As of Thursday, the U.S. had evacuated more than 100,000 people from Afghanistan, a mixture of green card holders, special immigrant visa recipients for helping the U.S. military or diplomats, refugees, and those seeking temporary humanitarian assistance. Less than 5% were American citizens.
This week, the Pentagon admitted it was relying on the Taliban to do the initial vetting of those qualified for evacuation.
“The Taliban have set up checkpoints,” said John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman. “We’re in daily communication with Taliban commanders about who we want to see get in and what their credentials are, what they look like, what’s valid….We have been nothing but open with the Taliban about who we expect them to let in.”
Surely the Taliban, a sanctioned terrorist organization, is not to be trusted. After all, the Taliban has tasked the Haqqani network with security in Kabul, an organization that harbors al Qaeda and has “a history of conducting violent suicide attacks against coalition forces, innocent civilians, and the government of Afghanistan,” as Daniel Hoffman, former Chief of Station with the Central Intelligence Agency, has detailed in our pages. In addition, thousands of Afghan extremists have been freed from their jail cells and are roaming the streets of Kabul.
How many of these terrorists are in the airport trying to get on a flight into the U.S.?
The scene at the Kabul airport is chaotic and deadly. On Thursday morning, there was a suicide bombing and car bombing outside the airport, killing at least 10 U.S. service members. The day prior, the U.S. State Department told U.S. citizens at the airport to “leave immediately” and others not to come in because of a perceived terror threat. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ISIS-K might be operating in the area.
Amid this backdrop, the Biden administration vows U.S. officials are conducting safety screenings of all the people it is boarding onto planes out of Kabul. Multiple flights went out yesterday. Those cleared are flown to U.S. military bases in Bahrain, Germany, Kuwait, Italy, Qatar, Spain, and UAE, where the vetting continues. Those who pass the background checks are flown to the U.S.
Defense One reported this week security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have found at least one evacuee from Kabul had potential ties to ISIS, and “the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System has flagged up to 100 of the 7,000 Afghans evacuated as prospective recipients of Special Immigration Visas as potential matches to intelligence agency watch lists,” in Qatar alone.
The refugee vetting process typically takes one or two years and includes multiple rounds of security checks before a refugee is ever allowed on American soil. However, the process with Afghanistan has been expedited.
More than 8,600 Afghan refugees and Afghan U.S. citizens have already landed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. After clearing a coronavirus test and given aid, they will be flown to military installations within Washington, D.C., Texas and Wisconsin.
Given the catastrophic way the Biden administration has handled our withdrawal from Afghanistan, not to mention the crisis at our Southern border, the American public should have no confidence in their ability to conduct a thorough vetting process.
There’s a very real possibility, unvetted Afghan refugees are being resettled in the U.S., while at least 1,500 American citizens remain stranded in war-zone Afghanistan.
This is unconscionable, and if proven correct, are grounds for Joe Biden’s impeachment.