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

Brittany Jordan

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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.

The Pentagon declined to comment, referring The Epoch Times to the State Department. That agency 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.

Soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division escort evacuees to the terminal for check-in during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 20, 2021. (Lance Cpl. Nicholas Guevara/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)
Epoch Times Photo
A group of Afghan evacuees departs on a bus at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on Aug. 20, 2021. (Senior Airman Jan K. Valle/U.S. Air Force via AP)
Afghan-Kabul
Taliban terrorists stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16, 2021. (Rahmat Gul/AP Photo)

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.

Now, Americans, Afghans, and others seeking to flee the country must brave the Taliban-held streets to reach the airport, with little to no help from troops from the United States or other nations, though some special forces have reportedly conducted targeted rescue missions by helicopter and U.S. troops went outside the airport to rescue 169 people.

Americans were encouraged to leave Afghanistan earlier this year and urged to do so as the Taliban rapidly gained ground this month.

Those who chose to stay have been receiving changing advice from U.S. officials regarding travel to the airport.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan told Americans on Aug. 15 to shelter in place because of the unstable security situation there.

That directive remained active until Aug. 18, when Americans were told that U.S. government flights were departing from the airport but also informed that the government could not “ensure safe passage” to the facility.

A similar message was promoted on Thursday, with another warning.

“We are processing people at multiple gates. Due to large crowds and security concerns, gates may open or close without notice. Please use your best judgment and attempt to enter the airport at any gate that is open,” U.S. citizens were told.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.

Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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