Speaking to reporters following a classified intel briefing on Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff admitted to reporters that evacuating Americans from Afghanistan will likely extend past the August 31 deadline, warning that a terror “threat to the airport is very real.”
“Given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIVs, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders, it’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month,” Schiff conceded, though he said he is “encouraged” by the number of people being evacuated from the region on a daily basis.
“We had 11,000 people in a single day,” he noted. “Nonetheless, given the logistical difficulties of moving people to the airport and the limited number of workarounds, it’s hard for me to see that being fully complete by the end of the month.”
As for intel warnings that the threat of ISIS in the region has increased since the Taliban retook Afghanistan, Schiff said, “I think the threat to the airport is very real and very substantial and this has been a concern of mine for, for some days now that this would make a very attractive target for ISIS or for elements of al Qaeda. An opportunity to attack both U.S. forces as well as Afghan nationals and indeed the Taliban as well, and just cause chaos that will prolong the U.S. stay.”
“Whenever you have a mass gathering like that, it is an opportunity for improvised explosive devises. It’s a real danger,” he added.
Way to “build back better,” Democrats.