The United States is tracking threats from ISIS against Kabul’s airport as Americans and others try to leave Afghanistan, two White House officials said on Saturday.
The U.S. military is working on alternative ways to get Americans, Afghans, and others who want to leave the country to the airport safely. A White House official told FWRD AXIS President Joe Biden was briefed on a possible threat from ISIS on the airport.
“This morning, the President met with his national security team,” the official said. “The Vice President joined by secure video teleconference en route to Singapore. They discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism operations, including ISIS-K.”
Biden canceled his weekend trip to his home in Delaware as he was briefed on the possible threat ISIS poses. On Friday, the President gave remarks and vowed to bring all Americans home safely.
“Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Biden said, who also made the same promise to evacuate Afghan allies who helped the U.S. during the war.
“To the best of our knowledge, at Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports,” he added. “Now that’s a different question of when they get into the rush and crowd of all the folks just outside the wall, near the airport.”
Earlier it was announced that American citizens trying to leave should not travel to Kabul’s airport because of “potential security threats”.
“We are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan said in a statement Saturday.
The “potential security threats” come as Taliban leaders arrived in the city to choose a new government.
The President did not commit to extending his August 31 deadline on Friday but did suggest earlier in the week he would keep U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan if needed.
The top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 10 years on Saturday and will likely appoint people to form a new government over the next few days.
“In our system, nobody can ask for any portfolio,” he said. “But one thing must be clear: There is no place for democracy in Islam, and we will follow what the Islamic Sharia is saying.”
A late report by the Wall Street Journal suggests the Biden administration is planning to have major U.S. airlines help with the transportation of tens of thousands of evacuees from the country.