What is Abbey Gate? Man thrown out of State of the Union for screaming about deadly attack

A heckler was removed from President Joe Biden’s State of the Union on Thursday night as he repeatedly shouted “remember Abbey Gate” in the middle of the address.

The president was over an hour into his high-stakes speech – where he had railed at his unnamed predecessor Donald Trump and vowed to restore reproductive rights – when the man began screaming from the gallery.

“Remember Abbey Gate! US Marines!” the protester shouted.

He was seen being escorted out of the House and being placed in handcuffs.

It is not clear who the man is.

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson had invited Gold Star parents Alicia Lopez and Darin Hoover who lost children in the airport bombing as his guests to the president’s address.

“President Biden’s hasty, unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan was a failure for America and its allies. It led to the tragic deaths of brave American servicemembers, including Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover and Cpl. Hunter Lopez,” Mr Johnson said in a statement to ABC News before the speech.

Mr Hoover and Ms Lopez released a joint statement prior to attending where they called for “transparency“ and “justice” from the Biden administration.

“Taylor and Hunter are great men, dedicated Marines and incredible sons who made our families proud every day. They paid the ultimate sacrifice along with the 11 others killed and 45 wounded for our great country, but more than two years since their death, the President has left us without answers,” they said.

US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 7, 2024

(AFP via Getty Images)

“As parents, we deserve transparency and we demand justice. We’re grateful to be joining Speaker Johnson at the State of the Union to commemorate our sons and demand accountability from this Administration,” they added.

Abbey Gate was the scene of a horrific terrorist attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport back in August 2021, during the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In the attack, 13 American service members – 11 Marines, a Soldier, and a Sailor – were killed. Around 170 Afghan civilians were also killed.

The 26 August 2021 suicide bombing terrorist attack came days into the US’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

It marked the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan in around a decade.

Since then, families of some the 13 service members killed have demanded answers from the Biden administration while Republicans have launched investigations into the withdrawal.

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