The Pentagon responded to a Politico report that said officials were aware of and preparing for an imminent threat of “mass casualties” at Kabul airport hours before a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 13 US soldiers.

Politico published an article on Monday claiming – via classified notes of the meeting the media obtained and interviews with defense officials – that senior officials had warned others heads of departments to prepare for an “event with many casualties”.

Detailed classified notes reportedly showed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “had asked more than a dozen senior department officials around the world to prepare for an impending ‘mass event’.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed that officials discovered “important” intelligence that ISIS was planning a “complex attack.”

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Warned of massive casualty event

The Politico report states that Lloyd had warned of the enormous risk to military personnel.

“I don’t think people take so many risks on the pitch,” he reportedly said, according to the notes.

Despite knowledge of a planned “mass casualty” event, commanders struggled to shut down Abbey Gate, the place where US citizens had been invited to congregate.

“The Americans decided to keep the door open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal schedule, to continue to evacuate their personnel,” writes Politico.

They note that US troops were “still processing arrivals at Abbey Gate Airport” when the suicide bomber struck, killing nearly 200 people.

13 US servicemen were among the dead.

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The Pentagon is furious

The Politico column goes on to describe the specific measures taken to avoid the “many injured” event.

One of these measures was to “inform Taliban checkpoints of the potential threat” and “ask them to take it into account in their screening procedures.”

This is an important revelation when you consider, as the Daily Mail reports, that the suicide bomber “passed a Taliban checkpoint to approach an evacuee checkpoint at Kabul airport.”

He describes how US forces were called upon to rely on the Taliban in part for their security and how such faith could have turned against them.

The Pentagon responded to Politico reporting by denigrating the outlet of what they saw as irresponsible journalism.

“This story is based on the illegal disclosure of classified information and internal deliberations of a sensitive nature,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement to Politico.

Where has he been for the past four years? Classified information leaked almost daily under former President Donald Trump.

Kirby went on to suggest that the Pentagon had tried to crush history.

“As soon as we became aware of the material leaked to the journalist, we engaged Politico at the highest level to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at risk,” he said.

The article comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have faced growing calls to resign or be impeached for their handling of the Afghan crisis.

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