Nearly 100 Afghan evacuees may have ties with Islamic State: Reports

WION Web Team
Kabul, Afghanistan Published: Aug 25, 2021, 05:09 PM(IST)

Spanish citizens residing in Afghanistan and Afghans board a military plane as part of their evacuation, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan Photograph:( Reuters )

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As per media reports, as many as 100 Afghan evacuees who have been rescued from Kabul and are potential candidates for Special Immigration Visas (SIV) may have close ties with ISIS

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, several countries have been running evacuation flights for their citizens and passport holders. While the world is applauding this humanitarian help, some people might be misusing it for selfish reasons.

Now, United States government officials have warned that nearly 100 Afghan evacuees are on intelligence agency watch lists and may be related to terrorist groups like Islamic State.

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As per western media reports, as many as 100 Afghan evacuees who have been rescued from Kabul and are potential candidates for Special Immigration Visas (SIV) may have close ties with ISIS.

These evacuated people were flagged by an intelligence agency as people who have been on their watch list. They were identified through the US government’s automated biometric identification system, as per a government official.

However, no official comment has been given by the US government on this matter.

"Intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals are conducting screening and security vetting for all SIV applicants and other vulnerable Afghans before they are allowed into the United States," the State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "We are surging resources to evaluate each case and process these as efficiently as possible to protect homeland security."

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As of now, the identified evacuees are being treated as possible matches, and the confirmation about their association with terrorist organisations is still pending.

The US government claims that all Afghan evacuees are being screened by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) using facial recognition, fingerprint and iris scanner and being matched with the law enforcement databases.

However, some media reports have also stated that the CBP is struggling to keep up with the incoming number of evacuees. "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 told a western media house.

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