack occurred when a delegation which included American coalition members and several members of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security arrived in the Maruf district, a remote area of the Kandahar province, to deliver furniture. The paper also reported that the attacker was wearing a suicide vest under his intelligence service uniform and detonated after the delegation arrived.
There are competing reports about whether the bomber wore an Afghan uniform to gain entry to the building in Kandahar, or if he was an intelligence service employee.
7th Infantry Division Public Affairs Director Lt. Colonel Joe Sowers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord said he was unable to confirm details of either report. Sowers referred questions to the International Security Force in Afghanistan, which did not immediately respond.
Brittany Gordon joined the military in 2010. This was her first deployment.
Dario Lorenzetti, 42, of Fort Worth, Texas was killed in the same attack. For the past year-and-a-half, Lorenzetti worked in Afghanistan for the US State Department.
Insider attacks have been a recent focus of concern in Afghanistan and have caused more than 50 deaths of coalition troops this year.