Johnny Mercer tells veterans to be 'proud' of work in Afghanistan
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James Heappey warned the UK Government has received information that an “imminent” terror attack could go ahead at Kabul Airport as UK authorities changed their travel advice as soon as they were able to in light of the intelligence. Mr Heappey said he could not “in all good conscience” leave the current advise as is after warning earlier in the week the risk of an attack grows the closer to the August 31 withdrawal date. When quizzed on how soon it would be, Mr Heappey bluntly replied it could be within the next few hours of his morning media round.
During a media round earlier this week, Mr Heappey explained the likelihood of a terror attack at Kabul Airport increased the more troops withdrew from the area.
For that reason, he was unable to give specific dates on when UK and other personnel would completely leave Kabul over fears of a terror reprisal.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace explained to Sky News that groups like ISIS will want to be seen “chasing” the West out of Afghanistan as it would fit their narrative.
But now, the UK travel advice says people should not visit Kabul Airport following reports a terror attack is imminent “within hours”.
Speaking on LBC, Mr Heappey was asked by host Nick Ferrari for an update at Kabul.
He explained: “So the situation is that over the course of the week the intelligence that we’ve been receiving over the imminence and credibility of an Islamic State attack has grown significantly.
“To the point where, in all good conscience, we couldn’t do anything but change travel advice last night to advise people against moving to Kabul airport.
“And if they are at the airport to move away to a place of safety.
“We don’t do that lightly, it’s not as if we can just pause the mission, deal with the threat and pick up where we left off.
“The clock continues to tick down to the end of the month but I just don’t know how government could know what we know and not seek to share that risk with people who would otherwise maybe make themselves a target.”
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