Biden Administration Confirms Risk Of ISIS Terrorist Attack In Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - The Biden administration has confirmed that there is a risk of an ISIS-K terrorist attack in Afghanistan who may attempt to exploit the situation and target troops or civilians as U.S. troops continue to evacuate Americans and Afghans from the country.
Biden stated, "The security environment is changing rapidly. There are civilians crowded at the airport, although we have cleared thousands of them. We know that terrorists may seek to exploit this situation and target innocent Afghans or American troops".
"We’re maintaining the constant vigilance to monitor and disrupt threats from any source, including the likely source being ISIS — ISIS-K, the Afghan affiliate referred to as ISIS-K" he continued, speaking of the ISIS-Khoransan, an Afghan branch of ISIS.
"We are under no illusions about the threat,” Biden said. “I said on Friday, ISIS-K is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, and they have a history of fighting one another. But every day we have troops on the ground, these troops and innocent civilians at the airport face the risk of attack from ISIS-K from a distance, even though we’re moving back the perimeter significantly".
Jake Sullivan, who is the National Security Advisor has also issued warnings about possible threats from ISIS while he was on CNN's 'State Of The Union'. He stated, "The threat is real. It is acute. It is persistent. And it is something that we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal".
"Our commanders on the ground have a wide variety of capabilities that they are using to defend the airfield against a potential terrorist attack. We are working hard with our intelligence community to try to isolate and determine where an attack might come from" he continued.
"It is something that we are placing paramount priority on stopping or disrupting. And we will do everything that we can for as long as we are on the ground to keep that from happening. But we are taking it absolutely deadly seriously".
Just hours before the statements by both Biden and Sullivan an unknown assailant shot at security outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan which killed one Afghan soldier and left three others injured.
CENTCOM spokesman Navy Captain William Urban put out a statement regarding the situation saying, "The incident appeared to begin when an unknown hostile actor fired upon Afghan security forces involved in monitoring access to the gate. The Afghans returned fire, and in keeping with their right of self-defense, so too did U.S. and coalition troops".
"No U.S. or coalition forces were hurt during a brief exchange of gunfire last night outside the north gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport" he continued.