Up to 100 Afghan Evacuees Flown out of Kabul are on Intelligence Agency Watch Lists

Evacuees from Afghanistan Al-Udeid airbase
Evacuees from Afghanistan are pictured arriving at Al-Udeid airbase in Qatar's capital Doha (Qatar's Gov. Communication)
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  • The Afghans are potential candidates for Special Immigration Visas (SIV)
  • They were flagged as possible matches to intelligence agency watch lists by the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System
  • The Afghan who has potential ties to ISIS was detected by security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar after they were evacuated from Kabul Airport 
  • The Afghan evacuees are being screened against law enforcement databases using biometric data including facial recognition, iris scans and fingerprints 
  • The evacuees are being screened by agents with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 

As many as 100 Afghan evacuees flown out of war-torn Kabul are on intelligence agency watch lists, a United States government official warned on Tuesday as it was revealed one passenger flown out to Qatar has potential ties to ISIS.

The Afghans, potential candidates for Special Immigration Visas (SIV), were flagged as possible matches to intelligence agency watch lists by the Defense Department’s Automated Biometric Identification System, an official with the U.S. government told Defense One

The Afghan who has potential ties to ISIS was detected by security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar after they were evacuated from Kabul Airport, another official told the outlet. There have been 6,000 Afghans taken to the air base.

‘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,’ a State Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com.

‘We are surging resources to evaluate each case and process these as efficiently as possible to protect homeland security.’ 

The State Department declined to confirm to DailyMail.com whether any immigrants have been flagged for having ties to ISIS, and it is unclear if they were processed before or after leaving Kabul.

By ADAM SCHRADER

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First on – a Taliban spokesman said today that the group would bar Afghans from accessing the roads leading to the airport to allow foreigners to pass. And, I guess, for evacuation efforts, what does this mean for Afghans who assisted and can’t get through now? What are you going to be – does this effectively cut off those Afghans from being evacuated?

No, that is not how you should read it. One, I should note we have been in direct contact not just with American citizens, but with SIV applicants – Special Immigrant Visa applicants – and Afghans whose departure we are facilitating about how and when to come to the airport. And our expectation, which we have also conveyed to the Taliban, is that they should be able to get to the airport. It is also true – and I know this may be some of the confusion out there – that there are a number of Afghans who may not – they may not qualify for these programs. And we’ve seen, over the past several – over the past nine days, a rush of people attempt to come to the airport. We certainly understand that, but that also creates security risk and one that we have great concern about. So to be clear, individuals who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas or others who we are helping facilitate their evacuation and their departure, we are in touch with them, are working to be in touch with them about how and when to come to the airport, as well as American citizens, as you well know, and we expect that they will be able to reach the airport.

Full White House Daily Briefing on Evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki provided an update on evacuation efforts in Afghanistan as well as the Biden administration’s policy priorities. She previewed the president’s next-day meeting with business leaders on cybersecurity and then took questions on a variety of issues.

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