US Tells Americans to Avoid Traveling to Kabul Airport Because of ‘Potential Security Threats’

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Americans in Afghanistan were told Saturday not to go to the airport in Kabul to evacuate unless they receive a specific message to do so.

“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, 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 an alert.

Pentagon officials in Washington declined to elaborate on the potential threats.

“You can understand why we’re not going to get into specific details about the current threat environment or what our intelligence is giving us,” Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Saturday morning.

The alert, he said, was a “prudent notification” aimed at making sure Americans in Afghanistan “have the best information they need to make the best decision moving forward.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Video footage from the exterior of the airport on Saturday showed crowds remaining outside the concrete, razor wire-topped walls being guarded by U.S. troops.

President Joe Biden told Americans in Washington on Friday that his administration had “no indication” that Americans weren’t able to get to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

“We’ve made an agreement with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through,” he said.

He later said he misunderstood the question and that Americans may be getting into trouble after being let through Taliban checkpoints.

But the Department of Defense, about an hour later, acknowledged being aware of reports that Taliban terrorists had been beating Americans in Afghanistan.

Thousands of Americans are estimated to remain in the country after the United States withdrew most troops and the Taliban pummeled Afghan forces.

The Taliban took over Kabul on Aug. 15.

Members of Congress from both parties have been critical of how the United States conducted the withdrawal, with many wondering why civilians weren’t evacuated before the military largely pulled out.

By Zachary Stieber

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