Man on UK’s ‘no-fly’ watchlist is airlifted from Kabul to Birmingham in apparent security breach

A person banned from Britain under a ‘no-fly list’ was able to travel here as part of the Afghanistan airlift, it emerged yesterday.

In an apparent security breach, the individual was cleared to board an RAF plane before checks in mid-air revealed they were barred from coming to this country.

In a sign of the challenges facing British soldiers at Kabul airport – who are already on high alert amid fears of terror attacks – it emerged last night that a further four people on the no-fly list tried to board mercy flights to the UK, but were stopped before the planes took off.

A person considered to be threat to the UK has reportedly been flown into Birmingham as part of the British evacuation operation

A person considered to be threat to the UK has reportedly been flown into Birmingham as part of the British evacuation operation

A person considered to be threat to the UK has reportedly been flown into Birmingham as part of the British evacuation operation

The scene outside Afghanistan's Kabul airport yesterday where the chaos has led to a person banned from Britain being allowed to fly in

The scene outside Afghanistan's Kabul airport yesterday where the chaos has led to a person banned from Britain being allowed to fly in

The scene outside Afghanistan’s Kabul airport yesterday where the chaos has led to a person banned from Britain being allowed to fly in 

A military plane takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, today as the evacuation continues

A military plane takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, today as the evacuation continues

A military plane takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, today as the evacuation continues

Taliban check vehicles at a check point in Kandahar, Afghansitan, 22 August 2021. The Afghan interim council, formed to assist in the power transfer following President Ashraf Ghani's escape, has met several Taliban leaders to discuss issues related to control and security during the transition process

Taliban check vehicles at a check point in Kandahar, Afghansitan, 22 August 2021. The Afghan interim council, formed to assist in the power transfer following President Ashraf Ghani's escape, has met several Taliban leaders to discuss issues related to control and security during the transition process

Taliban check vehicles at a check point in Kandahar, Afghansitan, 22 August 2021. The Afghan interim council, formed to assist in the power transfer following President Ashraf Ghani’s escape, has met several Taliban leaders to discuss issues related to control and security during the transition process

It came amid fears that more than 1,000 heroic Afghan translators, staff and their families could be left behind by the frantic evacuation operation.

Taliban threatens ‘consequences’ if airlift deadline extended 

The Taliban has said it will ‘provoke a reaction’ and has threatened ‘consequences’ if the US or UK do not leave Afghanistan by August 31 and extend the deadline for the withdrawal of troops.

President Joe Biden wants all Americans to have left the country by the end of the month although he admitted on Sunday night that an extension was under discussion, while this morning UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the evacuation effort is ‘down to hours now, not weeks’.

Taliban spokesman Dr Suhail Shaheen said the group will not accept an extension to the deadline and warned of retaliation if Western forces extend their ‘occupation’ since the group dramatically swept to power.

He told Sky News: ‘It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.

‘If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.

‘It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.’ 

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Ministers have outlined plans to extract a further 6,000 UK nationals and eligible Afghans, but sources said there were 7,000 who Britain would ideally like to rescue.   

The Home Office said yesterday a ‘security assessment’ of the individual who arrived here revealed they were no longer considered a threat by the security or law enforcement agencies. Sources said there would be no further action taken against the person, whose nationality is unclear.

But the development raised concerns over security relating to the airlift.

Armed Forces minister James Heappey warned that suspected extremists were trying to use the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan to get to Britain. He said they were ‘trying to take advantage of this process to get into the UK to cause us harm’.

He added: ‘One of the most remarkable things about what our troops are doing is they know that there is the real threat of a suicide bomber or some other sort of threat or attack.

‘That means that with one hand they have to have their finger on the trigger, and in the other hand, they’re holding people’s babies.’

Boris Johnson will on Tuesday try to persuade US President Joe Biden to delay the US withdrawal past the August 31 deadline so more British nationals and vulnerable Afghans can be airlifted to safety.

At a virtual meeting of G7 leaders, the Prime Minister will join French president Emmanuel Macron in urging Mr Biden to push back his deadline for Americans soldiers to leave the country.

But hopes of an extension appeared to be fading last night, as the Taliban issued a chilling warning to the West not to stay longer than the end of the month, or there would be ‘consequences’.

In other developments:

  • Mr Johnson spoke with Mr Biden this evening, but there was no indication of any breakthrough;
  • White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the President was ‘taking this day by day’ and will make his decision on an extension ‘as we go’; 
  • Mr Johnson will also urge Mr Biden and other world leaders to take in as many refugees from the Taliban as the UK has pledged to; 
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace described the evacuation timeframe available as ‘hours not weeks’; 
  • The Mail learned that the best-case scenario for ‘freedom flights’ is that they to continue until Friday at the latest. 

Britain’s no-fly list was set up under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 ‘to prevent certain individuals from travelling to or from the UK when that is necessary in the public interest’.    

The watchlist is designed to prevent ‘individuals, including known terrorists, serious criminals and those subject to sanctions from being able to travel to the UK’.

The Government last night refused to provide details about the person who travelled to Britain. They were said to have been held in a centre for processing those arriving from Afghanistan.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘An individual was flagged to the Home Office as part of the rigorous checks process, involving the police, security services and others.

The individual (not pictured), who has not been identified by the Government, is on the national 'no-fly' list, which is designed to block individuals who are believed to be a threat from getting to the UK. Above: Afghans walk towards UK planes at Kabul airport

The individual (not pictured), who has not been identified by the Government, is on the national 'no-fly' list, which is designed to block individuals who are believed to be a threat from getting to the UK. Above: Afghans walk towards UK planes at Kabul airport

The individual (not pictured), who has not been identified by the Government, is on the national ‘no-fly’ list, which is designed to block individuals who are believed to be a threat from getting to the UK. Above: Afghans walk towards UK planes at Kabul airport

Taliban fighters in a vehicle patrol the streets of Kabul on August 23, 2021 as in the capital after their takeover of Afghanistan

Taliban fighters in a vehicle patrol the streets of Kabul on August 23, 2021 as in the capital after their takeover of Afghanistan

Taliban fighters in a vehicle patrol the streets of Kabul on August 23, 2021 as in the capital after their takeover of Afghanistan

People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport, to flee the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan

People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport, to flee the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan

People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport, to flee the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan

British forces have been snatching rest between the exhausting efforts to organise the airlift from Kabul

British forces have been snatching rest between the exhausting efforts to organise the airlift from Kabul

British forces have been snatching rest between the exhausting efforts to organise the airlift from Kabul

‘However, upon further investigation, they are not a person of interest to the security agencies or law enforcement.’

It comes as British officials at Kabul airport warned of a spike in impersonations and forged documents and passports.

Opposition MPs raised concerns about the secuirty risks, although government sources said the fact the individual has been identified showed the watchlist was working.

Mr Heappey said: ‘There are people right now in Kabul trying to get on to British flights that we have identified in our checks as being on the UK no-fly list.

‘So the checks that are being done are entirely necessary because there are people that are trying to take advantage of this process to get into the UK to cause us harm.’

It emerged yesterday that security checks have been abandoned by some of Britain’s other Western allies in the rush to get their citizens out of Kabul.

Firefight at Kabul airport: One Afghan soldier is killed and three wounded in battle between gunmen and US and German forces 

A firefight has broken out between unidentified gunmen, Western security forces and Afghan guards at Kabul airport.

One Afghan guard was killed and three others were injured in the battle, which also involved US and German forces, the German military said on Twitter.

The report did not specifying whether the dead Afghan was one of the Taliban fighters deployed to guard the airport.

The airport has been a scene of chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15 as UK and international forces try to evacuate citizens and vulnerable Afghans.

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Sources revealed that American troops had given up doing background checks on passengers some days ago, with screening being carried out on arrival in the US instead.

Other EU states have already found a number of individuals on their no fly lists that have travelled on mercy flights. It emerged last night that five people on France’s no-fly list had managed to travel from Afghanistan into France.

Intelligence agencies have warned of an Islamic State infiltration in Kabul, and there are also concerns that the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan could prompt a resurgence of Al-Qaeda’s networks in the country, which were effectively suppressed during the two decades of military operations by Nato allies.

Some 6,631 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan to the UK in the past week, including 1,821 in the past 24 hours.

But 1,800 UK passport holders still remain as well as 2,275 Afghans eligible to resettle in the UK.

A Government spokesman said: ‘There are people in Afghanistan who represent a serious threat to national security and public safety.

‘That is why thorough checks are taking place by government, our world-class intelligence agencies and others.

‘If someone is assessed as presenting as a risk to our country, we will take action.’

Meanwhile French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was ‘concerned’ about the impending August 31 deadline and ‘additional time is needed’.

Germany estimated it has 5,000 people still waiting to be taken to safety, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying the airbridges should stay open ‘as long as the situation on the ground allows’.

However, the Taliban have said any extension would be a ‘red line’ and warned of ‘consequences’ – as ministers admit they have a ‘vote’ on the timetable.

Despite the entreaties from fellow leaders, Mr Biden has been non-committal, saying yesterday he ‘hopes not to’ extend his current deadline.

He made a pledge to US citizens that ‘any American who wants to get home will get home’ but pointedly failed to mention his allies.

Mr Biden has set a deadline of August 31 for all Americans to have left the country, but UK military sources said another fortnight was needed.

Asked what he would say if G7 leaders pushed him, Mr Biden said: ‘I will tell them we will see what we can do.’

British military commanders are understood to have pencilled in August 25 as the last day they can process refugees, including former British interpreters, under the current plans before the focus shifts to getting about 1,000 British troops and government officials home safely.

It could mean the last British evacuation flight may have to leave as soon as tomorrow or Wednesday to allow soldiers enough time to withdraw.

Meanwhile, The Taliban has said it will ‘provoke a reaction’ and has threatened ‘consequences’ if the US or UK do not leave Afghanistan by August 31 and extend the deadline for the withdrawal of troops.

Taliban spokesman Dr Suhail Shaheen said the group will not accept an extension to the deadline and warned of retaliation if Western forces extend their ‘occupation’ since the group dramatically swept to power.

He told Sky News: ‘It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.

‘If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.

‘It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.’

Meanwhile, tonight a firefight has broken out between unidentified gunmen, Western security forces and Afghan guards at Kabul airport.

One Afghan guard was killed and three others were injured in the battle, which also involved US and German forces, the German military said on Twitter.

The report did not specifying whether the dead Afghan was one of the Taliban fighters deployed to guard the airport.

The airport has been a scene of chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15 as UK and international forces try to evacuate citizens and vulnerable Afghans.

‘Please Boris, just get me and my kids out of here’: Man with strong northern English accent waves UK passport and says army is refusing to let him into Kabul airport – as video shows ‘two young children left behind after parents were let in’ without them

by JACK NEWMAN for MailOnline 

A British man stuck in Afghanistan has today been filmed waving a UK passport while pleading with Boris Johnson: ‘Get me and my kids out of here’. 

Speaking with a strong northern accent, the man is seen telling ITV film crews outside a temporary British embassy in Kabul that the army is refusing to let him into the capital’s airport for evacuation.

After the short interview, the footage then then cuts to two children who the broadcaster reports have allegedly been left behind in the streets after their parents were allowed into the embassy ‘without them’.

Flashing a British passport as he made his desperate plea, the man told ITV: ‘I’m a British citizen, my kids are British and we’re stuck here, they closed the door on us and they’re shooting at us.

‘My message for the prime minister is, just get us out of here otherwise my kids are struggling and we’re all in a big mess here. The British Army is right behind these fences, they’ve closed the gate and they’re not letting no one in.’    

It comes as dozens tried to enter the temporary British embassy today, but were turned away without an explanation while surrounding Taliban fighters fired guns into the air in the shocking scenes.

Some called out Joe Biden and Boris Johnson for abandoning them as the Taliban take hold, with only eight days until the US set its deadline for withdrawing all troops from the country.

Meanwhile, the UK today warned there are ‘hours not weeks’ left for the Kabul airlift as it scrambles to double numbers to 12,000 – while Boris Johnson pleads with to delay the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.  








Desperate British citizens are being blocked from escaping Afghanistan and are waving their passports at officials in a bid to flee

Desperate British citizens are being blocked from escaping Afghanistan and are waving their passports at officials in a bid to flee

Desperate British citizens are being blocked from escaping Afghanistan and are waving their passports at officials in a bid to flee

Two children were apparently left at Kabul airport after their parents were one of the few allowed to evacuate amid the chaos

Two children were apparently left at Kabul airport after their parents were one of the few allowed to evacuate amid the chaos

In the distressing footage, two crying children are seen after they were reportedly left abandoned

In the distressing footage, two crying children are seen after they were reportedly left abandoned

Two children were apparently left at Kabul airport after their parents were one of the few allowed to evacuate amid the chaos

There are claims Taliban guards are dispersing crowds by firing gunshots into the air amid the frantic efforts to escape

There are claims Taliban guards are dispersing crowds by firing gunshots into the air amid the frantic efforts to escape

There are claims Taliban guards are dispersing crowds by firing gunshots into the air amid the frantic efforts to escape

One of the men stranded said: ‘Mr Biden, you did this. You planned this. You made the deal with the Taliban.

‘This is the consequences of it. This is the repercussions of it. Mr Biden, it’s your ill-calculation. You were against Trump, now we’re against you. Go to hell Biden.’

An Afghan interpreter who had worked for a year with the Royal Marines in Helmand Province was also among those struggling to flee the country.

He had been waiting outside the temporary embassy all night with his wife and children desperate to escape. He said: ‘I need help from the UK.’

Another stranded was Paralympian Zakia Khudadadi who was due to compete in Tokyo in taekwondo and become Afghanistan’s first woman to represent the country at the Games. 

A Taliban fighter checks an Afghan citizens details at a check point in the area of Kandahar in Afghanistan today

A Taliban fighter checks an Afghan citizens details at a check point in the area of Kandahar in Afghanistan today

A Taliban fighter checks an Afghan citizens details at a check point in the area of Kandahar in Afghanistan today

A member of the UK Armed Forces continues to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan

A member of the UK Armed Forces continues to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan

A member of the UK Armed Forces continues to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan

A member of the UK Armed Forces continues to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Members of the UK Armed Forces continue to take part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Around 900 British soldiers are currently in Kabul supporting the rescue mission. But they will likely have to pull out if the US withdraws its remaining 6,000 troops - which it is expected to do by August 31

Around 900 British soldiers are currently in Kabul supporting the rescue mission. But they will likely have to pull out if the US withdraws its remaining 6,000 troops - which it is expected to do by August 31

Around 900 British soldiers are currently in Kabul supporting the rescue mission. But they will likely have to pull out if the US withdraws its remaining 6,000 troops – which it is expected to do by August 31

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