ISIS threat in Afghanistan is ‘real’ and ‘persistent,’ Biden national security adviser says

ISIS threat in Afghanistan is ‘real’ and ‘persistent,’ Biden national security adviser says
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

President Joe Biden’s national security adviser warned that the Islamic State is a threat to the United States as the military continues to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Jake Sullivan described the threat of an ISIS attack in Afghanistan as “real,” “acute,” and “persistent” on Sunday.

DEFENSE SECRETARY AUSTIN CONFIRMS AMERICANS HAVE HAD 'TOUGH ENCOUNTERS WITH TALIBAN'

“It is something we’re focused on with every tool in our arsenal,” he explained during an interview on CNN. “Our commanders on the ground have a wide variety of capabilities that they’re using to defend the airfield against a potential terrorist attack. We’re working hard with our intelligence community to try to isolate and determine where an attack might come from.”

“It is something that we are placing paramount priority on stopping or disrupting, and we’ll do everything that we can as long as we’re on the ground to keep that from happening, but we are taking it absolutely deadly seriously,” Sullivan added.

The threat of an attack by ISIS was reportedly the impetus behind an alert from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul of "potential security threats" outside the gates of the city's airport on Saturday.

"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 wrote.

The Islamic State affiliate ISIS Khorasan, the branch in Afghanistan, often tries to recruit Taliban defectors to join its ranks.

"There is a strong possibility ISIS-K is trying to carry off an attack at the airport," a U.S. defense official told CNN, while NBC News correspondent Courtney Kube said, "This is a specific threat that ISIS, the Islamic State, may be trying to target Americans.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on "specific details about the threat environment" in Kabul at a Saturday briefing, only noting that "the situation in Kabul ... in the whole city, is fluid and dynamic, and you've seen the images over the last 24 to 48 hours yourself of the situation outside the perimeter of the airport."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

"We're also keeping a close watch on any potential terrorist threat at or around the airport, including from the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan who were released from prison when the prisons were emptied. And because they are, by the way, to make everybody understand, that the ISIS in Afghanistan are the — have been the sworn enemy of the Taliban," Joe Biden said in his remarks to the nation on Friday.

The U.S. has evacuated approximately 30,000 people since the end of July, with about 25,100 since Aug. 14, a White House official said on Sunday. The government has been able to evacuate 3,900 people from 3 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday on 23 military flights, while 35 coalition aircraft were able to evacuate roughly the same number of people over the same time period.

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Jake Sullivan, Biden Administration, Afghanistan, War in Afghanistan, National Security

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: ISIS threat in Afghanistan is ‘real’ and ‘persistent,’ Biden national security adviser says

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting