National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Sunday's edition of State of the Union that the United States is taking the threat of a possible terrorist attack at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport "absolutely, deadly seriously" amid the chaotic evacuation process.
There have been unsubstantiated reports that the Islamic State, which has continued to operate in Afghanistan in recent years, is looking to take advantage of the situation, which includes large, vulnerable crowds. Sullivan shed a little more light on the possibility (though he didn't reveal any specifics), telling Keilar that the threat is "real," "persistent," and remains a major area of focus for both the military commanders on the ground at the airport and the U.S. intelligence community. "It is something that we are placing paramount priority on stopping and disrupting," he said. "We will do everything that we can for as long as we are on the ground to keep that from happening."
Analysts, meanwhile, have cautioned that while an ISIS plot is plausible, some of the reports that have made their way to social media should be met with skepticism.