Americans in Afghanistan are being warned to stay away from the Kabul airport due to threats tied to the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
The US Embassy in Kabul sent out an alert early Thursday, asking US citizens not to travel to the airport “because of security threats outside the gates”, The New York Post reported.
Senior US officials told the media that the warning was related to specific threats involving the IS and potential vehicle bombs.
The State Department security alert also told Americans who were at three specific airport gates to “leave immediately”, without further explanation.
“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising US citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a US government representative to do so,” the statement read.
“US citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately,” it added.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday cited “the acute and growing risk of an attack” by the IS affiliate in Afghanistan, known as ISIS-K, as a reason not to extend the withdrawal timeline.
“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both US and Allied forces and innocent civilians,” the President said.
A US official told CNN on Wednesday that Washington has received a “very specific threat stream” of intelligence related to multiple potential attacks by ISIS-K against crowds of Afghans who have swarmed the airport day after day in a desperate attempt to get a place on an evacuation flight.