Biden says a new attack at the Kabul airport is ‘highly likely in the next 24-36 hours’

joe biden
US President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual briefing by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials on preparations for Hurricane Ida, in the South Court auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2021.

  • President Joe Biden said Saturday another attack at the Kabul airport is highly likely.
  • The Pentagon also warned Saturday that the threats are “still very real” and “very dynamic.”
  • Roughly 117,000 people, including 5,400 Americans, have been evacuated amid the continued threats.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden warned in a Saturday statement that another terrorist attack at the Kabul airport “is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”

Biden said he learned of the threats from his commanders, and “directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground.”

He continued: “The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high.”

Earlier Saturday morning, Pentagon officials told reporters in a press conference that threats of ISIS-K attacks “are still very real. They’re very dynamic, and we are monitoring them literally in real time.”

A suicide bombing at the airport on Thursday killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members. Biden vowed to respond with “force and precision” to the attack, and Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters on Saturday that a retaliatory drone strike had killed two ISIS-K members and injured a third.

Kirby didn’t provide details on the members’ identities, nor their exact involvement with the airport bombings, though he said the terror group “lost a planner, and they lost a facilitator.” He added that there were no civilian casualties.

Both Biden and Kirby said Saturday that evacuation efforts are ongoing in the days leading up to August 31, when US troops plan to withdraw.

Biden said on Friday, another 6,800 people were evacuated, including hundreds of Americans.

As of Saturday morning, a total of 117,000 civilians and personnel have been evacuated, including 5,400 Americans. Unified Command have received 30,000 Afghan refugees since August 20, with six flights expecting to carry 2,000 refugees the the US.

Kirby also said 8,000 Afghan applicants are currently being hosted and vetted at several military bases in the US.

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