Biden says another terror attack in Afghanistan ‘highly likely in the next 24-36 hours’

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned on Saturday that another terror attack in Afghanistan is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”

“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” President Biden said in a statement. “I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground. They assured me that they did, and that they could take these measures while completing the mission and safely retrograding our personnel.”

The warning came just two days after an ISIS-K terror attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, left 13 U.S. service members and close to 200 Afghan civilians dead.

Mr. Biden said the retaliatory U.S. drone strike that killed two ISIS-K targets on Friday and wounded another “was not the last.”

His statement was issued after he met with his national security team in Washington D.C. on Saturday morning to discuss the ongoing evacuations of American citizens, Afghans and others from Afghanistan.

“This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,” the president wrote. “Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt. I thanked General McKenzie for his leadership of that mission, and for his commitment to the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.”

Pentagon said at a news briefing on Saturday that the drone strike was a retaliation for the suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday that killed 13 U.S. service members and close to 200 Afghan civilians. Scores of people were also injured in the attack.

ISIS-K, a terrorist group in Afghanistan, later claimed responsibility and the U.S. retaliated by launching a drone strike.

In his statement, President wrote, “This morning, I met with my national security team in Washington and my commanders in the field. We discussed the strike that U.S. forces took last night against the terrorist group ISIS-K in Afghanistan. I said we would go after the group responsible for the attack on our troops and innocent civilians in Kabul, and we have.

“This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay. Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt. I thanked General McKenzie for his leadership of that mission, and for his commitment to the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.

“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high. Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours. I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground. They assured me that they did, and that they could take these measures while completing the mission and safely retrograding our personnel.

“Despite the treacherous situation in Kabul, we are continuing to evacuate civilians. Yesterday, we brought out another 6,800 people, including hundreds of Americans. And today, we discussed the ongoing preparations to help people continue to leave Afghanistan after our military departs.

“The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others. Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far. May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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