British Intelligence identifies ‘very credible’ threat of imminent Kabul airport attack

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Pictured here are Members of the UK Armed Forces who continue to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport. Since the beginning of Op PITTING they have been identifying, processing, loading and flying entitled personnel 24 hours a day to the UK.

There is “very, very credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants are planning an imminent attack on those gathering at Kabul airport British armed forces minister James Heappey has said today (Thursday).

On Wednesday evening Britain’s foreign ministry advised people not to travel to the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport where thousands are waiting for flights out of the country ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline when the United States and its allies will pull out their remaining troops. 

Heappey confirmed that intelligence of a possible suicide bomb attack by IS militants had become “much firmer.”

Heappey told BBC radio:

“There is now very, very credible reporting of an imminent attack, and hence why the Foreign Office advice was changed last night, that people should not come to Kabul Airport, they should move to a safe place and await further instructions.

“I can’t stress the desperation of the situation enough. The threat is credible, it is imminent, it is lethal. We wouldn’t be saying this if we weren’t genuinely concerned about offering Islamic State a target that is just unimaginable.”

Heappey said there were still very large crowds of desperate people outside the airport which was “a real concern for everybody”.

“I think there is an appetite amongst many in the queue to take their chances, but the reporting of this threat is very credible indeed. There is a real imminence to it.”

He said that Western nations were relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport, and that despite the warnings there were a large number of people still waiting there.

Britain has already evacuated more than 12,000 people from Afghanistan since its fall to the Taliban and is planning 11 more flights today (Thursday).

Heappey continued:

“We think there’s around 400 eligible people, mostly British citizens/dual nationals, in country. Clearly, we are working hard to find routes to safety for them.

“I just have to be really honest with people and say that there is every possibility, as we’ve been saying all the way through, that we won’t get everybody out, and the security situation worsening as it has, makes that more likely.”

Photographer: LPhot Ben Shread

UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

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