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    Masooda Qazi held her 8-year-old son’s hand tightly as she frantically tried to convey to a group of Dutch soldiers that she was an employee of the U.S. Embassy and was promised transport out of Kabul as it fell to the Taliban last year. The crowd around Qazi was full of people similarly desperate to escape, and it was growing agitated. People pushed forward outside a security gate near the airport, erasing any space to move. Her son Habib began to panic. “I can’t breathe anymore,” he said to his father, Hamid ul Rahman Qazi, who had been holding the couple’s younger son — Hasib, 4 — above the crowd on his shoulders for hours. “We need to go back,” Hamid told his wife. “No. Stay,” she said. “We will get success.” More than a year later, the young family has resettled in the U.S. after escaping Afghanistan on a Dutch military plane, then waiting in a Dutch refugee camp for 10 months before finally receiving special U.S. immigrant visas. They arrived in San Diego in June, Masooda had...
    White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the 'rigorous' U.S. screening process for Afghan refugees, after a Homeland security auditor found the agency granted parole to evacuees who 'were not fully vetted.' She was asked Wednesday about a damning new report by the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, who found DHS lacked 'critical data to properly screen, vet and inspect' the evacuees, who came after the U.S. sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan last year. 'We determined some information used to vet evacuees through U.S. Government databases, such as name, date of birth, identification number, and travel document data, was inaccurate, incomplete, or missing,' according to the report, by DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari.   'We also determined CBP admitted or paroled evacuees who were not fully vetted into the United States,' according to the report, after investigators spoke to 130 officials including those from Customs and Border Protection.  White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said a damning new Homeland Security IG report on the operation to bring Afghan evacuees into the country didn't take into account what other US agencies...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Wednesday that troops who served in Afghanistan during the withdrawal last year, or who helped process and house refugees around the world or in the U.S., are to be given the Meritorious Unit Commendation. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was marked by chaotic scenes as the U.S. and other nations evacuated foreigners and Afghan allies from the airport. But Austin said U.S. forces served with courage and conviction. He said: 'Proudly, that mission included the service of those who took on the responsibility to help evacuate more than 124,000 Afghans during one of the largest, most difficult and most dangerous humanitarian operations in U.S. military history. 'No other military could have protected so many lives under such challenging circumstances in such a short amount of time – not just because of our airlift or our logistics capabilities, but most of all because of the immense compassion, skill, and dedication of American Service members.' The past month has brought a string of anniversaries. The Taliban celebrated August 15 as the day they swept into the capital...
    Alec Baldwin is being sued by the family of a Marine killed at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan last year after publicly shaming his sister for attending the Capitol riot.  It is the third time the family of Rylee McCollum, the fallen soldier, has attempted to take action against the star. Previous attempts have been dismissed due to errors in the filing process.  In the most recent version of their lawsuit, Roice McCollum - Rylee's 23-year-old sister - shares some of the online abuse she received after Baldwin put her on blast.  He had donated $5,000 to the family's GoFundMe account months before learning she had attended the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, some eight months before her brother died.  In the comments section of a photo on Roice's Instagram, Baldwin wrote: 'Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?'  Roice McCollum is suing Alec Baldwin for $25million. Last year, he shamed her on Instagram for attending the Capitol riot on January 6, and said he...
    Bill Bee is author of The Shot: The Harrowing Journey of a Marine in the War on Terror, which will be released on September 13.  Nearly a year ago, President Joe Biden was speaking at a briefing when he turned to take a question from a reporter. It was August 29, 2021 – just three days after an Al Qaeda suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gates of Kabul airport killing 13 American troops, including 11 Marines, and dozens of Afghan civilians. 'Mr. President, on Afghanistan . . .' the journalist started. 'No, I'm not going to answer Afghanistan now,' snapped Biden, the commander-in-chief responsible for the disaster, as he walked away from the podium. How dare he? Now, one year since the last American military aircraft left Kabul airport, the president has still not answered the question. How could he lead America into one of the most humiliating and unnecessarily deadly military withdrawals in our history and stay mum? As a Marine who flew to Helmand Province just months after 9/11 and whose combat career ended in a...
    The general who oversaw the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year marked the anniversary of the last soldier leaving by warning that the U.S. is now less safe than when foreign troops were in the country. Retired Gen. Frank McKenzie was the head of U.S. Central Command during the chaotic operation to bring home the last American troops last year. In an interview to mark the anniversary of the last solder leaving on Tuesday, he said Al Qaeda and the Islamic State would use the absence to work on their 'aspirations' to attack the West. 'We were in Afghanistan to prevent the development of violent extremist organisations that were flourishing there, particularly al Qaeda and ISIS, and I believe we have less capability now than we did before to monitor and suppress the development of those activities,' he told the BBC.  'So in that sense, yes, I believe we are less safe now than we were before.' The month of August has brought a string of anniversaries.  August 15 marked the day the Taliban overran Kabul; August 26 was one...
    A US Army colonel is being slammed as a murderer for turning away four bus-loads of Americans, friendly Afghans, and 300 orphans during the country's evacuation from Kabul Airport last year - likely condemning them to their deaths. The order from the unnamed colonel was delivered on August 25, less than a week before the last troops were withdrawn from the country as the Taliban tightened their grip on the city.   Ferrying Christians, families of Afghan evacuation pilots, and American passport holders, the buses had been commandeered by a US military support coalition headed by an ex-UFC fighter and former veteran, who traveled to the country to aid in the hectic operation. Aided by 12 other friends and former servicemen who comprised the humanitarian group, retired MMA star Tim Kennedy and other members of Save Our Allies (SoA) fought for the innocents to be allowed through into a US military base - but was ultimately rebuffed by the colonel. The tense standoff likely saw hundreds of Afghan children, commandos and interpreters' lives snuffed out - and is detailed in full in the upcoming documentary...
    At least 50 people were killed after an explosion at the Abu Bakr al Sadiq Mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, according to reports. Among those killed is Maulvi Amir Mohammad Kabuli, a prominent religious scholar, as well as other worshippers who are thought to be from northern Afghanistan, according to local journalists. The Taliban have not responded to the incident. #جزییاتدر انفجار بر مسجد صدیقیه در منطقه خیرخانه کابل، مولوی امیر محمد کابلی، از عالمان برجسته دینی همراه با حدود ۵۰ نمازگزار جان باختند.یک منبع می‌گوید که اکثریت جان باخته‌گان پنجشیری و شمالی اند. طالبان تاکنون در مورد چیزی نگفته‌اند.#Kabul #Afghanistan #Panjshir pic.twitter.com/23UhiB4IY6— Rabia Sadat (@realRabiaSadat) August 17, 2022 This story is developing and will be updated. Afghanistan News Taliban Islam
    Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)At midday, Shakeela Rahmati starts the long walk from her home in a poor neighborhood in the hills above Kabul. Along the way, other women quietly join the journey. It will take them three hours to reach the city center. But each day they are driven by gnawing hunger and the need to feed their children. Their destination is a bakery, one of many in Kabul where crowds of women have started gathering in the late afternoons, patiently waiting for customers who might give them some bread. "Sometimes we eat dinner, sometimes we don't," Rahmati says. "The situation has been bad for three years, but this last year was the worst. My husband tried to go to Iran to work but he was deported." Women gather outside a bakery in Kabul, hoping for a handout from customers. The United Nations says that nearly half of the country faces acute hunger. According to a May report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), 43% percent of Afghanistan's population is living on less than one meal a day, with 90% of...
    The brother of one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul airport bombing committed suicide at his memorial, nearly one year after the attack. Police reported that Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui's older brother, Dakota Halverson, 28, died on Aug. 9. Their mother, Shana Chappell announced the heartbreaking news the same day. "The month of August has been very hard so far with the one year coming up. I look at my kids as strong and like they can handle anything. That was my mistake. My son Dakota has been talking a lot lately about how he just wants to be with Kareem, how much he misses him, etc.... We all feel that way so I didn't see the signs. This morning my son Dakota went to be with his brother Kareem," she wrote in a Facebook post. Town Hall senior writer Julio Rosas (previously of the Washington Examiner) shared a link to a GoFundMe page set up by the mother. More than $24,000 was raised as of press time. Heartbreaking: Shana Chappell, who...
    The US State Department has issued a 'worldwide caution' alert following the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri - warning Americans traveling overseas to be aware of potential retaliation for the successful assassination. Issued Tuesday night, the travel advisory asserted there is a 'higher potential for anti-American violence after [Zawahri's] death' - the result of a drone strike carried out by US forces on the acting al-Qaeda leader's Kabul safehouse over the weekend. The notice saw officials urge citizens against traveling in the wake of the drone-strike killing, citing 'that current information suggests terrorist groups are plotting attacks against US interests in multiple regions across the globe.'  The caution did not cite any heightened risk of attacks on American soil, or indicate any specific threats abroad - but it did warn Americans that kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings, as well as suicide operations and assassinations, are all possible. The US State Department has issued a 'worldwide caution' alert following the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri - warning Americans traveling overseas to be aware of potential retaliation for the successful assassination of the terror...
    Republicans are slamming President Joe Biden for applauding the killing of Al Qaeda's top leader, alleging his 'disastrous withdrawal' from Afghanistan paved the way for the group's resurgence. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over the terrorist group after founder Osama bin Laden's death, was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul on Sunday.  Biden expressed hope Monday that Zawahiri's death would bring 'one more measure of closure' to families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, which he helped coordinate. The president alleged Zawahiri will 'never again allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone' and pledged his administration would 'make sure that nothing else happens.' However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blamed Biden's botched exit from the Taliban-ruled country on the 'possible re-emergence of Al Qaeda,' alleging the US must take action to prevent terrorists from entering the nation. GOP Sen. Marjorie Taylor Greene echoed McCarthy's sentiment saying that even Americans will be glad Zawahiri is dead, 'Joe's victory lap is ridiculous.' Republicans are slamming President Joe Biden's 'ridiculous victory lap' after the killing of Al Qaeda...
    At least 19 people are thought to have died in a reported suicide bombing at a cricket match in Kabul. The T20 contest in the country's Shpageeza League was hosted at Kabul International Cricket Stadium on Friday afternoon, with the blast reportedly taking place around 4.30pm. Local reports stated four were injured and none were killed. But UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres tweeted a condemnation of the terrorist blast, 'which claimed the lives of at least 19 civilians & caused additional casualties'.
    (CNN)At least five people were killed and 20 wounded after an explosion at a mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul after Friday prayers, Taliban spokesperson for the chief of police Khalid Zadran said -- but eyewitnesses said they feared many more had died. The blast occurred in the Serahi Alauddin area of the city, private Afghan channel TOLO news reported citing an eyewitness. Emergency, an non-governmental organization that offers free medical and surgical treatment to Afghan civilians, said in a tweet that 20 wounded people had been treated at its hospital following the explosion. A series of deadly blasts, mainly targeting the Hazara Shia community, has rocked several Afghan cities over the past two weeks.Most of the recent attacks were claimed by ISIS affiliate group and Taliban rival ISIS-Khorsan (ISIS-K). Friday's explosion has yet to be claimed by any group.
    GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert sparked boos inside the Capitol as she heckled Joe Biden when he talked about the death of his son Beau. The Colorado congresswoman interrupted the President to blame him for the deaths of 13 American service members in Afghanistan when he talked about the flag-draped coffins of those who had served their country. Biden was at the time recalling how his eldest son died of brain cancer and pushed for more legislation to help service members exposed to burn pits. 'When they came home, many of the world's fittest and best-trained warriors were never the same. Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin. I know,' Biden said  'You put them in there, 13 of them,' Boebert appeared to shout. Kamala Harris seemed to grimace but Biden carried on his speech. GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert sparked boos inside the Capitol as she heckled Joe Biden when he talked about the death of his son Beau 'One of those soldiers was my son, Major Beau Biden,' Biden went on. 'We don't know for...
    Sunday’s "State of the Union" featured a critique of President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by CNN host Jake Tapper. A preview of Biden’s pre-Super Bowl interview aired on "NBC Nightly News" with Lester Holt on Thursday. In the segment, Biden admitted that he rejected the U.S. Army investigative report that argued the administration was not prepared to pull out troops from Afghanistan in August. CNN POLITICAL ANALYST SLAMS BIDEN’S RESPONSE TO INFLATION QUESTION: ‘A TERRIBLE ANSWER’  Taliban fighters pose for photograph in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) "Yes, I am." Biden said. "I’m rejecting them." Despite the report, he also insisted that he was not told about the degree to which the White House was prepared to remove troops in Afghanistan and instead argued "there was no good time to get out." This answer did not appear to satisfy Tapper. "It’s difficult to overstate how insulting Biden’s sweeping rejection is to so many service members and veterans," Tapper said. "Given the full...
    Thousands of Afghans who had worked for the West but were left behind when Kabul fell last summer have been given new hope of rescue. The Taliban have agreed to resume evacuations from Kabul to Qatar for Afghans living in fear of revenge after working with western forces.  From there they could fly to Britain. A full flight of 265 people supported by members of the UK Armed Forces on board an evacuation flight out of Kabul airport, Afghanistan Afghans struggle to reach the foreign forces to show their credentials to flee the country outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 26 August 2021 British and US rescue flights ended in August when the Taliban took control of Kabul airport and western forces left after 20 years in the country. In Operation Pitting six months ago the RAF evacuated 15,000 people, but this newspaper’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign has highlighted how former interpreters and guards for UK forces could not get out even though they were eligible for sanctuary.  Many of them are now in hiding.  RELATED...
    The White House pushed back on charges that it was slow to evacuate Americans and allies from Afghanistan last summer, repeating the claim that the country fell unexpectedly to the Taliban as U.S. forces ended the two-decade mission. Responding to testimony from military leaders about the weeks leading up to Kabul’s fall, President Joe Biden’s press secretary said planning for an evacuation had started months before under the guidance of the military and the president’s national security advisers. “Earlier in the summer, we prepositioned U.S. forces to be ready to facilitate ... an evacuation, if needed, of our embassy there,” Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday. “That is fact in terms of what was planning, what was done at the time, and that in advance of that, that required months of planning with contingencies planned for.” BIDEN NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM SLOW TO ACT ON AFGHANISTAN EVACUATION: ARMY REPORT This occurred “through the national security team and through the military team,” she said. She also insisted that the Afghan forces fell with a speed no one could have predicted. “There wasn’t an...
    At least 16 Afghan provinces including Kabul province, which contains the nation’s capital city of Kabul, suffered electricity blackouts on Thursday, Afghanistan’s online news service Khaama Press reported. Afghanistan’s state power monopoly, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), issued a statement on January 12 confirming “a shortage of electricity and blackout in 16 provinces including the Afghan capital Kabul.” DABS attempted to blame the power outages on Afghanistan’s neighbor, Uzbekistan, which it said had “decreased” the amount of electricity it usually supplies to Afghanistan by “60 percent” in recent days. Afghanistan’s state-run power company neglected to mention on Tuesday that the Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan’s government on August 15, 2021, has failed to pay bills owed to its electricity suppliers, including those in Uzbekistan, since coming to power. Afghanistan does not have its own national power grid and thus relies on foreign imports for roughly 78 percent of its electricity supply. “Electricity imports from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan account for half of Afghanistan’s power consumption nationwide, with Iran providing additional supplies to the country’s west,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on...
    THIS is the moment a baby boy who was separated from his parents during the chaotic fall of Afghanistan five months ago was reunited with his relatives. Sohail Ahmadi was two months old when he vanished on August 19 as thousands of people rushed to leave the country during the fall of Kabul.  5A taxi driver who found the baby and took him in has finally handed the child back to his jubilant grandfather yesterdayCredit: Reuters 5Baby Sohail is handed over to US troops over the perimeter wall of the airport to be evacuatedCredit: AFP Following a Reuters story published in November with his pictures, the baby was located in Kabul after a 29-year-old taxi driver Hamid Safi found him in the airport and took him home to raise as his own. But after more than seven weeks of negotiations and pleas, and ultimately brief detention by Taliban police, Safi yesterday finally handed baby Sohail back to his jubilant grandad and other relatives still in Kabul. They said they would now seek to have him reunited with his mum Suraya...
    A baby boy who was handed to a U.S. Marine over a razor wired fence at the Kabul airport as thousands attempted to evacuate Afghanistan has been found and reunited with his family. The infant, Sohail Ahmadi, was discovered after being taken in and cared for by a 29-year-old taxi driver, Hamid Safi, according to Reuters. Ahmadi was returned to family members in Kabul after over seven weeks of negotiations, which consisted of Safi being briefly detained by the Taliban police. "I am keeping this baby," Safi said he had decided in the moment. "If his family is found, I will give him to them. If not, I will raise him myself." AFTER THE US MILITARY EVACUATIONS STOPPED, THIS GROUP GOT AN 8-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER OUT OF AFGHANISTAN A U.S. Marine was handed an infant boy on Aug. 17 by his mother and father, Mirza Ali and Suraya Ahmadi, in an act of desperation. The couple had feared their 2-month-old infant would get crushed in the crowd. The couple told the outlet that they had...
    Prince William has told of his 'frustration' that the UK evacuation mission in Afghanistan failed to get more people to safety. The Duke of Cambridge is said to have voiced his concern that so many desperate Afghans were left behind as he met refugees who were flown out by Western forcesf last year. A total of 15,000 people were airlifted to safety by British forces as the Taliban grabbed control of the country – but thousands of others were left behind. They included hundreds of interpreters who worked with UK troops and had been given leave to come to Britain or were in the process of applying when the Afghan government fell in August. The duke told refugees during a visit to a hotel in Leeds in November they 'couldn't be more welcome' in Britain, adding: 'The most important thing is that you are safe now. You have a bright future' Prince William talks with refugees evacuated from Afghanistan during a visit to a hotel in Leeds One of the refugees who met William at a hotel in Leeds told The...
    A whistleblower has accused the British Council of abandoning staff to the Taliban. Joe Seaton, a former Afghanistan manager for the organisation, said 100 personnel who were on the ‘front lines of teaching’ had not been airlifted to safety. He claimed bosses helped staff based in Kabul relocate while those who were the ‘face of Britain’ across the country remain in hiding from the Taliban. He said these people now faced revenge attacks because of their work for the UK. ‘These educators, who delivered the UK Government’s foreign policy objectives, and who were highly visible and recognisable to a wary and sceptical public, have now been left behind by the BC and the UK Government, and are all living in hiding and changing their addresses frequently in order to avoid the Taliban,’ he added. Dozens of former staff say their belief in Britain has been ‘shattered’ by months of waiting to hear the result of applications to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy programme. They say that no cases appear to have been processed yet. Former British Council deputy director...
    Last Christmas, Waheed Sabawoon and his family were hiding in the darkened rooms of their mud-walled house overlooking Kabul, fearing the next knock at the door would be the Taliban. ‘It was a time of bombs and fear where the threat of revenge attacks hung over us and we wondered each time we left home if we would return,’ the former interpreter recalls. Long before the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government in August, cells of fighters had been carrying out targeted assassinations of locals who had helped the West during the war. ‘There was uncertainty and real fear. England was a dream to hang on to – it represented hope for me and my family, and for all of us who risked our lives beside British soldiers. We feared that it might never be a reality, but we needed that dream to keep going,’ he says. Last Christmas, Waheed Sabawoon and his family were hiding in the darkened rooms of their mud-walled house overlooking Kabul Now the 30-year-old, who worked for three years with military spies and frontline troops in...
    A British worker is missing in Afghanistan after he was reportedly seized by the Taliban and held at gunpoint. Grant Bailey has not been seen since Saturday when he was arrested by the Islamists during a security crackdown in Kabul. It is feared the NGO worker in his 50s is being held in one of the capital's notorious prison complexes. Mr Bailey, who is married and from southern England, had worked in Afghanistan for years and returned in September after the Taliban seized power. The Foreign Office is desperately trying to locate him amid increasing fears for his safety. British worker Grant Bailey (pictured) is missing in Afghanistan after he was reportedly seized by the Taliban and held at gunpoint He has not been seen since Saturday when he was arrested by the Islamists during a security crackdown in Kabul (file image)  A UK security source told the Daily Mirror Mr Bailey was arrested at gunpoint on Saturday. They said: 'We were quite surprised he went back to Kabul after the Western withdrawal as the security situation there is obviously much worse....
    More than 900 American citizens and lawful permanent residents have been repatriated from Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country, the State Department announced Monday. President Joe Biden and members of his administration had claimed that fewer than 200 Americans remained in Afghanistan after capital Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 31. Officials repeated that number despite confirmation that more than 100 Americans were able to evacuate the country. Fewer than twelve Americans who remain in Afghanistan have contacted the State Department about leaving, according to the statement. Administration officials frequently hedged their language about repatriation totals, saying that they were referring to Americans and green card holders who had reached out about returning to the U.S. At other times, officials claimed that they had no way of knowing how many Americans remained in Afghanistan. The State Department “can not know” how many “how many American citizens are in any country… precisely at any given moment” because “Americans are not required to register when they go to a foreign country, or if they reside there,” Secretary of...
    An Illinois Republican with ties to Afghanistan said that she aided in the August U.S. evacuation efforts after Taliban forces took over the country and that she knows people who are still stuck there. Esther Joy King, who was recently promoted to captain in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, told Breitbart News on Wednesday that from her military background and from being a former aid worker in Afghanistan, she has a “very personal connection” to the country and found President Joe Biden’s withdrawal process to be a “tragic situation.” “I know people that are even still in Kabul,” King said after the Taliban’s fast-paced surge in August prompted Biden to lead a rushed mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies from the country. The hasty withdrawal lasted roughly two weeks, and, amid the chaos, a bombing outside of the Kabul airport — where the evacuation mission was confined to — killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and more than 100 Afghans. Days later, just before the conclusion of the withdrawal, the Department of Defense carried out a...
    President Biden's gut reaction to the news that a deadly suicide bomb had gone off amid the American evacuation from Afghanistan has been revealed.  During an Afghanistan briefing on Aug. 26, head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie turned ashen as he was handed a piece of paper. He told the meeting, which he'd called into by video, that a bomb had been detonated near the Hamid Karzai Airport - four services members were already dead, three near dead, dozens more injured.  There were gasps throughout the room and Biden winced before going silent for a long pause. 'The worst that can happen has happened,' the president said once he broke the silence, meeting participants told the New York Times.  The death toll eventually rose to 13 US service members and over 170 Afghans.  The fateful event has since marred the Biden administration's record and defined the frenzied withdrawal that has scored criticism from both sides. Following the attack, which terror group ISIS-K later claimed, the US carried out a retaliatory drone strike, which they initially claimed killed a terrorist...
    Almost none of the 82,000 people airlifted from Kabul in August were vetted before being admitted to the United States, despite claims to the contrary from the Biden administration, according to a congressional memo summarizing interviews with federal officials who oversaw the effort at domestic and international military bases. Senior officials across the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Justice described a disastrous screening and vetting process in the memo, drafted by Senate Republicans in late October. The Biden administration failed to vet the information that tens of thousands of Afghans provided through in-person interviews and relied solely on criminal and terrorist databases to flag bad actors, according to the memo — that is, merely screening, rather than vetting, people brought to the U.S. The administration also brought into the U.S. tens of thousands of Afghans who were not qualified. The large majority of people, approximately 75%, evacuated were not American citizens, green card holders, Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, or applicants for the visa, three people familiar with the interviews outlined in the memo told the Washington...
    The Afghan broadcaster Tolo News reported on Tuesday, the 100th day since the Taliban terrorist group took control of the country, that the jihadists had prompted the shutdown of at least 257 media outlets in the country, citing an Afghan NGO. Taliban jihadist representatives have insisted since their seizure of power in August that the organization would respect the rights of journalists while in power and set up a committee to investigate crimes against journalists shortly after taking over Kabul. Journalists on the ground have reported consistent physical attacks and roadblocks to them doing their jobs since August, however, and the committee has, unsurprisingly, not acted to hold any of the assailants accountable. The Taliban became the de facto government of Afghanistan in August after launching a terror campaign in April to replace the U.S.-backed government. The campaign ended on August 15 when former Presiden Ashraf Ghani published a pre-recorded video vowing to fight for the country, then fled. Taliban jihadists stormed Kabul and have remained entrenched there since. The terrorist organization has since insisted that it is the legitimate...
    At least 23 people died in an attack on a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, orchestrated by a militant group, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack that resembled an ISIS assault, according to the WSJ. ISIS has increased operations in Afghanistan since U.S. forces withdrew and the government fell in mid-August. Gunmen yelled “Allahu akbar” and forced their way into the medical facility after a loud explosion erupted across Kabul, the WSJ reported. A second explosion occurred several minutes later accompanied by gunfire as the ruling Taliban government tried to retake the hospital. A helicopter flies over Kabul on November 2, 2021, after Afghanistan’s capital was hit by two blasts near a military hospital, Taliban officials said, with a witness also reporting gunfire. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images) At least three helicopters, including a Black Hawk operated by Taliban militants, responded to the attack while armed fighters created a perimeter around the neighborhood, the WSJ reported. Other Taliban militants set up checkpoints to conduct car searches. At least four ISIS...
    The U.S. State Department on Wednesday acknowledged “International Pronouns Day,” sharing a post explaining how it is becoming “increasingly common for people to ‘share their pronouns’” weeks after stranding dozens of Americans in Afghanistan and largely failing to address the lingering concerns. “Today on International Pronouns Day, we share why many people list pronouns on their email and social media profiles. Read more here on @ShareAmerica,” the State Department tweeted, sharing an article titled, “Why do many Americans list pronouns on social media profiles?” Today on International Pronouns Day, we share why many people list pronouns on their email and social media profiles. Read more here on @ShareAmerica: https://t.co/gWhoItvGvo. — Department of State (@StateDept) October 20, 2021 The article itself speaks to the trend of individuals, mainly those who identify on the left end of the political spectrum, putting preferred pronouns in their bios.  “These pronouns include the gender-neutral they/them/theirs — words that traditionally refer to a plural number but that today are used by some individuals who identify as gender nonbinary or who prefer not to share gender information,” the...
    Afghan interpreters left behind by the British are increasingly frustrated at the UK's inability to rescue them as the US plans to resume mercy flights. Many translators who had worked alongside our troops have been forced into hiding since the Taliban took over two months ago. But while they get messages from the UK asking for patience, they have seen individuals affiliated to America leave. At least nine mercy flights have left the Afghan capital but former British translators have been unable to secure seats. The US veteran-organised journeys have put pressure on Washington to put its own flights in place, which it now plans to do. 'As soon as we have the right combination of documentation and logistics, we will get going again,' a senior official told the Wall Street Journal. Last night Hussain, a 48-year-old translator who recently left his home after receiving death threats, questioned the UK's failure to announce a similar commitment to resume flights. Former Afghan interpreters previously protested in front of the Home Office, demanding evacuations from Kabul continue RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1...
    A BRITISH soldier has been hailed a hero in Spain and is in line for a gallantry medal. Private Harry Dear, 22, was part of a UK taskforce sent to rescue Britons and their allies from Afghanistan as the Taliban swept to power. 1Private Harry Dear has been hailed as a hero in Spain Between his duties, he helped Spain’s elite GEO unit, which was struggling to get its people past a final checkpoint at Kabul airport. Harry, of the 16 Air Assault Brigade, chatted in Spanish to the 12 members of the unit. They explained they could not reach their people because the Spanish were not authorised to come into the area controlled by British and US forces. Harry, who grew up in Murcia in Spain, asked his boss whether he could help. For four nights he waded into a crowd seeking those bound for Spain and shepherded them through to flights. He said: “It was probably 150 to 200 people overall.” He was hailed by Spain’s La Verdad newspaper and officials told him they wanted to...
    A top female Afghan ex-police officer whose life was in acute danger under the Taliban has made a dramatic escape from her homeland. Gulafroz Ebtekar, 32, was deputy head of criminal investigations in Kabul, and a prominent campaigner for women's rights under the overthrown government. She fled the clutches of the Taliban after fearing she was a 'living corpse' remaining in the country that the Taliban seized in August. Gulafroz Ebtekar, a top female Afghan ex-police officer whose life was in acute danger under the Taliban has made a dramatic escape from her homeland A video shows Ebtekar - head covered, and in red shoes - fleeing on a journey when she and another group of escapees were initially forced back towards Kabul by Taliban militiamen Formerly one of the most senior policewomen in Afghanistan, she escaped across the border to Tajikistan with her husband and sisters. A video shows her - head covered, and in red shoes - fleeing on a journey when she and another group of escapees were initially forced back towards Kabul by Taliban militiamen. Before...
    The CIA operated a secret backdoor gate into Hamid Karzai International Airport that was used to evacuate embassy workers and local intelligence assets, it has been revealed. That entrance, code-named Glory Gate, led to a gas station on a quiet stretch of road on the north side of the airport, about two miles from the crowded Abbey Gate where a suicide bomber killed 13 US troops, according to the Wall Street Journal. It was manned by an elite Afghanistan paramilitary unit known as 02, who were trained by the CIA, and evacuated from Kabul on the final flights out of the city.   The gate, so secret that it was unknown to the Taliban, was initially used for priority cases for the CIA and a list of high-importance cases sent from the White House, and it later expanded to help the State Department evacuate Afghans who worked at the US Embassy. Its existence remained a closely held secret throughout the chaotic evacuation, for fear that it would be overwhelmed by crowds or attacked, like the public gates on the south and...
    A BRITISH former soldier who was captured by jihadis during the Kabul carnage has been released, it has been claimed. Defence sources have claimed that 37-year-old Ben Slater, who was imprisoned by the Taliban last month has been let go and is on a plane back. 1The ex-British soldier has been released The ex-soldier was arrested while attempting to help hundreds of Afghans to leave the country. The Sun understands evacuation was done under the direct supervision of the Secretary of State for Defence. Slater who ran his business Nomad Concepts Group in Afghanistan, was trying to evacuate his staff over a land border, reports Sky News. Taliban could amass 150 nukes from Pakistan after US withdrawal from Afghanistan, says ex-Trump chief John Bolton We pay for your stories!Do you have a story for The Sun news desk? Email us at [email protected] or call 02077824104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next...
    A LEADER of ISIS-K has been arrested after the Kabul mosque bombing as the jihadis' fighters blew themselves up in a battle with the Taliban. The bomb targeted the sprawling Eidgah Mosque, where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, killing a number of civilians. 1Taliban security forces on patrol as the ISIS-K fighters were being huntedCredit: Getty Taliban captured the ISIS commander in the DariNoor district of Nangarhar province. pic.twitter.com/C4cdcjQYGM— Anees Ur Rehman (@JournalistAnees) October 3, 2021 In response, the Taliban reportedly captured a senior ISIS-K figure in the jihadis’ stronghold of Nangarhar province. According to reports, he is the governor or deputy governor of the Khorasan region that fanatics control. He was seen in the back of a car with an armed Taliban fighter, in pictures circulating on social media. Another ISIS-K leader Abu Omar Khorasani, was recently executed by the Taliban after being captured. In the aftermath of the bombing, Taliban special forces swooped on an ISIS-K cell hiding in a house in the north of Kabul. A gun battle...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban forces raided an Islamic State affiliate’s hideout in the Afghan capital and killed several insurgents, hours after a deadly bombing outside a mosque in Kabul, the Taliban said Monday. Sunday’s bombing outside the Eid Gah mosque killed five civilians, and while no claim of responsibility was made, suspicion quickly fell on the Islamic State group, which has ramped up attacks against its Taliban enemy since their takeover of Kabul in mid-August. Taliban officials had gathered at the mosque to mourn the passing of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s mother. In a statement Monday, Mujahid said Taliban forces raided an Islamic State operations center in the northern Kabul neighborhood of Khair Khana. It did not say how many IS insurgents killed or whether any Taliban were injured in the operation. Sunday’s bombing was the deadliest attack since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan with the chaotic departure of the last U.S. troops on Aug. 31. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the horrific bombing on Aug. 26 that killed more than 169 Afghans and...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban interior ministry spokesman says 5 civilians killed in Kabul mosque bombing, first attack after U.S. departure. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    A US Marine has shared his dismay at being forced to remove obscene messages insulting the Taliban and ISIS that they daubed on the walls of Kabul Airport.  Three examples of the insults were shared to social media - with one showing a serviceman in front of a tiled wall at Hamid Karzai Airport sprayed with the phrase 'F*** ISIS + Taliban' in black paint, as well as an image of a penis and testicles sprayed in purple. Another photo showed 12 troops with guns in front of an outdoor concrete barrier which had been sprayed with 'F*** ISIS, AFG 2021'. And a third showed three troops stood outside toting a cardboard sign saying 'F**k the Taliban.'  But an unnamed Marine stationed at Hamid Karzai said the graffiti painted on walls was removed at the orders of bosses, saying: 'My boys had to go … pick up every last piece of … trash for who? The Taliban?' a Marine told the Washington Post. 'It was a slap in the face to us.' That order was part of an edict which...
    U.S. taxpayers spent more than $145 billion on building an economy in Afghanistan but on Monday, less than a month after American troops left the country, a senior humanitarian official is warning that the state is on the brink of financial collapse. The alarm will raise fresh questions about the way that vast amounts of U.S. cash were spent on the project of nation building.   'If the economy collapses, even the most basic services will no longer function, and humanitarian needs will soar even higher,' said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council who previously served as the U.N.'s most senior humanitarian official, during a visit to Kabul. 'Dealing with the liquidity crisis is critical as aid organisations seek to scale up to meet urgent humanitarian needs. 'We are in a race against the clock to save lives before the harsh winter arrives and temperatures drop to as low as -20 Celsius.'  It was not meant to be like this. Successive American administrations spent hundreds of millions of dollars building a new Afghanistan state, complete with what was...
    The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned.  Bolton said it was possible the nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of the Taliban if the Islamists take control of Pakistan in an interview with WABC 770 on Sunday.  'The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control of Pakistan … that means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists,' he said. The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31, leaving behind military equipment that has already been seized by the Taliban, after the Islamists swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country. Bolton, who served under then President Donald Trump between April 2018 and September 2019, slammed Joe Biden's management of the withdrawal, warning allies are 'wondering if he has a grip on his own administration's foreign policy.' The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor...
    FORMER ISIS-K leader Abu Omar Khorasani has been executed, the Taliban has announced. He was a figurehead of the Daesh splinter cell in Afghanistan - which was behind the Kabul airport bombing that killed at least 180 people last month. 5Abu Omar Khorasani - aka Zia al-Haq - was executed last month, the Taliban saidCredit: ATFP 5He had been imprisoned at Kabul's high security Pul-i-Charkhi jailCredit: Getty Khorasani's fate remained uncertain after after the Taliban swept to power and seized the dingy Pul-i-Charkhi prison where he was being held in the capital. Some reports claimed he was freed along with thousands of other prisoners as chaos engulfed the country. But the Wall Street Journal reported he was shot dead along with eight lieutenants. Over the weekend the Taliban confirmed he had been shot dead, according to Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen. Khorasani - also known as Zia ul-Haq - was already on death row before the Taliban's lightning summer takeover. He had been captured by US and Afghan forces at a house outside Kabul in May 2020, and reportedly sentenced to...
    Four of the Marines injured in the bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport last month remain in the hospital. One of the service members is in “very serious but stable condition," while the other three are in “serious but stable condition,” a Marine Corps spokesperson said on Tuesday, according to Stars and Stripes . The number of marines at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has dropped over the last two weeks. On Sept. 7, there were 15 wounded Marines being treated at the hospital, one of whom was in critical condition at the time. MILLEY WAS 'NOT GOING ROGUE' IN SECRET CALL TO CHINESE GENERAL, AUTHORS SAY Additionally, 13 service members were killed in the blast from an ISIS-K terrorist on Aug. 26, as were approximately 170 Afghan nationals, and countless others were injured. Among the deceased were 11 Marines, identified as Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31, Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, Cpl. Daegan Page, 23, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz,...
    It’s a scene that has come to symbolize the chaotic end to America’s 20 years of war in Afghanistan: A lumbering U.S. Air Force cargo plane takes off from Kabul airport, chased by hundreds of desperate Afghan men scrambling to get on the aircraft. As the C-17 transporter gains altitude, shaky mobile phone video captures two tiny dots dropping from the plane. Footage from another angle shows many in the crowd on the tarmac stopping in their tracks and pointing. The full extent of the horror becomes apparent only later. The dots, it turns out, were desperate Afghans hidden in the wheel well. As the wheels folded into the body of the plane, the stowaways faced the choice of being crushed to death or letting go and plunging to the ground. VIETNAMESE AMERICANS HELP AFGHAN REFUGEES: ‘WE WERE THEM’ More than a month later, much remains unclear about what happened in that tragic takeoff on Aug. 16, a day after the Taliban swept into Kabul, prompting a flood of Afghans trying to escape the country. Even how many were killed...
    A BRIT dad who travelled to Afghanistan on a rescue mission to save his family from the Taliban is still trapped in the country. And dad-of-four Sidiq Marofahail – who made the 4,000-mile dash to take his family back to the UK - has made a desperate plea for help saying his family is terrified of Taliban reprisals. 7Sidiq Marofahail and his children, Aliya, 1, Tawid, 3, Asia, 6, and Mustafa, four monthsCredit: Supplied 7Sidiq said Aliya, Tawid, Asia, and Mustafaare, pictured, are scared of the Taliban Sidiq, from Bolton, Lancs, arrived in Kabul just hours before a terrorist bomb exploded at the airport killing at least 90 people. Two of Sidiq’s children - daughter Asia, six, and son Tawid, three - were pictured on The Sun's front page clutching their British passports at the gates of the airport and Sidiq feared they had been killed in the blast. But we later revealed they were alive and had been reunited with their dad. Now Sidiq has pleaded with the British government to help get his family to safety....
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- We broke the story nearly three weeks ago, how the family was beaten by the Taliban at the Kabul Airport and turned away -- But late Friday, the father told us in an exclusive interview that they're headed home.We're not using their names or showing their faces because they have extended family who are still trying to flee, but ABC7 I-Team's Dan Noyes has new details of the father's work for the U.S. government and how they finally escaped.I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: 3-year-old California boy stranded in AfghanistanThe day after Kabul fell, Dan reported on the 3-year-old boy - an American citizen, born near Sacramento - and his family members who were beaten by the Taliban at the Kabul Airport, trying to board a flight to return to California.Late Friday, the father revealed, "They tried to get our handbags, they push a family member of our family, also children. Children cried because they shoot to our side. It was a really bad night."He is a civil engineer who worked 11 years for the Army Corps of Engineers on...
    (CNN)Growing up as a teenager in Afghanistan, Rabia Balkhi felt lucky.Despite being born in a country with a long history of discrimination against its LGBTQ people, Balkhi's family accepted her as a lesbian.Now Balkhi says that rare acceptance has put all their lives at risk, as the new Taliban leadership in Kabul unleashes a wave of physical violence and fear on Afghanistan's gay, lesbian and transgender population. As soon as the Taliban recaptured Kabul in August, Balkhi and her family went into hiding. The names of Balkhi and five other LGBTQ people inside Afghanistan who spoke to CNN for this story have been changed for safety reasons -- Balkhi chose to use the name of a famous female Afghan poet who she considered "brave" and a "hero." The 20-year-old university student is one of hundreds of LGBTQ people in Afghanistan who are urging advocates outside the country to help them escape the Taliban regime. Two LGBTQ activists outside of Afghanistan -- Ritu Mahendru and Nemat Sadat -- told CNN they had separate lists each with hundreds of names of people...