After the dual bombing outside of Kabul airport a day before, the Pentagon on Friday, August 27, said those would not be the last attacks before the U.S. fully withdraws from Afghanistan.
“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby in a press briefing. “We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real-time.”
“We still believe there are credible threats, in fact, specific credible threats, and we want to be prepared for those,” Kirby added.
On Thursday, outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, two explosions occurred, one outside the Abbey Gate and one other near the hotel close to the gate.
The bombings, one of which the U.S. confirmed was a suicide attack, had resulted in at least 13 dead among the U.S. army at the facility, with CBS News confirming at least 170 dead citizens and many more injured.
Islamic State (ISIS) had publicly admitted the attacks were orchestrated by them, according to Reuters. The group, which despises Western countries and the Islamist Taliban, said it aimed at translators and collaborators within the U.S. military with the blasts.
Among the deceased were also 28 Taliban members, the militant group revealed. But the ISIS spokesperson did not claim any dead from among the fighters on the airport perimeter.
Head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, said he believed the Taliban had stopped some other attacks after revealing that the U.S. is working with the militant group about future attacks, according to AP.
But he also warned that future assaults could come as rockets launched at the facility or vehicles carrying bombs that would attempt to enter it.
Despite General Frank McKenzie’s remarks of the Taliban’s coorporating to prevent further attacks, a Pentagon spokesperson said since the militant group took over the country, ISIS terrorists had been released from prison.
“I don’t know the exact number, but clearly it’s in the thousands,” he said.
On August 15, CNN reported that the Taliban could have released between 5,000 to 7,000 prisoners being held at the Bagram Air Base, already igniting security concerns. Among them, only several hundred were criminals, whereas the rest were terrorists.
Meanwhile, England’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the attack showed Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban might not be the last terror activity.
“I think that what it certainly shows, what the terrorist attack certainly shows, is that the government of Afghanistan is going to be extremely difficult for whoever is running it, and that’s been the case for a very long time,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Evacuation flights had resumed in Kabul airport, and crowds of desperate Afghans seeking their chance of leaving the country had persistently gathered outside of the facility despite Thursday’s terrifying bombing.