U.S. Embassy Warns Americans to ‘Avoid’ Kabul Airport, ‘Security Threats’

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via …
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. embassy in Kabul on Saturday is warning trapped American citizens to “avoid” the Kabul airport because of “security threats outside the gates.”

“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport,” the embassy advised on their website, “we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”

Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban’s military takeover of Afghanistan. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A Taliban fighter stands guard atop a vehicle near the site of an Ashura procession which is held to mark the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, along a road in Herat on August 19, 2021, amid the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by AREF KARIMI / AFP) (Photo by AREF KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

A Taliban fighter stands guard atop a vehicle. (AREF KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

The warning for Americans “to stay away from the Afghan capital’s airport” is due to “potential security threats outside the gates,” “a sign of growing volatility at the choke point for thousands of Afghans desperate to escape the country’s new Taliban rulers,” the New York Times reported. “All of the entrance gates to the airport were closed on Saturday morning because of the dangerous situation.”

A US soldier shoots in the air with his pistol whiel standing guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A US soldier shoots in the air with his pistol while standing guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The embassy’s website also noted the following safety protocols:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews.
  • Have a contingency plan for emergencies and review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

The crisis on the ground in Kabul comes after President Joe Biden claimed Friday that to the “best of our knowledge – Taliban checkpoints – they are letting through people showing American passports.”

US President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris, responds to questions about the ongoing US military evacuations of US citizens and vulnerable Afghans, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2021. - Biden said Friday he has not seen America's allies question US credibility over the conduct of its withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban took over the country. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden said Friday he has not seen America’s allies question US credibility over the conduct of its withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban took over the country. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

But Biden’s story does not square with media reports on the ground or with his own Defense Secretary, who stated Friday that Americans have been abused and beaten on the ground:

CNN reporting on the ground also confirms Washington Post reports, which indicate the Taliban fighters are blocking “access” to the airport “with gunfire and violence.” In another incident, the Taliban even attacked CNN’s camera crew.

“It’s definitely chaotic,” Clarissa Ward reported on the ground. “It’s definitely dangerous.”

Media reports suggest an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 Americans are in Afghanistan.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 

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