Politico

Biden briefed on Kabul situation, ISIS threat


The White House says President Joe Biden has been briefed by members of his national security team on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

Biden and his team met on Saturday in the White House Situation Room to discuss the security situation and counterterrorism operations, including against the Islamic State group in Afghanistan.

Evacuations and efforts to finalize agreements with third-party countries willing to serve as transit hubs for evacuees were also discussed.

Vice President Kamala Harris joined the meeting by secure video teleconference during her travels to Singapore. They were joined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, among others.

The White House said Biden canceled plans to travel Saturday to his Wilmington, Delaware, home.

The ISIS affiliate — which has long declared a desire to attack America and U.S. interests abroad — has been active in Afghanistan for several years, carrying out horrific attacks, mostly on the Shiite minority. The group has been repeatedly targeted by U.S. airstrikes in recent years, as well as Taliban attacks. But officials say fragments of the group are still active in Afghanistan, and the U.S. is concerned about it reconstituting in a larger way as the country comes under divisive Taliban rule.

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