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Taliban fighters walk in front of the main entrance gate of Kabul airport on Aug. 28. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Saturday that U.S. commanders in Afghanistan told him earlier in the day that the threat of another terrorist attack near Kabul's airport was "highly likely in the next 24-36 hours."

Driving the news: Hours later, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a new alert that Americans should "immediately" leave the airport area due to "a specific, credible threat."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Taliban security forces closed off Kabul’s airport to most Afghans seeking to evacuate Saturday, as the U.S. and its allies were wrapping up a "chaotic airlift," per AP.
  • Biden said in a statement earlier Saturday that the situation on the ground "continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high."

Of note: The U.S. Embassy had warned American citizens late Friday that due to continued security threats, they should "avoid traveling" to Kabul's airport and "to avoid airport gates."

  • "U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey gate, East gate, North gate or the New Ministry of Interior gate now should leave immediately," the notice warned.

The big picture: Biden's remarks came after the Department of Defense announced on Saturday that U.S. forces had begun to drawdown ahead of the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

  • "We have begun retrograding," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a press briefing.
  • The United Kingdom’s final flight for civilians departed Saturday.
  • "It’s time to close this phase of the operation now," U.K. Ambassador Laurie Bristow said in a video message. "But we haven't forgotten the people who still need to leave and will continue to do everything we can to help them."

Go deeper: The Afghan refugee crisis is about to get much worse

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the U.S. Embassy's new warning and to reflect that the Taliban has closed off Kabul's airport to most Afghans.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2021 - World

U.S. offers condolence payments to families of civilians killed in Kabul air strike

Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby (left) and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor at a press briefing following the Kabul drone strike. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Pentagon has offered unspecified payments as a condolence to the families of 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, who were killed in an Aug. 29 U.S. drone strike in Kabul.

Why it matters: Though U.S. military officials initially said the drone strike targeted an Islamic State member, they later admitted that Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker who was driving the car struck by the drone, was an innocent victim.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.