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Afghanistan evacuation complicated by fears of passport fraud

Officials overseeing the ongoing evacuation of Us residents and allies from the Kabul airport have warned that Afghans who are not suitable for admission to the US may possibly try to get on flights out of the place with the enable of fraudulent passports.

NBC Information, citing the State Department’s Afghanistan Endeavor Pressure, noted Tuesday that there had been “at the very least five” incidents as of Sunday in which Afghans showed US passports that did not belong to them. It was not straight away apparent no matter if the documents experienced been forged or stolen.

The method of analyzing who is qualified to be evacuated is intricate by the actuality that biometric passport screening — prevalent in lots of nations close to the world — is not offered at Hamid Karzai Global Airport, the outlet also noted, citing a leaked Condition Department memo.

The described incidents are possible to heighten worries amid lawmakers that criminals, including terrorists, could acquire advantage of the chaotic evacuation to sneak aboard flights to the US or other nations.

Previously this 7 days, French authorities arrested an Afghan evacuee soon after he admitted to authorities in Abu Dhabi that he had been a member of the Taliban — even manning just one of the Islamic fundamentalist group’s infamous checkpoints. Inspite of the admission, the guy and four other individuals in his get together were being allowed to proceed on to France, where they have been put below surveillance and purchased to household confinement.

Around 82,000 folks have been evacuated out of Afghanistan on US and allied flights given that Aug. 14.
Los Angeles Times by way of Getty Images

In an exertion to stage up the screening process, NBC claimed, US Customs and Border Protection is sending dozens of staff members associates to international locations these types of as Qatar, Bahrain and Germany, where by Afghan evacuees are flown before continuing on to their final desired destination.

President Biden vowed Tuesday that evacuees who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents would undertake a “thorough safety screening” right before currently being permitted to enter the place.

“Anyone arriving in the United States will have been through a track record look at,” he promised.

Also Tuesday, Bloomberg noted that the White Residence has asked refugee help teams to be well prepared to assistance resettle as many as 50,000 Afghan refugees admitted to the US under so-named “humanitarian parole,” which would give them a yr-prolonged grace period in which to implement for asylum or other visas.

While much of the emphasis of the evacuation work has been on interpreters who worked together with US-led NATO forces all through the 20-calendar year war and who have applied for or been granted Special Immigrant Visas for on their own and their people, Bloomberg claimed the “humanitarian parole” cohort would contain members of other groups, including distinguished feminine leaders and journalists.

Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday that roughly 4,500 American citizens experienced been flown out of Afghanistan considering the fact that Aug. 14. Over the identical period, the White Property reported, about 82,300 men and women experienced been evacuated on both US and Allied flights.

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