Sullivan: US taking Afghanistan ISIS threat ‘absolutely deadly seriously’
National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said the U.S. is taking threats of a potential ISIS attack in Afghanistan “absolutely deadly seriously.”
“It is something that we are placing paramount priority on stopping or disrupting, and we will do everything that we can for as long as we are on the ground to keep that from happening. But we are taking it absolutely deadly seriously,” Sullivan told guest host Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
When asked how real the threat of an attack from the Islamic State is, Sullivan said it is “real, it is acute, it is persistent, and it is something that we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal.”
“Our commanders on the ground have a wide variety of capabilities that they are using to defend the airfield against a potential terrorist attack. We are working hard with our intelligence community to try to isolate and determine where an attack might come from,” he added.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan on the threat of ISIS attacking the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan: “The threat is real. It is acute. It is persistent. And it is something that we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal.” https://t.co/XDgiI0kiQU #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/Fg9D0MVUmx
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) August 22, 2021
Sullivan’s comments come after multiple news outlets reported that the U.S. military has been forced to locate alternative routes to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul because of threats to American citizens and Afghan allies from ISIS-K.
One Defense official told CNN “There is a strong possibility ISIS-K is trying to carry off an attack at the airport.”
A senior diplomat in the capital city told CNN that they know of credible but not immediate threats to the airport from the Islamic State.
The U.S. military is currently working to evacuate remaining American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan as the security situation continues to deteriorate.
The Pentagon revealed on Saturday that roughly 17,000 individuals have been pulled from the region in the past week, and around 22,000 since July. Approximately 2,500 Americans have been evacuated from the country so far.