The top US diplomat in Kabul, Amb. Ross Wilson, said Thursday that he could not get into the specifics of the security threat outside the gates of the Kabul airport cited in an embassy alert, but noted that “it was clearly regarded as credible, as imminent, as compelling.”
“Our intention was to urge Americans and frankly others not to come to the airport,” Wilson said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.
“For American citizens in particular, we are working other ways, on an individualized basis, to assist them in getting to the airport in a safe and secure manner,” he said.
“Being part of these huge crowds that remain around the gates, entrances to the airport, is dangerous. We’re obviously concerned about our own people as well,” Wilson said.
The US Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday evening ET time advised US citizens at a number of gates at the airport to “leave immediately,” noting “security threats outside the gates.”
The alert came as the administration has raised alarm about the potential of an attack by ISIS-K. ISIS-Khorasan is a branch of the terror group that first emerged in Syria and Iraq. While the affiliates share an ideology and tactics, the depth of their relationship with regards to organization and command and control has never been entirely established.
The US believes ISIS-K, which is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, wants to create mayhem at the airport and has intelligence streams suggesting it is capable and planning to carry out multiple attacks, according to the official.