Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refused to answer a question at a press conference on Saturday about whether terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda were operating outside the gates at the Kabul airport.
The question came after the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned U.S. citizens to stay away from the Kabul airport earlier in the day amid “potential security threats outside the gates.”
“U.S. officials said the most serious current threat was that Afghanistan’s branch of the Islamic State would attempt an attack that would hurt the Americans and damage the Taliban’s sense of control,” The New York Times reported. “It was unclear how capable ISIS is of such an attack, the officials said.”
When asked whether Islamic terrorist groups were operating outside the gate, Kirby responded: “We’re not going to get into specific details about the threat environment or what our intelligence has given us.”
Less than 24 hours after Biden claimed there were no threats at the Kabul airport, the state department warned Americans not to come to the airport because of unidentified threats. Not the Pentagon refuses to share what threats prompted that warning. pic.twitter.com/d08eKKUW0h
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 21, 2021
CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang highlighted a report from one of her network’s foreign correspondents: “A former Afghan interpreter who tried to get into the airport today – for the fifth time- said Taliban outside the airport told people that ISIS is planning an attack.”
From @CBSNews colleague @AhMukhtar: A former Afghan interpreter who tried to get into the airport today – for the fifth time- said Taliban outside the airport told people that ISIS is planning an attack.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) August 21, 2021
The news comes after Taliban extremists handed over the security of Kabul to senior members of the Haqqani Network, a designated terrorist organization that has close ties with other jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
VOA News reported:
Western intelligence officials say the assignment is alarming and undercuts Taliban promises to tread a more moderate path than the movement did when it ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.
It also raises the prospect of al-Qaida being welcomed back to Afghanistan, they fear, which would break promises made by Taliban leaders during diplomatic talks in Qatar with U.S. officials last year, not to allow the country to again become a safe haven for foreign jihadists.
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