Connect with us

General

About 100 Afghan evacuees to U.S. flagged for possible ties to Taliban or terror groups, sources say


About 100 Afghans who have been evacuated to the U.S. have been flagged for possible ties to the Taliban or terror groups, say two sources familiar with the U.S. evacuation.

Screening of at least two of those Afghans has revealed information concerning enough that the U.S. plans to send them to Kosovo for further review, and any other evacuees who trigger similar concerns will also be sent to Kosovo, said the sources.

The sources caution that just because a person is flagged does not mean they are a terrorist or pose a threat.

Of more than 30,000 evacuees from Afghanistan to the U.S., about 10,000 needed additional screening as of Friday, said the sources, and of those about 100 were flagged for possible ties to terror groups.

Other evacuees who are currently being evaluated in the D.C. area were found to have been deported from the U.S. previously for past criminal offenses, said two sources briefed on the data. The Department of Homeland Security is now deciding what to do with the individuals.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

In addition, U.S. officials are trying to arrange placement for unaccompanied minors, with up to 10 Afghans under the age of 18 arriving in the U.S. per day. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that Afghan children arriving in the U.S. unaccompanied would be sheltered by Health and Human Services while the agency finds a permanent home with a relative or sponsor.

Evacuees have been subject to screening while waiting on planes on the tarmac in Kabul to leave Afghanistan, before deplaning in the U.S., and also in third countries while in route to the U.S. Third countries where evacuees were vetted include Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Italy, Spain, and Germany, among others.

As NBC News previously reported, Mayorkas said Friday that some evacuees whose names were on terror watchlists were prevented from entering the U.S.

“We are working with our international allies to address the disposition of those individuals,” Mayorkas said.

The appearance of a name on a terror watchlist does not necessarily mean that an individual poses a threat.

DHS did not respond to a request for comment.



Copyright © 2020 AMSNBC News