At a moment US military officials are urging crowds to stay away from congregating at the heavily guarded gates to Kabul international airport, the Pentagon and other allied militaries are simultaneously warning that the threat of more ISIS-K attacks to come remains "high".
Reporters for Bloomberg observed Friday that "Large crowds milled around Kabul’s international airport on Friday despite repeated warnings of more terrorist attacks."
Crowds still gathered around Kabul airport despite warnings of more terror attacks after 2 deadly explosions Thursday.— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) August 27, 2021
The window for civilian evacuations has all but closed for thousands of Afghans https://t.co/ex0ttWLMKw pic.twitter.com/mxbCRxUTUa
Just days away from the Aug.31 deadline for the full US troop pullout, it's further being reported that the "window has all but closed" on civilian evacuations, especially for the tens of thousands of Afghans still hoping to get out. Likely the US is poised to begin rapidly getting the troops themselves out, also as the White House confirmed late Thursday it will continue coordinating security with Taliban members guarding the airport perimeter.
This as the death toll continues to climb after Thursday's deadly pair of bombings: "An Afghan health ministry official told CBS News on Friday morning that the death toll from the double bombing attack Thursday reached at least 170, the vast majority of whom were Afghans. Ten of the 13 American service members who were killed were Marines."
One LA Times correspondent who has been on the ground has said "it would be easy for an ISIS fighter to come in" - even the day after multiple blasts already struck in the middle of densely packed crowds.
The U.S. warns of an imminent terror attack at the Kabul airport. "It would be easy for an ISIS fighter to come in," says @nabihbulos in Kabul. And the threat further complicates the evacuations. "The fact of the matter is," he says, "I don't know there's time." pic.twitter.com/zHT63aE7wn— Kim Brunhuber (@kimbrunhuber) August 26, 2021
During a prior press briefing Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said that evacuations would continue undeterred, however he explained that "airport checkpoints, aimed at keeping explosives off planes, are inherently dangerous assignments," according to NBC.
"Ultimately at these screening points, in particular, you have to get very up close and personal to the people," he said. "There's no way to do that safely from a distance."
Likely the desperate throngs of people crowding the entrances will remain undeterred, despite efforts to clear these areas, raising the specter of another horrific terror attack.