Just after 7 PM Eastern time Wednesday, the US State Department issued a warning advising US citizens in Afghanistan to avoid traveling to the Kabul airport, to avoid the airport gates unless they are told to go there, and for any US citizens at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate to leave immediately.
#Afghanistan: Due to threats outside the Kabul airport, US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive instructions to do so. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately. https://t.co/InzuVjXhLT pic.twitter.com/6ncsJBEVLu
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) August 25, 2021
The warning to leave immediately is about as bold as diplomatic speak can get in broadcasting that there is an imminent threat to the people at those gates. If all of the US citizens are concentrated at the airport gates, that sure makes a high-value target for the Taliban and ISIS-K; video of an attack on the citizens would be an emphatic declaration of victory.
The warning on the State Department website reads:
Event: Because of security threats outside the gates of 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.
U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.
Actions to take:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews.
- Have a contingency plan for emergencies and review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.