100 Afghans Evacuated From Kabul Are On Terror Watch Lists

U.S. insists vetting 'robust' while using 'old tech' amid surge of applicants

By Art Moore  

Airmen prepare to load qualified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Crul)

Among the evacuees from Kabul are as many as 100 Afghans who are on intelligence agency terrorist watch lists, including one with potential ties to ISIS, a U.S. official warned Tuesday.

The Afghans, who have been flown to Qatar, are candidates for entry to the United States through Special Immigration Visas (SIV).

The U.S. official told Defense One that at least 100 have been flagged as possible matches to intelligence agency watch lists by the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System.

A State Department spokesman told DailyMail.com that all SIV applicants are being screened before they are allowed entry into the United States.

The Afghan who has potential ties to ISIS was detected by security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

“We are surging resources to evaluate each case and process these as efficiently as possible to protect homeland security,” the official said.

However, Defense One reported, Customs and Border Patrol agents agents are hampered by the large volume of SIV applicants that are being processed through old vetting systems that can’t integrate with the Defense Department’s biometric database information.

“CBP on the ground has old tech and they don’t know how to use it, integrate it. And there’s not enough people to process’ all of the evacuees,” an official said.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby assured reporters Monday that the Afghans allowed into the United States are undergoing “robust screening.”

However, as Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer argues, the British also have “robust screening.” But a report Tuesday by Sky News illustrates “the unavoidable difficulties involved in this process.”

The British broadcaster reported “a person from Afghanistan on the UK’s no-fly list has been flown into Birmingham as part of the British evacuation operation in a potential security breach.”

Spencer noted that a U.K. government spokesman has declared that “thorough checks are taking place by government, our world-class intelligence agencies and others.”

At the Defense Department media briefing Monday, Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor said that at least 2,500 Afghans are already in the United States, and many more are coming.


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