New Isis threat at Kabul airport as US tells citizens to avoid going unless instructed

22 August 2021, 08:29 | Updated: 22 August 2021, 10:39

There is a threat to Kabul airport from Isis, the US embassy has said
There is a threat to Kabul airport from Isis, the US embassy has said. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

There is a significant threat to Kabul airport from Isis, the US has declared in a fresh security alert.

The terror group is not affiliated with the Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan as international forces withdrew.

It has reportedly been critical of the Taliban in recent statements and fought them in the past.

Amid the new alert, US military planes have been making rapid, diving combat landings at Hamid Karzai International as it evacuates thousands trying to flee the new regime.

Other planes have fired flares when taking off as a decoy for potential heat-seeking missiles.

It comes as seven people died at Kabul airport amid chaotic scenes there.

Read more: Seven die at Kabul airport amid chaos in the Afghanistan evacuation

Read more: Nearly 4,000 evacuated from Afghanistan as US deadline looms

The US embassy issued a new security warning on Saturday telling citizens not to go to Kabul airport without a specific instruction from a US government representative.

Officials did not elaborate further about the threat from Isis but said it is significant.

A House of Lords report from January reported that after the Taliban, "the two highest profile non-state actors... were al Qaeda and Islamic State Khorasan Province", the Isis group in Afghanistan.

It said the Foreign Office considered those three groups to be "responsible for most violence against Afghan civilians" and they "pose the most significant security threats to the UK and our allies".

On Sunday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed seven people had died at the airport.

In a statement, the ministry said: "Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible."

The reports came as stampedes and crushes led to injuries, especially as Taliban fighters shoot into the air to drive away those attempting to flee their new regime.