Some Afghan Refugees Flagged For Concern by CBP at Military Bases Worldwide, Report Says
© REUTERS / MICHAEL MCCOYAfghan refugees walk to a bus taking them to a processing center upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., August 28, 2021
© REUTERS / MICHAEL MCCOY
The US and its allies have entered the final phase of the evacuation of their citizens, along with those Afghans who want to leave their country now that it is controlled by the Taliban* military movement. All efforts are now said to be focused on distributing rescued Afghans.
Some Afghan refugees have been "flagged for concern" by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) following security checks and screenings in American military bases worldwide, the ABC News reported on Saturday, citing officials from several US security agencies.
"It's exactly why CBP conducted careful and thorough vetting," Keri Brady, the assistant director at CBP's National Targeting Center, noted.
The process is reportedly facilitated by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, whose officials, during a call on Friday, discussed the process of the security checks.
The CPB has been said to provide personnel to foreign bases, where Afghans are primarily transferred for vetting and other checks to detect threats and potentially dangerous people who “could use the relocation process as a way to introduce operatives intending to conduct an attack within the homeland,” according to acting head of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, John Cohen.
Cohen added that agencies are also monitoring possible extremism in the US against the refugees, as there are concerns over “violent activities directed at immigrant communities, certain faith communities or even those who are relocated to the United States."
© REUTERS / KAI PFAFFENBACHWomen and children wait for a document check after disembarking from the last plane arriving with Afghan refugees via Tashkent at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, August 27, 2021
Women and children wait for a document check after disembarking from the last plane arriving with Afghan refugees via Tashkent at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, August 27, 2021
© REUTERS / KAI PFAFFENBACH
Currently, the US and other NATO member countries continue to remove their personnel from Afghanistan, alongside Afghan allies. The evacuation is expected to conclude by the 31 August deadline, and has raised questions about housing for thousands of Afghan asylum seekers. The process of vetting has sparked controversy amid claims that US agencies have “no real idea” about who they are letting into the country.
Washington has not yet announced how many residents of Afghanistan the US will accept. The US was earlier said by some to be taking in an estimated 15,000 refugees. According to an official statement by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the US will temporary house some asylum seekers at military bases, including Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Reports suggest that as many as 22,000 Afghans, and their families, have applied for special immigration visas.
The Fort Lee base in Virginia has become provisional asylum for an unidentified number of Afghans. Reports have suggested that by this weekend, the total capacity of American bases would expand to 55,000 refugees by the time the evacuation is completed, according to The Progress-Index.
According to the latest estimates, the US and its allies have reportedly evacuated over 100,000 people from Kabul. Last week, US President Joe Biden announced that NATO countries would be expected to take in up to 65,000 additional refugees.
*Taliban is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and many other countries.